If you travel often, the effects that flying has on your body are probably the last thing you think about. From where you’re going to park your car for the trip to how long the security line is going to be, there are so many other things that take precedence when we consider flying somewhere. But at thousands of feet in the air in a pressurized cabin for hours at a time, our bodies work overtime try to keep us healthy, and they can be put under a lot of stress.
For most people, sitting down for long periods of time in any setting can lead to aches and pains, and this is exaggerated when on an airplane. Things like lower leg swelling and DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, are common in fliers, and can be uncomfortable and damaging to the body.
Luckily, to avoid these annoying occurrences, simply getting up and walking around a few times during a flight can be enough to ward them off. But, if you feel like doing a little something extra in your seat, airplane yoga can loosen up your joints and improve your blood flow. Here are some great options:
Deep Breathing: Sit up straight. Close your eyes and take a slow deep breath in, and slowly release. Repeat 10 to 15 times. This will relax your body and calm any anxieties by keeping your mind on your breathing.
Spinal Twist: Putting your left hand on the outside of your right thigh, twist and look over your right shoulder. Hold for ten seconds, and switch to the other side. This will open up your chest and stretch your back muscles.
Leg and Hip Movement: Press one foot firmly into the floor, while slowly inhaling and bringing the opposite knee to your chest. Hold for five to ten seconds, and then tilt the knee outwards, opening up your hips. Slowly lower the foot to the floor, and repeat with the other leg. This movement will release pressure on the hips and knees, which can build up when sitting in such a small space.
Half Forward Bend: Raise your arms while inhaling, and exhale as you bend forward. Hold this pose to lengthen your spine and release muscle tension.
Shoulder Rotations: Sitting up tall, bring your shoulders up and down as you stick out your chest. From this position, perform 10 rotations forward and 10 backwards, keeping your spine straight and your chest out.
In addition to the above, be sure to drink a lot of water on your flight. Pressurized air in the cabin causes dehydration and you don’t want to step off your flight with a headache or any nausea. Stay away from any sugary drinks or alcohol and stick to H2O. Drinking water and keeping your blood pumping regularly and your body in motion, will ensure that you reach your destination refreshed and ready for your trip.
The Sweat Social Team