Travelling Can Be a Painful Business

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Traveling can be painful business. The body craves movement. Sitting in a cramped seat for hours will challenge the fittest, most flexible person. Combined with using a laptop or handheld device, or trying to sleep, your body will be crying out for some exercise once you hit your destination.

There is no perfect posture. Sitting upright is not enough. Our spines demand movement to maintain circulation, peak disc nutrition and muscle flexibility. A dynamic, changing posture is most beneficial.

Here’s how to achieve it:


While queuing to get onto the plane:
• Tuck your tailbone under to lengthen your lower back and feel your tummy and buttocks activate
• Raise your heels to stand on your toes and relax back to the floor
• Stand on one leg x 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side
• Wiggle your toes, in your shoes, to improve circulation and activate calf muscles
While on the plane:
• Press the back of your head into the seat, and feel the length through the back of the neck
• Roll your shoulders backwards
• Clench and relax your buttock muscles regularly
• Circle your feet and ankles, and pump your feet up and down
• Lift your phone or magazine, don’t drop your head to read


While waiting for your bags:
• Place your two hands behind your head and open your elbows
• Place your hands on your hips and bend backwards
• Tuck your tailbone under to lengthen your lower back and feel your tummy and buttocks activate
• Raise your toes to stand on your heels
• Get close to the luggage carousel and lift your bags, while exhaling, when they are in front of you
Get used to doing these movements, regardless of the length of your flight. Keep your body moving while you travel and stay fit while you fly!
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Jenny is a Chartered Physiotherapist, and owner of Total Physio in Sandyford. She is Physiotherapist to the Irish Women's National Football team, a certified Pilates Instructor and features regularly in the media.
www.totalphysio.ie