Healthy Flying: Yoga For Mid-Air Stress Reduction - My Family Travels

Plane yoga? Be conscious of your body during air travel and keep comfortable while cramped in a seat high above the earth with these therapeutic exercise tips.

We all know that statistically, air travel is the safest way to get from one location to another. But even on the most uneventful of flights, cramped cabin space (for those of us who can’t afford first class) and stale, recirculated air can do some damage to the body, even in children. Joints and muscles can stiffen in no time, and heart rates can creep up due to that ever-present symptom of traveling: stress. Total Health Magazine has come up with a few tips to keep travelers of any age comfortable and somewhat sane while in the air. Just make sure you have enough moving space.

Keep Moving

To ease muscle and joint pain, exercise lightly before and just after your flight; a brisk walk through the terminal will do the trick. During the flight, do contractions of various muscles, like your arms, legs, stomach, and buttocks.

  • Tighten and hold the muscles in each area for a few seconds, release, and repeat a number of times. This gets blood flowing and prevents minor swelling.
  • While standing (when the seatbelt sign is turned off, of course) stretch your legs as if you were preparing for a jog. Grab one foot from behind your back, and pull your heel up toward your buttocks. Repeat on the other side.
  • Make circles clockwise and counterclockwise with your feet to keep your ankles loose and stimulate circulation in the feet.

Stay Still

Beat stress above the earth by practicing some simple Yoga techniques while sitting in your seat.

  • To start, place the left ankle on the right knee. Inhale deeply and straighten your back. Exhale and lean forward, chest-first, all the while keeping the back straight. Breathe deeply for 10 seconds or so, and then repeat on the other side. I know what you’re thinking; “That would look ridiculous in the middle of a plane!” Well, maybe you’re right. But if it works, who cares?
  • Another effective technique is to cross the right knee over the left, place the left hand on the right knee, and place the right hand on the seat. Exhale, twist to the right, and look over your shoulder. Breathe deeply for a while, then gently release, and, of course, repeat on the other side.

If you get a strange look or two, share these hot tips with those around you. Perhaps by the time you land, the whole cabin will be serenely engaged in relaxing and healthful exercise!

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