Traveling is a wonderful experience, but being seated on a plane for long hours can be stressful and uncomfortable, especially if you’re seated in the economy class. While there are definite pros to flying like how quickly you can go from one place to another, sometimes you might sit in your seat wondering how you can make the trip more enjoyable.
If you’re stuck on a plane for an extended period of time, it’s best to combat the constricting feel of the flight by doing some simple exercises. Doing so can help you pass the time and make you feel better; plus exercising during a long-haul trip can prevent blood clots that can pose a serious risk to your health.
When you’re ready to set out for your next hours-long journey on a plane, keep these exercises in mind to promote blood flow and fight muscle fatigue during your flight.
Stretch Your Ankles
Even if you don’t have a lot of legroom to work with, you can still dome a few ankle stretches to start off your mid-flight mini-workout. Raise one leg up and draw circles with your feet clockwise ten times. Pause for a few seconds and do it again, this time going counter-clockwise ten times. When you finish, do the same with your other ankle to roll it and stretch your joints.
Next, sit up straight with your feet flat on the ground. Raise your heels off the floor so you’re on your toes. Then lower your heels, but this time lift your toes instead. You can feel a slight stretch along your shins and you engage your calf muscles as you do this exercise.
Raise Those Knees
With your back straight and your knees bent, lift one knee up slowly and gently for a seated knee lift. Lower it back down and do the same with your other leg. This exercise is great because it works with small legroom and keeps your upper leg muscles engaged.
Got Your Back…and Your Front
Give some focus to your lower back with some seated twists. Sit tall and keep your feet planted firmly on the floor. Take your left hand and place it on your right knee or thigh and push, twisting your torso and turning your head to face the right side. Hold the pose for a few seconds then slowly go back to your original position facing forward. Now do the same towards the left side. Repeat this exercise three to five times.
After working on your lower back, it’s time to move to your upper back. First, wrap your arms around yourself for a personal hug. Try to touch your shoulder blades with your fingertips and be sure to squeeze yourself a bit. Release the hug then do it again, switching the position of your arms so the other one is one top. When you finish, push your shoulders back and extend your chest forward to stretch your chest and ease those muscles.
Shake and Nod
Give your neck a bit of a stretch as you turn your head side to side. Do it slowly and hold the pose every time you face left or right. Repeat this two more times. Then move your head up and down in a slow nod. Hold the pose as you look up and again as you look down. Repeat it two times.
Hydrate, Stand, and Walk
Try to drink some water every opportunity you get. Mealtime beverage? Ask for an extra glass of water with your desired drink. Is a flight attendant passing by? Kindly request for another glass of water. This might not be an exercise, but it’s good to stay hydrated on a long flight since the recycled cabin air tends to get dry. Plus it forces you to stand up to go to the lavatory.
Take advantage of the time you spend walking down the aisles of the plane. It’s good for your legs and allows you more room to stretch other parts of your body. Do some lunges. Hold your foot as you bend your leg back and stretch your hamstrings. Rotate your hips or stretch your arms up high. If the line to the lavatory is long, use your waiting time tiptoeing in place. Just be mindful of your surroundings. You don’t want to accidentally hit someone else in the cramped airplane space.
Need more ideas to make your next long flight more bearable? Read some tips from KKday and take it easy when you sit down for your trip.
*Featured image via penstock on Shutterstock