How to Sneak in Physical Therapy on Vacation
In the hotel/motel/condo:
1. Yoga Ball: The inflatable yoga ball is magic for balancing, stretching, and core strength. It also folds flat for easy packing.
2. Explore New Heights: Most hotels have side tables and kitchen counters and beds at different heights from what you have at home. If your child can stand with support, help them practice at these new stations. Each new angle works a different muscle sets and postures while also allowing them to explore their new environment.
3. Scavenger Hunt in the Lounge: This one requires a bit of planning. But we’ve discovered most concierges are more than willing to let us take advantage of the lounge/breakfast area in its off hours. We’ve hidden everything from oranges to toy trucks under tables and on windowsills. It’s a great way to let your child get familiar with their new environment while working on walking or wheeling.
4. Towel Stretches: Roll up one or a few towels (depending on the needs of your child) and position them under their arms while lying prone to stretch those chest, neck, and back muscles. Encourage them to lift their head for extra core work. Try it yourself. It’s harder than it sounds.
5. Special Yoga: Special needs yoga can be done anywhere. You can look up free YouTube videos or bring along some DVDs. We like Yogability. This is a great morning or bedtime activity. The poses are gentle and relaxing and easy for you to do with your child.
6. Pool Time: See if you can get access to a pool, either at your hotel or the nearest recreational center. Even if you do nothing but let your child experience weightlessness for ten minutes, it will be worth it. The benefits of aquatic therapy are endless. It loosens up all the muscles that stretching might miss.
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