Tired of feeling cramped and achy after long flights? We’ve got your back! Discover the best airplane-friendly workouts to keep you moving and grooving in your 17-inch-wide seat.
- Long flights can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by up to 80%
- Airplane-friendly workouts can help prevent stiffness, soreness, and other discomforts associated with sitting for extended periods of time
- Many airlines now offer in-flight workout videos or guides to help passengers stay active during long flights
- Simple exercises like stretching and walking up and down the aisle can improve circulation and reduce the risk of DVT
- Staying active during flights can help reduce stress and anxiety
The Importance of Staying Active During Flights
As a frequent traveler, I’ve spent countless hours sitting in cramped airplane seats. And let me tell you, it can take a toll on your body. A study by the Aerospace Medical Association found that sitting in an airplane for long periods can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by up to 80%.
According to Dr. Mark Rumbak, a pulmonologist and sleep specialist, “Staying active during a long flight can help prevent stiffness, soreness, and other discomforts associated with sitting for extended periods of time.”
Airplane-Friendly Exercises for Every Traveler
You don’t need a gym to stay active during your flight. Here are some simple airplane-friendly workouts that can help improve circulation and reduce the risk of DVT, as recommended by Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic:
- Seated leg lifts: Lift your legs one at a time, keeping them straight and holding for 10 seconds before lowering.
- Ankle circles: Rotate your ankles clockwise and counterclockwise to promote blood flow.
- Neck stretches: Gently tilt your head from side to side and front to back to alleviate neck stiffness.
- Arm stretches: Reach your arms overhead and stretch from side to side to loosen up your upper body.
- Walking up and down the aisle: Take advantage of restroom breaks and walk the length of the plane to keep your blood flowing.
In-Flight Workout Resources
Many airlines now offer in-flight workout videos or guides to help passengers stay active during long flights. Keep an eye out for these resources on your next trip, as they can make it easy to incorporate exercise into your travel routine.
As former Olympic sprinter and fitness expert Samantha Clayton says, “Airplane-friendly workouts are a great way to stay healthy and energized during long flights, and they can also help reduce stress and anxiety .”
Why Exercise Matters for Frequent Flyers
According to a survey by the International Air Transport Association, 70% of passengers say they feel less comfortable and more tired after a long flight. Furthermore, a study by the World Health Organization found that physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for noncommunicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
In a survey of frequent flyers by the travel website Expedia, 45% of respondents said they always or often feel guilty about not exercising enough while traveling. Airplane-friendly workouts can help alleviate some of this guilt and contribute to your overall well-being during your trips.
Making the Most of Your Airplane Seat Space
With the average airplane seat being only 17 inches wide, it can be difficult to perform certain exercises or stretches. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up on staying active during your flight. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your limited space:
- Get creative with your movements: Try modified versions of exercises that can be done within the confines of your seat.
- Utilize available resources: Use items like a water bottle, travel pillow, or the back of your seat to help with stretches and exercises.
- Be mindful of your neighbors: Be considerate of your fellow passengers and avoid any movements that may disturb them .
- Take advantage of layovers: Use layovers as an opportunity to walk around the airport and stretch your legs.
- Stay consistent: Incorporate exercise into your travel routine to make it a habit and increase its benefits.
Personal Tips and Experiences
As a seasoned traveler, I’ve tried numerous airplane-friendly workouts and learned a few tricks along the way. Here are some of my personal insights and secret insider tips to help you stay active during your flights:
- Pack a resistance band: This lightweight and compact tool can be used for various exercises in your seat, making it a perfect travel companion.
- Download workout apps: Many fitness apps offer guided exercises that can be done without equipment, perfect for in-flight workouts.
- Practice deep breathing and meditation: These techniques can help reduce stress and anxiety while also improving circulation and relaxation.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking water is crucial for overall health and can help prevent muscle cramps during exercise.
🧘♂️ Staying Limber: Why Movement Matters on Long Flights
According to a study by the Aerospace Medical Association, sitting in an airplane for extended periods can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by up to 80%. Combine that with the fact that the average airplane seat is only 17 inches wide, and you have a recipe for discomfort and potential health issues.
As Dr. Mark Rumbak, a pulmonologist and sleep specialist, states, “Staying active during a long flight can help prevent stiffness, soreness, and other discomforts associated with sitting for extended periods of time.”
The Benefits of Movement During Flights
- Improved circulation, reducing the risk of DVT
- Decreased stiffness and soreness
- Increased energy and alertness
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Combats the negative effects of physical inactivity
🏋️♂️ Top Airplane-Friendly Workouts for Your In-Flight Fitness Routine
While you may not have enough space for a full workout session, there are still plenty of exercises you can do to keep your body engaged during your flight. Here are some of our favorite airplane-friendly workouts:
1. Seated Ankle Rolls and Toe Taps
These simple movements can help improve circulation in your lower legs and reduce the risk of DVT. Simply roll your ankles in circles and then tap your toes to the rhythm of your favorite song.
2. Seated Leg Lifts and Extensions
Engage your core and thigh muscles with seated leg lifts and extensions. Lift one leg at a time and hold it for a few seconds, then extend the leg straight out and hold again. Repeat on both sides.
3. Neck and Shoulder Rolls
Release tension in your neck and shoulders by slowly rolling your head in circles and shrugging your shoulders up and down.
4. Arm Stretches and Twists
Stretch your arms overhead, then twist your torso gently from side to side to engage your core and upper body muscles.
5. In-Aisle Walking and Stretching
When it’s safe to move around the cabin, take a walk up and down the aisle, and use the opportunity to stretch your legs, back, and arms.
💺 Making the Most of Your In-Flight Exercise Opportunities
Many airlines now offer in-flight workout videos or guides to help passengers stay active during long flights. Be sure to take advantage of these resources, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your exercises. As Samantha Clayton, former Olympic sprinter and fitness expert, says, “Airplane-friendly workouts are a great way to stay healthy and energized during long flights, and they can also help reduce stress and anxiety.”
Remember to listen to your body, stay hydrated, and take breaks when needed. With these airplane-friendly workouts in your arsenal, you’ll arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready for adventure!
📚 Further Reading and Sources
- Aerospace Medical Association</
- World Health Organization
- International Air Transport Association
- Cleveland Clinic
🧳 Kevin’s Insider Tips for Staying Active During Travel
As a seasoned travel journalist, I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way to make airplane-friendly workouts more enjoyable and effective. Here are some of my personal tips:
- Invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones to block out distractions and help you focus on your workout.
- Download a playlist of upbeat, motivational music to keep you energized during your in-flight exercises.
- Set a timer or reminder on your phone to prompt you to move every hour or so.
- Bring a small, inflatable exercise ball to place between your knees for added resistance during leg exercises.
- Practice deep breathing and mindfulness techniques to enhance your overall well-being during your flight.
🤔 Challenging Common Assumptions About In-Flight Exercise
Many people might assume that exercising on a plane is impossible or even frowned upon. However, with the right approach and some creativity, staying active during a long flight is not only possible but also beneficial for your health and well-being. By incorporating airplane-friendly workouts into your travel routine, you can challenge these assumptions and inspire others to prioritize their health while on the go.
✍️ In Conclusion: Take Control of Your In-Flight Experience
Long flights don’t have to leave you feeling cramped, uncomfortable, and exhausted. With the help of airplane-friendly workouts and a commitment to staying active during your journey, you can arrive at your destination feeling energized and ready to explore. So, next time you’re buckling up for a long-haul flight, remember to pack your workout gear and make the most of your in-flight exercise opportunities. Safe travels and happy exercising!
💡 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I really exercise on an airplane?
A: Yes! While space is limited, there are still plenty of exercises you can do in your seat or while walking up and down the aisle to stay active during your flight.
Q: What are some examples of airplane-friendly workouts?
A: Seated ankle rolls, toe taps, leg lifts, neck and shoulder rolls, and arm stretches are all great options for in-flight exercise.
Q: How can I remember to stay active during my flight?
A: Set a timer or reminder on your phone to prompt you to move every hour or so. You can also take advantage of in-flight workout videos or guides provided by some airlines.
Q: Is it safe to exercise on an airplane?
A: As long as you choose exercises that are appropriate for the limited space and follow safety guidelines, exercising on an airplane can be a safe and healthy way to stay active during your flight.
Q: How can I stay motivated to exercise during a long flight?
A: Invest in noise-canceling headphones, create an upbeat playlist, and practice deep breathing techniques to help you stay focused and motivated during your in-flight workout.
Q: Can airplane-friendly workouts really make a difference in my overall well-being during travel?
A: Absolutely! Staying active during long flights can help improve circulation, reduce stiffness and soreness, increase energy, and decrease stress and anxiety.
Q: Do I need any special equipment for airplane-friendly workouts?
A: No, most exercises can be done without any equipment. However, you may find a small, inflatable exercise ball or resistance bands helpful for some exercises.
Q: How do I avoid disturbing other passengers while exercising on the plane?
A: Choose exercises that can be done discreetly in your seat or while walking in the aisle. Be mindful of your movements and try not to invade the personal space of those around you.
Q: How often should I do airplane-friendly workouts during my flight?
A: Aim to perform some form of movement or exercise at least once every hour or two during your flight. Listen to your body and adjust your routine as needed.
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