You must be well aware of the importance of exercise for staying fit and protected from various health problems. Partaking in physical activities help improve the immune system and flexibility, as well as strengthen muscles, maintain blood pressure levels, and so on and so on.
A sedentary lifestyle, on the other hand, gives rise to adverse health effects for your physical and mental wellbeing. Unfortunately, the side-effects of sitting for a long time accompany you while flying!
What Are the Side Effects of Sitting in Long Flights?
Unless you’re in business class, chances are good that you’ll have limited legroom, which increases the risk of blood clotting (AKA DVT) and the development of serious health complications.
Below mentioned are a few of the many problems that are likely to occur if you are sitting for a long time during air travel.
- Stiffness in the shoulder and neck
- Cramped and sore legs
- Jet lag
With that in mind, you need to keep yourself moving to loosen out stiff, sore, and tired muscles. For that very reason, try any and all of the exercises for long haul flights we’ve covered below to have a happy and healthy journey.
What Are the Best Exercises for Long Flights?
As it is extremely important to stay active in long flights, here are some easy to follow exercises you can perform without looking weird that leave no room for boredom:
This is by far one of the most common, yet effective airplane seat exercises. All you need to do is relax your shoulders by putting them down and then stretching your head forward and backward and side to side to achieve relief from sore muscles.
Additionally, you can also rotate your head in a clockwise and counterclockwise motion 5-6 times to loosen out your muscles.
To get rid of shoulder pain, roll your shoulders clockwise and counterclockwise 5-6 times every hour.
This is truly amongst the easiest exercises for long haul flights that don’t take too much effort to put in.
You can do this exercise either while sitting or standing in the aisle (based on your comfort zone). Raise your heels and hold the position for 2-3 seconds, then repeat 10 times to reduce the risk of blood clotting.
Extend your forearm and twist your wrist in a clockwise and counterclockwise motion to provide relief to your arm.
Breathing exercises help improve your energy levels and blood flow and have the added bonus of making you feel more relaxed.
The best part is that all you need to do is take a deep breath and hold it for 4-5 seconds, release it slowly, and repeat the process.
Take full advantage of the space in the loo to perform squats, as it will be obviously strange to do in the aisle. Bend your knees and act like you are sitting on the toilet seat, then stand up. Repeat this exercise 5-6 times to improve flexibility, cramped muscles, and blood flow.
Whenever you get a chance, stand up and walk in the aisle until the seatbelt sign is on. Take this time to stretch your whole body to prevent aches. Just make sure you’re not disturbing anyone who’s sitting down.
Upper body twists
If you want to get rid of any strain in your back, keep your arms on your lap, feet on the ground, and twist your upper body in each direction 5-6 times every hour. This will help stretch you out and prevent aches from developing.
Exercises for long flights are incomplete without this one. In order to relieve discomfort in the knees, slightly bend forward, raise one leg towards the chest, and hold it there for a few seconds. Repeat this exercise with both legs 5-6 times.
Carry Compression Socks
The last but not least thing to consider is to wear compression socks. These socks are specially designed for the people who travel a long distance on the flights.
The below mentioned are some of the many benefits that you can reap out of wearing these socks:
- Reduce pain in your ankles and legs
- Increase blood flow in the legs
- Reduce swelling in the legs
However, it is advised to consult with the doctor before getting a pair of yours since there are different types of compression socks available in the market.
Apart from the very effective exercises for plane travel that we just covered, you also need to be extra cautious about your eating and drinking habits.
“Good food is good mood” perfectly fits in our current discussion because eating sugary food and beverages may give you an instant energy boost, but will leave you crashing down the line, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired.
Eating healthy food will do the opposite and help uplift your mood and ease your tiredness so you can stay healthy while in the air.
To help you out, we’ve included a list below with a correct in-flight diet to consider whenever you’re traveling by airplane:
Hydration is the first and foremost thing to take care of whenever you are traveling by airplane. Know why?
The humidity in the cabin is very less that leads to dehydrating effect and leaving you with headaches, sore throat, dry eyes, and skin.
Therefore, it is essential to drink plenty of water to remain hydrated on a plane. Carry a bottle of yours so that you can keep a track of how much you are drinking.
Avoid consuming liquor as it will make you more intoxicated due to low pressure and dry air in the cabin, caffeine, and sugary drinks. Instead, choose healthy drinking options like fresh and natural cold pressed juices, lemon water, or coconut water.
Pack healthy snacks
Packing healthy snacks like fresh fruits, yogurt, oats, nuts, etc. that leave you feeling full for a long period of time and curb cravings for unhealthy junk food is exactly what you need while flying.
Opt for juicy fruits like oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, etc. that fulfill your fluid requirements, and pair them with tomatoes, apples, or bananas that regulate your digestive system.
Avoid salty food
Eating salty food will leave your body dehydrated. Try to consume steamed leafy veggies as much as possible instead.
To conclude, wear your best pair of comfy clothes, eat in moderation, and sleep properly to further aid your journey. Also, do not forget to brush your teeth as you may develop bad breath.
Note: The above-mentioned tips may not work for everyone so it is advised to book an appointment with the doctor to ensure safety.
Whether or not flying is a normal part of your everyday life, you can easily make it enjoyable and less tiring by following the recommended exercises we covered today. Next time you plan any long-distance flight, stick to everything we discussed along with the other precautions we mentioned to take care and reach your destination refreshed, stress-free, and energized. Happy flying!