Submitted by Ana Caban on December 9, 2010 - 7:10 am
Travel can be stressful and also uncomfortable. Unless you’re travelling first class, air and train travel can be tough. (Let’s not even talk about being stuck in a car for long periods of time). The good news is that there are exercises that you can do right in your seat, (whether in a plane or on a train or even in an automobile~not while driving, of course), that can help make the ride more comfortable. Here are some of my favorite tips and moves for keeping my circulation going and my body agile.
When travelling make sure that you:
• Are as comfortable as possible. This can be done by using a neck pillow/pillow and wearing a wrap, which can double as a blanket, (as many airports have removed blankets from shorter flights and some are even charging for blankets and pillows now).
• Don’t clutter the floor with your belongings. Stow larger items in the overhead bins and place items that you will use, (like your iPod, book, eye drops, glasses), in the seatback pocket.
• Keep legs uncrossed to encourage good blood flow.
• Stay hydrated. Airplanes, in particular, are very dry and the food that they offer, (be it nuts, pretzels, chips or sandwiches), is usually very salty and the airlines never serve you enough water. Bring your own water, (which you can buy after passing through security), and avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol, which will only dehydrate you more. And, of course, bring your own healthy, low sodium snacks, like fruits, (fresh or dried), and nuts. (Bonus tip: Apply a clear gel mask to your face before the flight to avoid over-drying of skin, which can lead to breakouts. My favorite? Sampar Nocturnal Lifting Mask).
While seated take the time to:
• Do simple neck stretches and shoulder rolls, a few times in each direction.
• Breathe! Link fingers together, in front of your chest and breathe in and out a few times.
• Bend forward, (and hold for a few seconds), then arch your back, (and hold for a few seconds).
• Flex your wrists, moving your hands up and down, a few times.
• Link your fingers behind your head and curl your chin towards your chest, stretching your neck and upper back, and breathe deeply. Repeat a few times.
• Rotate your ankles a few times in each direction.
• Place your feet on the floor and lift your heels, then lower heels and lift toes. Repeat a few times.
• Pull one knee in towards your chest and stretch, then alternate legs. Repeat a few times.
• Bring one ankle on to the other knee and gently press your knee down, for a good hip stretch. Repeat on the other side.
• Sit tall and then twist your torso, to look our one window. Unwind. Then sit tall and twist your torso to look out the opposite window. Unwind. Repeat a few times.
• And whenever possible take breaks to walk up and down the aisles.
Enjoy these tips and moves and you are sure to have a pleasant journey.