Up, up and away

Tips and stretched for traveling – be prepared for your next holiday or work trip.

I love to travel and up, up and away here I go again with new places, new people and so many amazing adventures to experience. I have been very fortunate with some of the amazing places I have travelled to and believe me the list of where to go next is even longer!

As I prepare for my forthcoming adventure to New Zealand and Fiji, it got me thinking about all the little things I do before and during my travel to help my body survive. So, I thought I would share some of my insights.

You have all seen the reminders to move your ankles up and down when sitting on an aeroplane and you may be wondering what this little ankle movement is actually doing?

The first thing you need to understand is that, thanks to gravity, when we sit or stand, blood will pool in our feet and ankles. It is the job of your veins to help return this blood from our feet to our heart to be recirculated.

Unfortunately, our veins are not very good at this and need some help from the surrounding muscles.  By moving your ankle up and down, you are stimulating what is known as the muscle pump. The muscles within your calf and shin are contracting and relaxing over the top of the veins pumping the blood back towards your heart. When we are sitting still this can’t happen and the blood then pools in our ankles and feet, causing them to swell and potentially allowing clots to form.

When flying for more than a couple of hours, you are bound to find me walking around the cabin, doing laps of the aisles and stretching regularly wherever I can find some space –  usually towards the back of the plane.

Below are some of my favourite stretches to be used on a plane, and all are able to be completed standing with minimal space.

Plane suitable stretches

They are great to use for the rest of the trip too, keeping you feeling supple despite all the sitting you are bound to do, in cars, airports, planes, restaurants, etc.

We really do sit a lot when traveling!

Back on land, I like to use my wonderfully versatile spikey balls on my back, glutes and feet in the hotel room.

Great for rolling your feet, to release your plants fascia especially after a long day sight seeing.
Rolling your knee side to side once you've found a good knot is a great way to release the tension from a day on your feet.
If you need a little more pressure try sitting on the ball and moving yourself around until you find a good spot. Then relax and lower your weight on to the ball.
Alternatively use the ball on the wall. Lean your body weight on the ball and move your arm to massage over the top of the ball.

Want to know more about physically preparing yourself for your next holiday?

Then have a listen to this podcast, I recorded for Luxury Travel with Allen Suss of Travel Managers.

You can also get in touch with us at Simply Stronger. We can give you tips and exercises that will help you prepare to survive that next long-haul flight.

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