As we welcome the arrival of Summer, many of us are eager to embark on exciting vacations and adventures abroad. With more people taking to the skies, it is crucial to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to ensure a safe and comfortable journey, especially when it comes to long-haul flights. From booking seats with extra legroom to packing essential travel accessories, there are several key considerations to keep in mind when preparing for your trip. By taking a few simple precautions, you can help minimise the risk of discomfort, fatigue and even health complications during your flight. At Revival Health & Wellbeing Centre, we are committed to helping you feel your best and so we will be sharing some valuable tips and insights to help you travel with confidence.

Tips & Tricks

Stretch. Especially if you are flying long haul, ensure you get up and stretch your body. Walk up and down the centre aisle or have a stretch while waiting for the bathroom. Immobility can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Contract your calf muscles — for example, by tapping your feet, which also moves the shins, thighs and hip joints will get the blood flowing. These are some exercises you can do whilst sat down:

  1. Leg circles – Start by putting your knees together and lift your legs up, then separate your knees out, down and back together again. Do not let your feet touch the floor!
  2. Tri lift – Put your hands on your arm rests and make sure your elbows are facing the back of your chair. Use your arms to lift yourself up out of your seat.
  3. Foot pumps – Keep your heels on the floor and lift the front of your feet towards you as high as possible. Hold for a second or two, then flatten your feet and lift your heels as high as possible, keeping the balls of your feet on the floor.
  4. Knee hugs – Sit upright and bring one knee towards your chest, hugging it with your arms. Hold for a few seconds, then release and switch to the other leg.

Be sensible with your luggage. Consider choosing luggage which has wheels or using a trolley. When lifting baggage off the carousel, try and get as close as you can and avoid twisting your body or over reaching.

Stay hydrated. You should drink a bottle of water for every hour you are in the air; the increased bathroom breaks will offer an additional opportunity to stretch your legs.

DO NOT cross your legs! It is bad for circulation and creates an uneven pelvis. Sit well, keeping the hip and pelvis wide, your back against the seat and your feet flat on the floor.

Use a neck pillow. A wrap-around neck pillow will allow you to get some sleep while maintaining a neutral neck position. This should help reduce neck pain and stiffness both during and after the flight.

Travel socks. If your flight is longer than 4 hours then take travel socks to support your circulation.

Performing stretches after you arrive at your destination. Stretch your body once you have vacated the aircraft to help relieve any stiffness. If you own a trigger ball, take it with you! For the size of a tennis ball, you can use it to release points in your neck, shoulders and glutes that may be tight following your flight. Some examples of light exercises to get your muscles moving again are:

  1. Calf stretches - Stand facing a wall with your hands against it at about eye level. Put the leg you want to stretch about a step behind your other leg. Keeping your back heel on the floor, bend your front knee until you feel a stretch in the back leg. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. 
  2. Quad stretches - Stand upright and lift one heel back towards your buttocks. 
  3. Side lunges - Stand with your feet pointed slightly out, wider than your hips. Shift your weight to one leg and bend into the knee, all while keeping your opposite leg straight and foot flat on the ground.
  4. Heel Raises - Stand with your feet about 10cm apart, with your hands lightly resting on a counter or chair in front of you. Slowly raise your heels off the floor while keeping your knees straight. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. 
  5. Shoulder rolls - Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms to your sides. Rotate your shoulders in a forward direction and then rotate them backwards. Keep your back straight and breath normally.
  6. Inch worm - Stand up straight with your hands at your side. Keeping your legs straight, lift your hips so your hands can touch the floor in front of you. Be sure not to move your feet from their original position. Using your hands as if they were feet, walk your hands forward slowly, going as far as you can. You will eventually end up in a stretched, extended plank position. Reverse the motion until your hands are touching your toes, and repeat. 

Most importantly - If you have a pre-existing medical condition or any other concerns prior to your flight, then ensure you seek advice from your GP.

Helping you live your healthiest and happiest life. Contact Revival on 01386 792126 or info@revival-health.co.uk for information on any of the service we offer at our centre.