Another fun fact of cheerleading nationals is the bus ride. The bus ride that typically takes 14 hours from where we start off at. This obviously gives you a great amount of time to read a book, chat with folks, catch up on work related materials, and slowly feel your ass getting flatter. Since we spend so much time riding, it is important to do a few things to help make the riding (or really any long travel trips) easier on your body. Here are a few things that I do.
In general your body is always going to like you more when you consistently hydrate. This not only lets your digestive system work easier, but also helps with the lubrication of your joints. It is easy to not drink enough water when you are flying or riding on a bus since getting up to use the bathroom can be a bother, but do yourself a favor and try to keep drinking water as much as you can. When flying ask for whatever beverage you want along with an additional water. When stopping on the bus ride do the same at whatever restaurant you use along with refill whatever water bottle you have. Bonus tip is that TSA will not take an empty water bottle from you, just fill it up once you pass security. You can even just bring your protein powder along with you this way and make a protein shake when you get on the other side of TSA because you don’t want to pay crazy prices for airport food.
Walk as much as possible
This is at each stop we make, or if you are flying during your layovers. Just go take a walk. Doesn’t require any equipment or get you weird looks from the average person. Just make sure you are moving to get the blood circulating and helping all of your tissues get some nutrients. You don’t need to make this a death march, but just think about getting out and going. Walking big circles around parking lots or through airports is easy and you get the bonus of getting to do some interesting people watching. I’ll walk with someone else or just put on a podcast and explore the area I’m at. You can always squeeze in a bit more walking as you go so do your best. On this trip I found a twelve gauge shotgun shell in a longhorn steakhouse parking lot in Georgia, it was a live round (I have so many questions).
On the bus full of teammates no one is going to judge you for stretching when you ride for that long in the aisle. Just hitting a few hip flexor stretches and hip rotator stretches can do wonders for keeping you from feeling locked up or tight in the hips from all of the sitting. I try to do this once every few hours. Just have fun and relax trying to hit what feels the tightest from your traveling. Doing this again when you get home or to your hotel room can be another boost to your recovery.
Here are three quick ways you can help make traveling long distances a bit easier on your body when you have long rides ahead of you. Congrats to all teams that competed at nationals and as always thanks for taking the time to read this and share it with anyone that you might think could get something out of this.