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Smart Travel Checklist

On-the-go living with osteoporosis: Around town or across the globe, take care of your bone health while enjoying active living with osteoporosis.

PLAN FUN THAT BENEFITS BONE HEALTH

  • Try an outdoor tai chi class
  • Feel free on a bike
  • Enjoy a nature walk
  • Swim in a pool, lake, ocean, even under a waterfall
  • Take up dancing

There are lots of alternatives to activities with a high risk of falling such as skiing; high-impact moves such as jogging; and those that cause you to twist and bend such as golf and tennis. Before beginning or changing your exercise program—and for more ideas about staying active—ask your health care provider.

STAY IN COMFORT

When booking a room, look for features such as grab bars, handrails, and nonslip surfaces in bathrooms as well as in a hotel elevator.

PACK SMART FOR BONE HEALTH

  • Use a shoulder bag, fanny pack, or backpack—free hands help you easily use handrails for stairs, walkways, and escalators
  • Pack lightly—2 smaller bags instead of 1 large, heavy one—to avoid muscle strain and fatigue
  • Put your medications in your carry-on

GET HELP WITH YOUR BAGS

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends not lifting or carrying items that weigh more than 10 pounds. Instead:

  • Ask for help moving heavier bags and lifting carry-on luggage into the car trunk or overhead compartments

BRING TOOLS FOR MOBILITY

Shoes and mobility aids can help keep you balanced for smart travel.

  • Wear low-heeled, supportive shoes with rubber soles
  • If you use a cane, walker, or wheelchair, keep it handy

USE SPECIAL SERVICES AT THE AIRPORT

  • If you’re concerned about the long walk through a crowded terminal to your gate, request a wheelchair or ride to the gate from your airline in advance
  • If you have trouble standing in long security lines, can’t walk through the screening checkpoint without your cane or walker, or can’t easily take off your shoes, tell the airport security personnel at the point where the line forms—you may be able to use a shorter line or have a seated screening

You can also fill out a U.S. Transportation Security Administration Disability Notification Card in advance of your trip and show it to personnel if you’d like more privacy.

TRAVELING IN COMFORT

  • Use a small pillow to help support your lower back while sitting for long periods of time
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and keep your upper back straight
  • A traveler’s neck pillow may help keep your spine aligned while you’re sitting

SIP WATER FOR SMART TRAVEL

Dehydration can cause low blood pressure, confusion, and balance problems—increasing the risk for a fall.

  • Buy a water bottle or ask flight attendants to keep your glass full
  • Make bathroom trips on planes and trains easier by asking for an aisle seat
  • Move slowly as you get up and head for the restroom, using chair backs along the way for support

SET A PLEASANT PACE

You can’t see and do everything. Build time for sleep, rest, and healthy meals into your schedule to stay energized and alert. You’ll be more likely to enjoy every minute of your trip.

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