Isn’t it so nice when you get on an airplane for a long flight? You get to your seat, kick back, stretch out your legs and prepare for your comfortable, luxurious trip….
Oh wait, we live in the real world where airports and air travel make the DMV seem like a resort. Holidays are even worse, the planes and airports are crammed full and everyone is in high-stress mode.
Dealing with the stresses of the airport before getting loaded into a small seat for hours can lead to some serious discomfort. There is not much room to stretch when you’re stuck in the your seat on a cross country flight, but here are some stretches that you can try in your seat or during a restroom trip to help ease your discomfort.
Neck Rolls – Release tension from your neck by slowly twisting your neck from side to side and moving it up and down in a “yes” then a “no” movement. After a few of these trying bring your right ear down toward your right shoulder to stretch the left side of your neck then repeat on the other side. Finally, drop your chin down toward your chest and gently roll it from side to side.
Seated Twist – When sitting, place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Pull gently on the knee while rotating your torso to the right. Repeat on the other side to give your back a nice stretch.
Knee to Chest – With your tray up and locked, sit tall in your seat. Slowly draw one knee in towards your chest using both hands, hold the position and release. Repeat with your other knee.
Standing Stretches – Once you can get out of your seat, use the opportunity to stand up and reach high overhead, holding it for a few seconds and slowly leaning from side to side.
Toe Touches – After your initial standing stretches, reach down for your toes to stretch the back and hamstrings.
Calf Raises – Another good standing stretch that you can do; stand with your feet a couple inches apart and raise your heels so you’re standing on your tip toes, hold for a couple seconds then lower back down feeling the stretch in your calves and waking up your legs.
Now, of course, try not to get in anyone else’s personal space while doing your stretches. You don’t want to make an enemy of your close neighbor for the next 3 hours. Hopefully you will find some good times to utilize these stretches; when your neighbor goes to the restroom, get in a couple sitting stretches and when you get up, utilize all the standing stretches. Try to stay well hydrated and stretch out at any possible chance to reduce the possibility of pain and discomfort while travelling.