6 Pre- and Post Flight Stretches

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Summer vacation is on the horizon and most of us are dreaming about laying on the beach in an exotic location.  For those who are lucky enough to travel this summer, we have stretches to help you relieve any nerves or stress from flights that last a little too long.

Stretches

Pre-flight stretches:

  • While you’re awaiting patiently to board your flight, stretch out your legs and reach for your toes.  Flatten your back and look up.  This will stretch out the back of your legs.  If you want to deepen the stretch, flex your toes, grab the balls of your feet, bend your elbows and look up.
  • Next, bend your legs and have flat feet on the ground.  Bring your head into your knees (or as far as you can go) and grab onto your elbows.  Stretch forward and round through your back.  This is going to help stretch out your lower back and relieve any strain or stress.

In-flight stretches:

  • While most seats have limited room to move, there is still opportunity to keep your blood moving.  Inhale your arms up (watch out for your neighbor), grab your fingers and exhale moving your arms to one side, stretching the side body. Pull your navel into your spine and hold for a few moments.  Repeat other side.
  • For this next stretch, make sure your folding table is up and out of the way. Cross one foot onto your knee and lightly push down on the knee, stretching the hip.  This is going to give your hips a stretch and give them some mobility from sitting static for so long.

Post-flight stretches:

  • Finally, you’re off the plane and you’re feeling a little stiff in your hips, shoulders and back.  Stand a little wider than hips distance, feet are facing parallel, grasp your hands behind you and hinge forward slowly.  Try and keep your legs straight and remember to breathe deeply, allowing gravity to bring your arms lower.  Softly move your head in different directions to loosen any tension in your neck. Release the arms, bend your knees softly and roll up.
  • Bring your feet together, inhale your arms up and swan dive down into a forward fold. Slightly bend your knees if you have tight hamstrings and straighten them out as they begin to stretch.  For a deeper stretch, grab your hands around your ankles and breathe deeply.

Stretching before, during, and after a flight helps relieve any strain or stress from traveling. Make sure you stay hydrated during the flight, get up and shake out your legs every now and then, and practice deep breathing to relax any in-flight nerves.

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