In-Flight Fitness

I’m in the air heading to London today and a 9+ hour flight sitting in the same position can be a cramp and uncomfortable experience. So how does one stay alert and comfortable?
Looking for some simple things to do to keep the circulation flowing and the joints moving, here’s what seems to be the best suggestions to keep you limber from head to toe.

Neck Rolls: slouching into a cramped seats can tighten up the neck and back so neck rolls are a quick and easy way to keep limber. Sit upright in your seat, bend your head forward so your chin hits your chest. Arch your upper back to stretch out the muscles in your upper back, then roll your head clockwise slowly, this stretches the muscles in your neck on the opposite side of the direction you’re rolling. Hold the stretch for five seconds, then reverse the rotation until your chin is back on your chest.

Arm Stretches: stretching may seem like an impossibility in the tight confines of your seat if you have people beside you but it can be done. Extend your arm in front of you, grasp your fingers with the opposite hand and stretch your hand back towards you while keeping your arm outright, you’ll feel it working, hold for at least 10 seconds then switch arms.

Leg Stretches: Tired and cramped legs get a lot of attention with stories of deep vein thrombosis.  Tight seat pitch can make it difficult to stretch the legs but there are some ways to stimulate the leg muscles.  Sitting upright in the seat, grab your leg behind the knee and pull your legs up towards you to help stretch out your lower back and glutes. Then place your hands against the outside of your knees, push your legs outward holding them in with your hands, switch to the inner leg and push your legs together while pushing your legs outward with your hands. This will stimulate the leg adductor and abductor muscles.

Try these simple exercises next time you have a long flight and stay limber and arrive alert.