It’s almost inevitable for your joints, muscles and even your patience to go through a few aches and pains on a long plane ride. Being cranky, sore and tired is no way to begin or end a vacation. Much of this discomfort is due to a lack of leg room and also your own amount of flexibility; in fact, many Americans are severely under the normal ranges when it comes to flexibility, so it’s no wonder that many who fly are restless. Part of the lack in flexibility is due to the fact that many simply do not feel the need to work on stretching and movement when they exercise. The lack of movement also gets worse with age, and so those who are older and travel will be in more pain and discomfort.
So if you’re traveling and you’re not overly flexible, there are ways that you can avoid that unruly stiff neck, and sore back. It’s really just as simple as a few particular stretches. The ones listed below can even be done while on the plane to help you pass the time.
Lift the knee toward the chest, decreasing the amount of joint space at the back of the knee. Do this with both legs and really feel the stretch all over the knee. This offers you ample blood flow and less stiffness as you fly, as you may be in a small space for quite some time.
With the heel on the floor, point the toes upward, decreasing the angle between the foot and the front of the leg. Do sets of five and repeat on each leg, for roughly three to five sets.
With your feet on the floor, gently roll the soles of the feet inward and hold until you feel slight tension and stretch in the ankle and calves. Do this on both feet as often as needed to keep circulation optimal and keep the feet awake.
Straighten the knee as much as possible, you may need to slide the feet under the chair in front of you for this one. Increase the amount of joint space at the back of the knee to its full range and then repeat with the other leg.
Lift the heel up, while keeping the toes pointed toward the floor. Increase the angle between the top of the foot and the front of the leg. Repeat on the other side.
With both feet on the floor, gently roll the sole of the foot outward until you feel pressure and a minimal amount of stretch in the ankles. Repeat as needed on the other foot.
Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.
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