It’s Travel Tip Tuesday! The last post in this travel fitness series is all about stretching out and maintaining your overall wellness for those muscles that work so hard for you! I’ve teamed up with my friend Marianne who also happens to be a yoga instructor!
***Please consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before beginning any new physical activity.
Fix it first! The best way to get over injuries and discomfort is preventing it in the first place. Here are some moves to help you out.
1. Wall Reach
Stand facing a wall. Reach up the wall, standing on your toes, and plant your hands on the wall. Keeping your hands where they are, slowly lower your heels and focus on lengthening your spine with this stretch.
2. Be Sweet to Your Feet
Your feet are so important! They take you anywhere you want to go, and they are literally carrying your around all day long. If your feet aren’t happy, you’re not going to be happy either! Leave the cute shoes at home and opt for tennis shoes for your all-day walking needs. If you bring heels or nice shoes for a special night out on travel, I highly recommend wearing your tennis shoes to the event and bringing your cute shoes in your bag to change into at the last minute.
Beyond that, here are some feet treatments you can do just about anywhere, including on a plane! All you need is a tennis ball, preferably a used one or a child’s tennis ball so it has a little more give than a new one would.
Your hamstrings are going to be shortened any time you sit down. Especially when you’ll be spending so many hours on a plane! So stretching them out is very important. Find a chair, brace your hands shoulder-width apart, and plant one foot at a right angle. Push the other leg back and plant the ball of that foot on the floor. Push your heel back and focus on stretching the hamstring and calf muscles on the extended leg. Hold for 30-60 seconds, then switch legs!
Seeing It Through
So now you’re stretched out and ready to fly! But the problem now becomes that you have to sit in an ergonomically ineffective airplane seat. In other words, you’re squished in an uncomfortable place with nowhere to go! But here are some things you can do to cope with some discomfort you may experience.
1. Get Moving
You don’t have to be squished in your seat for your whole flight. Take a few laps up and down the plane. Just be aware of where the beverage cart is and of people who may be trying to sleep in the aisle seats. If you’re perhaps in the window or middle seats and can’t crawl out as often, “walk” in your seat. Move your feet, knees, and hips in the motions of walking, even while seated.
2. Lower Your Shoulders
Sometimes you may not even know you’re doing it, but if you’re like me, you are scrunching your shoulders while traveling. This is no good! Every hour or so, check on your shoulders and make sure you relax them.
3. Just Breathe
Don’t forget to breathe! Travel can be stressful, plain and simple. Many things about travel can make a person anxious–the person you’re sitting next to, the connection you might miss, your delayed flight, not knowing exactly where you’re going when you land, the list can go on and on! But breathing will help combat that anxiety and stress. Marianne recommends taking three deeper than normal breaths, in your nose, and back out your nose. Be sure to do it three times deeply, and only in and out of your nose, not your mouth.
Whether you’ve been sitting on a plane for 18 hours or walking around for the same amount of time, your muscles will probably be aching, or even screaming at you by the end of your day! I hope these moves help you in your travels!