If you travel often, the effects that flying has on your body is 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 making sure 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.
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, allowing you to breathe easier.
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.
Leg and Hip Movement: Press one foot firmly into the floor, while slowly inhaling and bringing the other 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. Breathe slowly, and move your body halfway in front of you. Hold this pose to lengthen your spine and release muscle tension.
Shoulder Opening: Roll your shoulders and interlock your hands together behind your back. Slowly push out your chest, and push your hands down and away from your body. Your shoulders and chest will open up and your upper body will feel more mobile.
Besides all this, making sure to drink water on flights is key to keeping you hydrated and healthy. When choosing your in flight drink, make sure to order a bottle of water along with it in order to keep your body happy.
Doing these exercises throughout a flight will not only keep you busy, but will have you feeling relaxed and flexible. Keeping your blood pumping regularly and your body in motion, these moves will ensure that you reach your destination refreshed and ready to explore.