Serious Stuff: Making the Most of Trip to Amusement Park

By Sara Butler

Friends at Amusement Park

So it begins.

Spring is here and as summer approaches, you need to prepare yourself for your trip to amusement parks. Love them or hate them, you can’t escape them. I spent nearly two weeks at Walt Disney World last fall and I’m still recovering from all that walking, the throngs of sweaty people, and the thrill of the thrill rides (have I mentioned I have a bad back?). I’m no spring chicken (or adorable rodent) and don’t recover from such experiences as I did a few years ago. If you’re not in the same boat, you’re destined to climb aboard sometime. Next stop: Tomorrowland.

So, why bother going? You are probably in possession of short people, who you legally have to care for, who can’t get enough of those amusement parks. If there’s a land inhabited by princesses, cartoon characters or burgeoning wizards, you just can’t get out of it -- which means you probably need to make the best of it.

We at The Joint Chiropractic are here for support because we want you to make the BEST “best-of-it” possible! Call us eternal optimists, but we want you to get through this summer safely and healthily, with a smile on your face the whole time. Here are some health strategies you need to remember as you and your family amuse yourselves this summer.

Highway to the Danger Zone

Whether you’re going to an amusement park just a few miles away or a few states away, it’s always good to remember the rules of the road. I’m not talking about signaling lane changes, though you should be doing that; what I mean is making sure you’re set up for health on the road to your destination.

You need to make sure to:

  • Adjust your seat and mirrors appropriately -- You shouldn’t be craning your neck or moving any body part but your eyes to check your rear-view mirror. You also shouldn’t be overextending your arms or legs to reach the wheel or pedals.
  • Take breaks -- It’s a good idea to stop at least once an hour to get out and stretch. It’s tempting to try getting there as fast as you can, but you need to be kind to your body before you strap it into some of those crazy rides that hurtle you through the air at 60 mph (or a lot more!).
  • Hydrate -- Make sure you’re drinking water throughout the trip. This can help you with stopping often -- two birds, one stone and all that.

Let the Sunshine in -- But Not Too Much

Being outside for several hours as you walk in crazy heat and humidity is what lies ahead of you, so make sure you’re prepared. You must wear sunblock and take some with you to reapply every couple of hours. Apply bug spray to keep the bugs away and wear sunglasses to protect those peepers.

Also, note that there’s no such thing as too much water. If you’re sweating and walking long distances, you will lose water quickly; make sure you’re replacing it by sipping some H2O at every opportunity. Frequent breaks may be required to make sure no one is getting overheated; if that happens, it can lead to some really serious health issues.

Check Your Gear

We know, you’ve got the cutest outfit picked out for the park, but here is some brutally honest news: No one cares but you. If what you’ve chosen is killing your feet, knees, or back by noon, then you will not be amused for the duration of your ride -- which is probably at least six more hours. You should wear shoes that are comfortable and supportive. Flip-flops will do you no good here unless you’re going to a water park. Lightweight clothes made out of breathable materials should also be a part of your fashion choices.

A little preparation and caution will go a long way this summer. Going to amusement parks with the family is the kind of stuff that creates memories you can share for a lifetime. I know my sister will never live down that time she puked on a roller coaster (and everyone else behind her) -- and it was 30 years ago. You just can’t put a price on memories like that. So, make the best of it and be prepared so you can spend the day having fun instead of suffering through it!

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