For those of us not flying in business, it is important to learn how to decrease stiffness after a long flight. I travel frequently as do many of my clients. It is wise to stand up often and stretch. Elongating the muscle and fascia by stretching improves circulation, increases elasticity of the muscle,and increases oxygen to the muscles. In addition, I always recommend walking up and down the aisle of the plane as often as possible.
Some helpful tips for stretching:
Do the stretches slowly and allow the tissue to lengthen.
Hold the stretch until you feel a little tension, but not to the point of pain.
Some stretches to do while sitting in the plane:
Slowly inhale and turn your head over the right shoulder. Hold and slowly exhale, then return your head back to center. Do the same on the left side.
Backward Shoulder Roll:
Raise your shoulders up toward your ears, while inhaling slowly for 5 seconds. Slowly roll your shoulders backward and press them all the way back down, while exhaling slowly for 5 seconds. Increase the size of the circle with each roll.
While standing do the following stretches:
Stand about a foot away from the wall. Press your palms against the wall and step backward with one leg, bending your front knee and keeping your back leg straight. Hold for a cycle of relaxation breathing then reverse.
Stand with your side to the wall, placing a hand on the wall for balance. Hold your outside foot with your outside hand and lift the foot up toward your rear end, keeping your thighs and knees together. Hold for a cycle of relaxation breathing then do the same for the other foot.
Figure 4 Hip Stretch:
Stand with your side to the wall, placing a hand on the wall for balance. With one leg slightly bent, rotate the opposite hip so that your other foot can rest on the weight-bearing knee. Gently lower your bottom as if starting to sit back in to a chair, maintaining your crossed leg position. Engage your abdominals for support. Hold for a cycle of relaxation breathing then do on the other side.
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