Exercise in the Air!
For this week’s “Pack Your Bags” edition, let’s talk about exercises while on a plane! No, this is not new news. But sometimes we need a gentle reminder.
We’ve all heard the studies and research that tells us how careful we need to be when we fly and how we need to make sure we keep moving on those long flights, especially our legs. These exercises are really simple, but I’m always surprised how much a little movement helps in the long run!
In addition to the exercises below, don’t forget about these important reminders:
- Start drinking lots of water 24 hours before your flight to stay hydrated.
- Avoid heavy meals prior to the flight.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes.
- Wear compression socks . . . specially designed socks that are tight at the ankles and slightly looser on the calves. Wearing compression socks helps to push blood up your legs to counteract swelling and pooling. Go2Socks and SBSox are highly rated and have lots of fun colors. (I sure like that!)
Now to keep moving! Be sure to do these several times while you’re in flight. Here’s the sequence I follow while sitting in my seat:
- NECK ROLL: Roll your neck in one direction 5 times and then change direction.
- HEAD TILT: Tilt your head up and look at the ceiling and tilt it down and look at your lap. Repeat 5 times.
- TOE CIRCLE: Lift your feet off the ground and slowly rotate them clockwise 5 times and then change direction.
- KNEE LIFT: Pull your knee slowly toward your chest, as much as you’re able. Hold for 10 seconds and then repeat with the other knee. Repeat 3 times.
- FOOT FLEX: Lift your feet off the ground and flex them up and down 10 times.
- ARM LIFT: Raise your arms above your head (be careful not to hit your neighbor). Stretch toward the ceiling and then relax for 5 times.
- FOOT PUMP: Keep both heels on the floor, and point toes upward as high as you can. Then keep both toes on the floor and raise your heels up. Repeat 5 times.
- SHOULDER ROLL: Raise your shoulders and rotate them in a circular motion 5 times.
- FORWARD BEND: As much as you’re able, bend forward so your chest touches your thighs. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly return to an upright position.