For most of us, vacation equals relaxation, catching up with loved ones, or even some much-needed fun in the sun. We all deserve a break from time to time from our work schedules and daily tasks, and going on vacation during physical therapy this time of year isn’t uncommon. However, missing a few exercises between physical therapy visits can run the risk of losing some of your hard-earned progress. With just a little forethought and planning, you can stay active and healthy throughout your trip. If you are going on vacation during your rehabilitation program, here are a few key things you can do.
If you’re going on vacation during physical therapy the first thing you should do is talk to your physical therapist about a home exercise plan (HEP) that you can take with you so you’ll know exactly what you can do while you are away. Then, take a look at your itinerary and see what time you’ll have available for your exercise program. By planning ahead you’ll be more likely to follow through.
Second, plan times during your trip when you can do your HEP. It can be ideal to fit your routine first thing in the morning so you don’t have to worry about it the entire day. Lunchtime is another good option since it’s when your body is naturally most active. Making use of your breaks instead of a set time each day can also work.
Whether flying or driving, you’re likely going to be doing a lot of sitting and waiting at the beginning and end of your trip, which is a great time to get those exercises in. Also, try to take advantage of breaks during your vacation whether you’re…
- Waiting for an uber
- About to start a tour
- Getting ready to eat
- In a longer-than-it-should-be theme park line
Taking just a few minutes throughout the day to do some stretching and the prescribed exercises will help keep you from losing all those hard-fought gains you worked on with your physical therapist.
Finally, if you’ve had a major injury or are recovering from surgery, ask your physical therapist for advice on how to prevent re-injury while you are away from the clinic. By listening to your physical therapist, sticking to your home exercise plan, and avoiding situations that could increase your pain/injury, you should be able to have an amazing vacation full of fun!
If you are experiencing pain or loss of motion, we highly recommend you see one of our licensed and very talented physical therapists before going on vacation. Even if you haven’t started treatment yet, we can give you ways to keep from reinjuring your body further and get you on the schedule for your return.