It’s well a truly holiday season, with many people getting ready to jet off over the Christmas holidays. Enduring long haul flights are often the worst part of a holiday, so we thought we would put together our top tips for keeping your body in good condition during long haul flights.
Before your flight
There’s nothing that’s going to help more than being prepared for your flight. Consider what you will need and pack it in your carry on. Consider bringing a neck cushion for support and comfort, and a back support. A neck cushion will help you get some sleep without hurting your neck.
Ensure you get adequate sleep before your flight, and make sure that you hydrate and eat well with familiar foods which won’t upset your stomach!
It’s also a good idea to minimise your carry-on luggage – carrying a heavy bag can cause unnecessary strain, and a lighter bag will also make it easier to access the overhead lockers.
Ensure you pack all the essentials for a comfortable flight in your carry on! Consider things like hydralytes, healthy snacks, ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones and entertainment.
During your flight
The one thing you don’t want to do is sit still for your whole flight, so it’s important to keep mobile and try to move throughout the flight. Moving regularly will boost circulation and prevent stiffness.
Walk up and down the aisle or have a stretch while waiting for the bathroom. You can even keep moving while seated by doing some shoulder rolls or ankle circles. An aisle seat makes this a lot easier, but if not try to get up and walk around every 2-3 hours.
Another thing to remember is your posture – although it’s probably impossible to sit with proper posture the whole flight, particularly if you are trying to get some sleep in. However, when watching a movie or eating a meal, try to adjust your posture for small periods of time. Making use of a back cushion/support or neck cushion can also help.
The pressure in the cabin can often cause dehydration, so it’s important to keep your water intake up! People often don’t drink much because of the cool air, and not doing any activity, so try to keep your fluids up by sipping water throughout the flight. Beverages such as caffeine, alcohol and soft drinks can often dehydrate you, so try to minimise your intake of these fluids and stick to water! You can also consider using hydralytes to stay hydrated.
After your flight
Performing some stretches after you arrive at your destination is a good idea 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. Light exercise or walking is also a good idea following your flight, to get your muscles moving again.
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