I have spent the last few days in Minnesota working on my gym business and making sure that I am always making positive moves for my staff and my members. I learned a lot but was also nice to see the issues that other gym owners have are the same as mine.
I normally don’t get to travel very much, especially without my wife and son so I had some time to reflect. Many of my members travel …. Some for work, some for pleasure and some just so they can get out of the Arizona heat!
Some things I have learned while traveling to keep you healthy and sane!
1. Traveling without children makes the process a whole lot easier! :) But I miss both my son and wife when I am away so make sure to call and check on the family when you are away. Being a bachelor for 40+ years of my life, this is something I had to learn.
2. This trip was a lot of sitting. Going over numbers, business plans and then I spent some time with my cousins. My back has so stiff this morning when I woke up. So these are the some of the things I did to keep me moving before I went to the airport.
Things that can help counter act the stiff back syndrome from traveling.
–Move more- Plain and simple. The more I sit, the tighter my hip and back muscles get. Then when I do try and move, the muscles don’t have any elasticity so they pull on the attachments. ( bones, joints etc)= Achy back
– Hydration– This is a tough one since many of us go out to dinners, bars and are out of our normal routine when we travel. Always have a full water bottle with you. Think of your body as a sponge… Wet sponge vs Dry sponge. Which one is more pliable? Dry sponge will be brittle and fall apart, much like what a dry muscle will do causing inflammation. A wet sponge will move in all directions and flex with the bodies movements.
-Sleeping- You have to get your rest but unfortunately we are in a foreign bed with different pillows etc. I have had issues with my back since I was 18 years old so I have learned over the last 20+ years that how I sleep plays a huge roll in how I feel. I have been told to sleep on my back(never on stomach- terrible for your back) but I never found this comfortable for very long. Side sleeping is what took the most pressure off of my back. However, I need props to get a good night sleep. A body pillow has worked wonders for me because it keeps my top leg from hanging over from the side position. Being an ex-shot put/discus thrower I like a firmer body pillow so I don’t crush it. This is the one I like just so you can see. I don’t get any kickback from this, I just want you to see which one I use. Bamboo Body Pillow.
I use both arms to hug the pillow to keep my shoulders even and I wrap both knees around it. It keeps my spine in a straight line the whole night and I just take it with me if I turn from side to side. When I was still a bachelor, I would have one on each side of me so I didn’t have to move it each time I shifted sides, but obviously I like seeing my beautiful wife more than having 2 body pillows so I just use one now.
-Stretch- Muscles will tighten with inactivity which normally happens when we travel. The main stretches that I do is a
1. Hip flexor stretch- releasing the front of my hip takes pressure off the low back and lets my hips move more freely.
2. Piriformis Stretch- Outside of the butt. Easily done by sitting and crossing one leg over the other.
3. Hamstring Stretch- Either bending down and touching your toes or place one leg up on a chair or bench and try and touch the toe what is up while keeping the leg straight.
-Bring Travel Tools- I bring a Lacrosse ball/tennis ball and stretch band on every trip. If you haven’t used these before, they are a lifesaver when it comes to releasing a tight muscle. Sitting on a LAX ball or using a stretch band to assist makes your life easier and if you do get very stiff for some reason the ball can break up knots quickly and get you back on your way. Many of my clients in the gym have this a part of their morning routine whether they are traveling or not. They use it just for maintenance.
These are the things that I do to help me travel safely. Over the years I have had a lot of uncomfortable travel experiences due to all the issues I had with my back. When I was competing it was very routine to travel in pain and then compete and then jump right back on the plane home.
Things I learned Cont’d
3. A friend told me once that if I travel for business, I need to do one fun thing each trip so it does not become monotonous. This time I got to see my cousins who I had not seen since my wedding in 2017. It was great to catch up and see some of the sights of Minneapolis.
4. Even though travel can be fun and it is great to get away. The true fun is coming back to my family. Every night on the trip before bed I would talk to my wife or look at some of the pictures/videos of my son Patrick which always make me smile. Makes it hard to be away but I can’t wait to walk in the door and hear “Daddy’s Home!”.