Make your travel enjoyable and avoid the post-flight blues by staying active in-flight.
Flying on a plane for long periods can create muscular tightness, stress and postural problems that can last long after you get off the flight. In-flight inactivity can also cause more dangerous problems like blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Getting DVT from prolonged inactivity can cause serious medical complications if not treated. Many of these problems can be avoided by staying active while up in the air.
Performing a simple stretching routine, and wearing special compression socks to help with circulation, may drastically reduce your chances of having complications. Next time you are on a long flight, consider relieving your stress and stretch away your sore muscles with a simple in-flight seat routine.
Stretch from head to toe, beginning with the neck.
Next, loosen up your shoulders to get rid of the ache, increase flexibility and add strength.
Stretch your wrists.
Relieve the tired and lethargic feeling you get in your legs with ankle and calf stretches.
Getting out of your chair and walking around when it’s safe to do so can provide a lot of relief. Here are two exercises you can do when up and out of your seat to stimulate circulation in the lower body.
Squats: Stand by the side of your seat with your feet shoulder-width apart and mimic sitting down. Just as your butt gets to height of the seat, stand back up and repeat. This exercise will tone and strengthen your lower body.
Forward lunge: Stand in the isle with your chest lifted, chin up and abs contracted. Take a step forward with your left foot. Sink straight down so your front left knee tracks over the top of your shoe, and your back right knee points down toward the floor. You are on your back left toe. Push back to the starting position and repeat, stepping forward with the opposite leg.
Be prepared for exercise when you land.
If you’re in-flight for more than a few hours, you should allow time after landing to do 20-30 minutes of activity to help get you feeling grounded. Here are some tips on how you can be prepared for an active trip once you land.
Get motivated and motivate others around you.
It’s amazing how one active person can inspire those around them to be active. Once you’re up, moving around and doing a few stretches, you can help those sitting close by who are too shy or self-conscious to follow in your footsteps.
All of the little things you do can add up to make your trip more pleasurable when you travel. Moving around increases your endorphins and can help you to feel energized—not to mention that movement can help to alleviate your overall stress.
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).