Summer is such a wonderful season with longer days, slews of activities, travel adventures and time to reconnect with family and friends.
For many, especially parents and grandparents, schedules change drastically and adjustments for balance must be made. Never mind that as quickly as we get used to new schedules and routines, fall rolls around requiring yet another adjustment! Flexibility and dedication to continued movement and proper nourishment are key to adjusting with ease.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve traveled to South America and Asia. In the next few I’ll be heading to Europe and the Middle East. As the travel process can be grueling and draining, schedule adjustment and balance are top of mind for me at the moment and self-care is of paramount importance.
When we travel to teach Pilates, my colleagues and I need to be prepared to hit the ground moving well and thinking clearly in a new land and time zone. I wanted to share some of my tips on how we do so time after time. Of course, I take Pilates on the go!
To help ease your travel process and create a smooth transition upon arrival and return, plan to take your Pilates practice on any work trip or vacation. If a road trip is in your future, be sure to plan frequent stops to stand and stretch. If traveling by plane for more than two hours, choose an aisle seat if possible. In either case, stand up and walk around every hour or so. If you’re the passenger, or while seated in flight, practice hip folds, ankle and wrist circles and shoulder rolls. Seated roll downs, spinal and neck rotations, contractions and extensions are also helpful.
At rest stops or in airplane galleys, practice calf raises and stretches, pliés and squats, as well as quadricep/hamstring stretches and chest/shoulder openers. Upon arrival at a destination, walk as much as possible – avoid moving sidewalks and escalators, if possible. Immediately adjust activities to match the local time zone. Get outside and take in some sunlight and fresh air to help circadian rhythms adjust.
Before, during and after travel, hydrate constantly. Drink water even when you don’t feel thirsty. Note: if you drink water on an airplane, bring your own or make sure it is bottled. In transit, I find that small, protein packed meals keep me properly fueled. Avoiding sugary or overly processed food is always ideal, but particularly important while travelling to keep the body and mind running at peak efficiency.
I hope these tips will serve you as well as they’ve served me over the years. Here’s to an amazing remainder of summer, many wonderful memories made, and healthy and safe travels!
And so to up!