Hitch in Your Gitalong?

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Camping is fun. It can be adventurous, exciting, relaxing, invigorating. It can also be hard on a body.

Unless you live in your RV, when you’re camping you’re living and sleeping in an unfamiliar place. This can lead to a pain in your neck, aches in your back or a hitch in your gitalong. What’s a body to do?

  • Don’t wait to be thirsty to drink plenty of water. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re out in the sun, hiking, fishing, etc. Fresh (preferably purified) water and plenty of it is numero uno. Fresh fruits and veggies are also an excellent way to stay hydrated. Plus they have magic properties – it seems science is “discovering’ a new super food every day, and usually they are the things your grandparents always knew were good for you.
  • Avoid or restrict foods that cause inflammation and dehydration. Far be it from us, your friends, to tell you not to drink coffee and tea! But do so in moderation, and be aware that caffeine is a dehydrator – as is sugar and alcohol. Keep an eye on how you feel when you eat tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, because vegetables in the nightshade family can cause inflammation and make your sore muscles even sorer. You may find that bacon (high sodium and preservatives) or hard cheese (fermented) don’t like you as much as you like them. Try to keep track of how your body reacts to the foods you eat and beverages you drink.
  • Stretch and warm up before you start your day to be sure those muscles are on your team before you send them on a mile hike or an all-day stroll through town. Simple stretches in the morning can make a big difference throughout the day. If you’ve never tried yoga, learning a few simple poses can really help you with flexibility and balance. It’s not as weird as it sounds!
  • Look into supplements. Some people swear by glucosamine and chondroitin. Others believe that fish oils, or large amounts of the spice turmeric are great for relieving inflammation. Do some research and and ask your doctor if they’re okay for you to try. Many of them have other health benefits anyway, so it won’t hurt you to experiment.
  • If you can’t camp with your own masseuse, consider investing in a chair pad or a handheld massager. They usually can be programmed to various settings, and many have a heat setting. Be aware that a problem area may radiate pain to another muscle group that gets all the squeaky-wheel attention. Just because your neck hurts doesn’t mean your lower back isn’t at fault! Some Ocean Canyon resorts have hot tubs, so take advantage of the warm swirly water to relieve those sore muscles.

Over-the-counter pain relievers or muscle relaxants may work very well, but try not to rely on them as your go-to measure. For one thing, they have side effects, and for another, they work much better for you when not called upon too often.

Hope these tips help put a spring in your step – come camp with us soon!

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