Catching a flight to another city, state or even country seems to be back in full force. Sure you haven’t been on an airplane in over a year but it should just be like riding a bike right? How hard can it be to sit in a chair, entertain yourself, work or even catch a snooze? Well, even if some of our working situations might not have been ideal for our bodies ::cough:: working from the couch or bed ::cough:: your body is still going to talk to you after sitting in a hard and cramped airplane seat. This is why stretching while traveling is probably more important now than it ever has been.
The best is that these stretches can be done while you are on the plane. That way when you land at your destination you can get right to it and not feel your body talking back.
Stretching While Traveling
Sitting for long periods of time can cause some back stiffness even if you do not normally have back issues. A great way to help your back while sitting for long periods of time is to give it a little love through stretches. To stretch your back, sit up straight and slowly turn your shoulders to the left. If you would like to feel a deeper stretch use your right hand on the outside of your left knee to further extend the stretch. Hold this stretch for about a minute if you can. Hopefully, the person next to you doesn’t think you are a weirdo and then rotate to the other side. This time use your left hand on the outside of your right knee to further extend the stretch.
Too bad you aren’t flying to outer space where gravity doesn’t exist because when sitting a long period of time gravity is not our friend to our hips. Stretch your hips by bending your right knee and place your left ankle on it. From an aerial view, this should look like the number four with your legs. From here you want to keep your foot flexed and hold at the waist bringing your chest towards your lap. Hold this position for about a minute again before you slowly come upright and switch to the other side.
Lastly, your shoulders and chest are going to need a little love too from the hunching position we all find ourselves in the seat of an airplane. Go ahead and bring your arms up over your head while interlacing your fingers. Now press your hands and elbow away from you toward the back of the seat. Take a few deeps breathes here, return to a neutral arm position overhead and then push your arms and hands back for a few more rounds.