Catching frequent flights is often a necessary but inconveniencing aspect of business travel, particularly when it comes to taking care of our bodies. When you’re sedentary for a long time during a flight, it can lead to achy muscles, and a general feeling of discomfort. Although you are somewhat restricted in what you can do on a plane, it is important to remember to move around and stretch your muscles during your flight. But even more important, when flying, the dehydration caused by the dry air may thicken your blood. In addition, the lower cabin pressure, combined with seating still in small seats, may cause blood to collect in the legs.
We’ve compiled a list of simple stretches and exercises that you can do on your next flight, the majority of which can be done from the comfort of your seat. Even if you are sitting in busy economy class, these exercises shouldn’t disturb the other passengers around you. Start out with some simple stretches to warm up, and then progress to the chair based exercises….
The Shoulder Roll
Raise your shoulders and rotate them in a circular motion. You should repeat this in bursts of five, and practice moving your shoulders both clockwise and anti-clockwise.
Move Your Legs
This is very important both for comfort and protection against deep vein thrombosis. While seated, move your feet around in circular motions, and massage your calves regularly to prevent any discomfort.
Bend forwards a little in your seat, and lofty one knee towards your chest, supporting it with your hands. Hold your knee in place for between 15 and 20 seconds for each leg. Repeat 20 to 30 times, alternating legs.
The Neck Roll
While seated, slowly move your neck from one side to the other. Roll your neck from side to side, and then forwards and backwards. Repeat five times.
Yes you can move somewhat from the comfort of your chair, but you should get out of your seat and walk around as often as you get the opportunity to do so. Get up to drink some water and you will combine two healthy routines! If possible, walk around the cabin at least every hour
Easy Exercises to do From Your Chair
While seated, close your legs and feet together and then bring your knees up and down without touching the floor with your feet. This exercise is great for getting an ab workout on the go.
In the same position as the previous exercises (legs closed together), lift your knees and then move them in circles. Do a set of around 10 in the clockwise direction, and then repeat again anti-clockwise.
Place your hands on the armrests on either side of your chair (hopefully the person next to you isn’t an armrest hog or won’t be disturbed by this!). Lift yourself using your triceps and move up and down around 10 times.
Okay, so you can’t exactly lay your yoga mat down between aisles and start doing the downward facing dog, but there are numerous yoga poses that you can try from the comfort of your chair also. CNN released this fantastic list of yoga exercises
to do on the move.
Since these exercises are not at all physically exerting, a few simple stretches should be sufficient to warm up. Take additional health factors into consideration during your flight – drink plenty of water and fluids rich in electrolytes and consider compression socks on long haul flights for added protection against DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis