Planes, Trains, and Party Pains: Why Digital Nomads Need a Nice, Long Stretch
By Jessica Lollino - June 11, 2020
It seems like only yesterday when I was hauling my life on my back, squeezing into shuttles with 72 other people, and marveling at the lack of elevators pretty much everywhere except in the States. My body was not in any way prepared for it, but hey, it wasn’t like I was doing marathons before I decided to give life as a digital nomad a shot. Well, I wasn’t the only one, even my uber-fit compadres were feeling the pain, literally, as well. Sure, I expected a few aches and pain, more than a few hangovers and headaches, and certainly some less than luxurious living situations, but I didn’t realize how quickly every little thing added up and started impacting my adventures in new cities. My FOMO was high because I would have to sit out a hike here and there because my body was like, “Aww, hell no,? and be stuck at home with a migraine from days of being hunched over my laptop while my tramily was out getting frisky on the dancefloor in some European club. I know, boo hoo for me and my life as an international seductress.
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There was something that always helped though, and in reflection, I wish I had done more of it: stretch. Like a good stretch, not the 30-second one you do to show so you look like an Olympic athlete; no, the kind where you get down in it, lean into the tender tight spots, and release it all. Being a yoga teacher with extensive training in anatomy and physiology myself, I could create my own classes. I wish I did it more.
So, this is my advice for all those remote workers out there: schedule yourself into a regular stretching class. And since we (probably) don’t know each other yet, here are a few reasons why you should.
Stretching Benefit #1: Extra energy
Everyone thinks being a nomad is like a dream come true, and in some ways it really is. You get to jet set, have one life-altering experience after another, and take lovers in various exotic locals (ok, maybe not everyone does that last one). One thing no one tells you about the glamourous life of being remote is the exhaustion. ?All the parties and trips and late-nights (well, early mornings really) take a toll. Of course, while willing to pay it, this kind of toll doesn?t give a discount for frequent visits. In at 5 am and up at 8 am to be on a video call with your boss is part of the do-it-all, nomad lifestyle. Whatcha? gonna do?
Add to that lack of sleep, hours in front of screens, and work-related stress and you have zero energy for the amazing stuff you?re there to do. Do you really want to miss a weekend of island hopping in Croatia because you?re burnt out? Nope. Fix it with stretching! It increases blood oxygen in the body, revitalizing the entire system and naturally boosting energy levels.
Stretching Benefit #2: Reverse poor posture and alignment
Most nomads sacrifice on comfortable travel to preserve their finances. This means that economical, feeling-squeezed-in-to-a-tiny-cardboard-box-like-cattle coach seat on a 14-hour trip to Argentina destroys your back. Don?t forget to stop at baggage claim to haul your 80-pounds of luggage, aka your home and office, to the shuttles, to then lug them up five flights of stairs in your temporary home. In a few weeks, you are doing it all in reverse as you leave for to your next location.
All this back-and-forth leaves your back, to use a technical term, completely jacked up. Your shoulders won?t roll back and it?s hard to flirt when feeling like Quasimodo (though I hear he had a really great personality). A good, focused stretch reverses the hunched position back to upright and confident. Spinal alignment gets back on track and decreases pain and discomfort, making the remote lifestyle a much more enjoyable experience.
Stretching Benefit #3: Stretching improves flexibility and mobility
To pile on to the last benefit, stretching also increases flexibility and range of motion. This is key for squeezing into a minicab in India or three days of hiking and camping in Patagonia. Contorting yourself into a tiny, twisty pretzel and conversely having the ability to take long strides is critical for surviving remote life where personal space is at a minimum and you can?t always find accommodations for bodily limitations. Stretching also protects the body from injury, and honestly, a broken leg or out of joint hip can end your adventure. Need another bonus? Flexibility will give you big points in your, ahem, evening extracurricular activities. Let?s just say, #kamasutra.
Stretching Benefit #4: Say adios to tension headaches
The reality of being a digital nomad is a lot of screen time. No, not Netflix, but time writing, coding, emailing, processing reports, programming, etc., et infinitum. All that eye strain, hunched shoulders, and the lack of an ergonomically appropriate set-up sets off lightning-level tension headaches. Stretching creates space in the neck and shoulders, reducing pressure, and thus, expels the likelihood of tension headaches. Ain’t nobody got time for those when there are the Alps to ski and bars frequented by Hemingway to belly-up at.
A remote stretching class should be something every nomad should pack (along with a luggage scale ? lesson learned) to be at their absolute best in health and mood. A simple 25-minute remote-stretch class taught by professionally trained, experienced instructors can make all the difference when running to catch that train in London or trekking Machu Pichu. There?s no need to find a stretching class in a new city, find transport, and then figure out the currency conversion.
With Remote Stretch, you simply schedule yourself into one of our four daily drop-in classes for a nomad-friendly cost of five buckaroonies. Find a piece of floor, lie down a mat or just a towel (or go floor-commando), login to your old friend, Zoom, and do a little something for yourself that yields big rewards during and after class. No commitments, no contracts, and no equipment needed. It?s the best way to not only practice a little self-care but also ensure you enjoy every experience the nomad lifestyle offers.