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Monday, 26 November 2007
Work Out While Flying
Pilate’s exercises are the answer when flying for any prolonged period of time.
To combat flight fatigue when time doesn’t allow you to workout before or in between a flight schedule, why not exercise on the plane! Relief starts with some simple stretching exercises you can do while flying. You can keep your muscles loose without ever leaving the comfort of your seat.
Physical inactivity, especially on long flights, can cause an imbalance to muscle groups. Pilates stretching exercises help restore balance by keeping muscles relaxed and reducing soreness and stiffness.
As most modern flight cabins offer only cramped seating, unless you are flying First or Business Class. Pilates Leg stretching exercises are a must for any flyer. No matter how long your legs are or how long the flight is, your legs always seem to cramp before the flight is over.
Here are a few gentle Pilates leg stretching exercises you can do on your flight. You might even see these Pilates exercises mentioned in the in flight magazine.
Take your ankle off the ground and do complete circles to the left and then to the right. A couple of sets of ten are usually enough to loosen the lower muscles of your leg.
Now flex your foot by drawing the toes towards your shin and stretch your leg as long in front of you as possible. Feel a stretch in the calf muscle. Hold for a moment and repeat around five times before repeating on the other leg.
Also let’s not forget lower back pain, as well as neck and shoulder stiffness as these can stiffen up fairly quickly as well.
Take your arms above your head and clasp the hands together...taking care not hit any of your fellow passengers! Flip your palms up to face the ceiling and stretch your arms as high as you can. Pull your shoulders away from your ears. This loosens your shoulders and quickly relieves any tension resting in your upper back. Inhale in deeply and breathe out slowly around five times to allow the muscles to really relax.
Raise one hand straight up over your head. With the other hand, grasp the bent elbow of the opposite arm and gently pull. Hold for about 30 seconds and do the same with the other arm. This Pilates exercises will help to stretch the triceps.
Seated in your seat, exhale and pull your belly towards your spine. Feel a deep contraction in the lower abdominal region. Hold for a moment and release. Repeat three to five times. Engaging the abdominal muscles in this way works to support your lower back and may ease fatigue.
Still seated, rotate your body as far to the right as you can. Hold for a moment and repeat to the other side. Does this spine twist around four times on each side.
If you can find a bit of space at the rear of the plane, try this take a deep breath, lower your chin towards your chest and roll your spine down until you are slightly bent forward. Inhale and stay for a moment feeling tension drain from the upper back and neck. Exhale slowly and roll yourself back up to your starting position, do this around five times.
These are just a few examples of the kind of Pilate’s exercises you can do when flying. As I said earlier some airlines are even putting together their own in-flight exercise workout. I have seen this on a few European based airlines that fly globally. These Pilates exercises which help you to stretch the various body areas are an excellent way to keep comfortable especially on longer flights. If you are not able to do the Pilates exercises make sure you move around every hour to keep your blood moving, just have a wander up and down the plane or just take a few bathroom breaks.
I hope this helps you to deal with those cramped conditions when flying. I would recommend these whether you are flying Coach or First and if you are frequent or occasional traveller. Also I hope this helps you to enjoy your travels to their fullest.
I have added a couple of links to information on Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT as it is more commonly known. It has recently been spotlighted in the media due to its link to air travel but it can also occur due to lack of exercise.
BBC NEWS Health Medical notes Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Travelsox Classic helps to relieve leg swelling when flying
Deep Vein Thrombosis: The insiders Guide.