Flying to your Cruise destination beats driving as it can cut your travel time down to hours instead of days or even weeks, but a long flight CAN take a toll on you & your body, making it the dreadful part of your anticipated Cruise vacation.
So today we wanted to help make your flight as undemanding as possible so you can arrive at the Cruise port feeling pain-free, nimble and ready for sight-seeing, walks about secretive towns and exploration of new cultures to your hearts content.
Planes are notorious for small spaces and limited leg room which ultimately can lead to cramping muscles, stiffness and soreness… ouch!…
… and because you’re moving at high speeds 30,000 plus feet in the air, these symptoms can be exasperated by increased air pressure and lower oxygen levels that are ultimately more taxing on your body.
On top of ALL that, you then have to adjust to the time zone change. Phew! We’re just exhausted talking about it.
How do we fix this problem?
Through some simple stretching that doesn’t take long…
… lets go over some specific stretches to help decrease and/or eliminate those symptoms so you can ultimately “feel good” after a long flight and then have a wonderful time onboard your Cruise.
But Why Stretch?
Stretching brings blood and oxygen to your most stiff areas while creating flexibility and increases mobility… stretching prevents injury and improves your overall health!
Feel free to print this off and take it with you in your carry-on luggage.
Here are 8 Easy stretches you can do while seated, even if you are in the middle seat!
But please note that if you feel any pain while performing any of these stretches, please move back out of the stretch a little to the “no pain” point. Stretching should NOT be painful, it should feel good, like a comfortable stretch; and always talk to your health care provider to ensure these stretches are OK for you to do.
Ready? Good! Let’s get started.
Stretch out your Lower Back: Sit tall, feet on the floor. Slowly bend your chest forward toward your knees while drawing you hands down your legs for support, bringing your chin to your legs. If you are more flexible bring your forehead to your legs. ( FYI, This will stretch out your low back and slightly into the upper buttocks). Hold 20-30 seconds, come back to the seated position, relax 7 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
2. Stretch out your Legs: Next we are going to stretch our Hamstrings (back of the legs). Sit tall, slide your heels away from you so your legs are straight. Now slowly run you hands down the tops of your legs reaching toward your toes. Stop once you feel a comfortable stretch down the backs of your legs. Hold 20-30 seconds, come back to the seated position, relax 7 seconds. Repeat 3 times each side.
3. Gently stretch your Spine. To get a good stretch through your spine, sit up tall, place your right hand to your left hip and rotate/turn your body to the left and inhale a deep breathe, count to five, then as you exhale slowly come back the center. Relax 7 seconds. Repeat 3 times then repeat on opposite side.
4. Stretch out your Back. Sit up tall, turn your upper body to the right side slightly and now forward flex/bend forward bringing your opposite shoulder to your opposite knee. Hold 20-30 seconds, come back to the seated position, relax 7 seconds. Repeat 3 times & then repeat on opposite side.
5. Stretch out your Neck. Let’s get oxygen towards this area! Sitting tall, looking forward, bring your right ear toward your right shoulder. Feel a comfortable stretch down the side of your neck. Hold 20-30 seconds, come back to the starting position, repeat on opposite side. Repeat 3 times.
THE NEXT TWO ARE GREAT FOR CIRCULATION!
Lets increase your circulation by performing # 6 & # 7.
6. Start by keeping your arms relaxed at your side. Rotating your shoulders with big movements (pain free) forward in a circular motion five times. Stop. Now repeat this in the opposite direction: backwards five times. Repeat 3 times.
7. Still seated, lift your Right foot slightly off the floor so it is free to move or just keep your heel on the floor if it bothers your back. Now Point and Flex your toes for 10 seconds. Relax 7 seconds. Now rotate your ankle in a circular motion making a figure eight for 10 seconds. Relax 7 seconds. Repeat the steps (point & flex/figure eight) 3 times. Repeat on opposite side.
EXTRA but obvious TIP: Don’t forget to Drink Lots of Water to stay hydrated!! Airplanes have very low humidity. (Lower than the Sahara desert.) This can lead dehydrated AKA you feeling run down with low energy. Drink plenty of water the days before your flight as well as during and following your flight.
For more Tips: Check out our other helpful blogs on Flying:
8 Tips For Airline Travel and How To NOT Be Afraid of Flying.
There you go! These Tips are effective and will keep you “Feeling Good” for your upcoming Cruise EVEN after a Long Flight… others will be wondering your secret! 🙂
Nancy & Shawn
Your Trusted Cruise Experts!