Body Edition | Making the Most of Your Travel

Body Edition | Making the Most of Your Travel

8 exercises to balance your body and get travel ready

by Johnny Earls PT, DPT

It’s 4pm in Nice, France. You and your significant other have been walking the cobblestone streets chasing the smell of bread and melted cheese on pizza all day. As you round the corner and head back to your hotel, a pain in your knee begins to well up until the sharp, searing body discomfort cannot be ignored.

With a sigh, you call out to your partner and ask them to slow down. You look around for a place to sit but there isn’t a bench or chair in sight. So you keep on knowing an old pain has returned to sour a travel memory.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

The human body is a magnificently resilient creature. Certainly it may not feel that way when you’re in a foreign country practically panicked to find a place to sit down, but the body truly is resilient and for anyone with nagging pain.

Taking a small amount of time to prepare your body prior to the trip, will help you enjoy your time exploring. Your only care in the world will be if tonight’s restaurant has the right Beaujolais.

It’s rare that a Travel Advisor will think as holistically as Martha Day at Opal&Finch does about travel.

When she and I sat down to talk, one of the first thing out of her mouth were ideas for how she could help ensure an even more memorable experience for her clients as they travel from a body health perspective.

We quickly agreed the last thing we want is for a body to fail while meandering the villages of France, Italy, or Prague! Both Martha and I want you to feel strong, excited, and capable to go explore new destinations. So, here is some guidance to help get bodies balanced and healthy before you go so you have more time for making memories.

The strongest way to enjoy your trip without pain is to recognize your imbalances before going, and then take the time to retrain your body to rebalance them.

For the purpose of this article, I am including 8 exercises that improve the most common imbalances we see causing knee pain with extended walking in our over 40 population.

When I treat people at our Performance Physical Therapy clinic, located in the Design District of Dallas, we take everyone through a full body assessment to determine what imbalances are causing pain. This way we get the results we want – a strong healthy body.

BODY Exercises | Glutes and Hamstrings

To start, we must balance the glutes and hamstrings with the quads.

These two exercises done in this order 5 days per week for 6 weeks will dramatically improve the strength of your legs and knees (click the title to watch a short video demonstration.)

  1. Supine Hip Extension
  2. 3 rounds for a 3-5 breath hold (don’t go in and out of the position, hold the position.)
  3. Reverse Lunge with Hand Support
  4. 3 rounds of 3-6 (when it gets a little shaky getting back up, that’s enough reps.)

BODY Exercises | Inner and outer hips

Next, it’s imperative that your inner and outer hips are just as strong as your quads, glutes and hamstrings. When it comes to imbalances, this is where we see the most dramatic differences. Once again, these two exercises performed in order 5 days per week for 6 weeks will be enough for most everyone to avoid aggravating knee pain with walking.

  1. Modified Adductor Plank
  2. 2 rounds for a 2-4 breath hold.
  3. Monster Walk
  4. 3 rounds of 8 steps in both directions (left and right.)

These exercises are simple but effective. They should be easy to understand but challenging to perform.

The best part, they can be used as a warm up after a long flight to ensure your body isn’t all locked up around the hips.

Before you head off on your next trip, find the right person to help you achieve your goals. Whether it be injury or pain related or just general fitness, there are excellent people near by who can help you.

Have a great trip!

John Earls, DPT

John Earls, DPT

If you have questions about what’s right for you, reach out to Dr. Earls at or by going to his website

About John Earls PT, DPT
As Founder and Owner of Human Function and Performance, I have made it my life’s purpose to redefine the way physical therapy is approached in the Dallas, Texas region. When I first moved from the Northeast to Dallas, I immediately knew this city was the place I would call home. However, there was a major problem. Physical therapy as a profession was decades behind what I was used too.

Rather than seek out a physical therapist to help uncover root causes of pain, physical therapy was focused on relieving symptoms. Getting rid of pain is important, but understanding why it develops in the first place is most important.

I have made it my mission to help patients, athletes, clients and anyone who is interested, understand how their body truly works. That way, they can take back control over how they feel. It is common for individuals to get stuck going from Doctor to Doctor receiving a short term pain fix, with no strategies for creating long term change. At Human Function and Performance we have created an environment where patients get better faster and achieve lasting improvements, all with less time spent in the clinic and more time performing the activities they love.

Past Blog Posts

At Opal & Finch, we craft custom travel experiences that connect you to your passions, to vibrant cultures, and to the world. Our itineraries are handcrafted, each trip is put together in such detail so you can temporarily set aside your professional responsibilities and truly engage with the world while you are away.
We desire that you return home rested and ready to step more boldly into your vision for the future. 

To connect with us about your next trip email us at

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