With countries opening up again and planes back in the air you might be planning to travel soon. If you are embarking on a long plane journey you might be wondering about the impact it might have on your body. Don’t worry, we have you sorted with some easy stretches to do before and during your plane journey. Stretching is important to avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVB) and will assist in relieving stiffness.
Before your flight
The following stretches and exercises can be completed before you board your flight. They are simple enough to do in your lounge room or hotel room before going to the airport.
- Downward dog calf stretch: Start on all fours (shoulders over wrists and hips over knees) then press up to downward dog with your hips toward the sky. Alternate bending one knee while you straighten the other and switch back and forth, giving your calves a deep stretch.
- Heal raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and rise up onto the balls of your feet, squeezing the backs of your legs. Lower back down and repeat. You can use a chair or the wall for balance.
- Inchworm: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips and touch your toes in a forward fold. Walk your hands out and come to a plank. Then drop your hips and look up, stretching your lower back. Reverse the motion and come back to standing.
During your flight
The following stretches make a huge difference to how you feel during and after your flight. Repeat them every hour during your trip.
- Ankle circles: Simply lift your leg and rotate your ankles clockwise and then anticlockwise. Repeat on each foot.
- Foot pumps: With your feet flat on the floor, lift your toes with your heels remaining in the ground. Then, as you return your toes to the floor, lift your heels. Alternate like this and repeat on the other side.
- Shoulder roll: Circle your shoulders going forward, up toward your ears, and then back and down. Repeat and then reverse directions.
- Neck roll: Keeping your shoulders down and relaxed, drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. Gently roll your neck from right to left with your chin coming across your chest. Repeat side to side.
- Knee lift: In your sitting position, slowly and gently lift your knee, one at a time, to activate your upper leg.
It is also recommended that you stay hydrated, sit with your feet flat on the floor not cross-legged, and take a walk every one or two hours.