You might be overcome with excitement at the prospect of your destination but while your mind is ecstatic, your body isn’t. Cramped into an economy seat for a prolonged period is just not healthy. It’s important to keep moving while on a long flight and there are various exercises just perfectly designed for small spaces.
1. Steal a Move from Yoga – Chakravakasana – Aka Seated Cat Cow
You should call yourself lucky if you always manage to get some shut-eye on the flight. There is a drawback though – you are more likely to wake up with a sore back and a cricked neck. Place your feet flat on the ground with your hands placed on your knees. Push your shoulders back while pushing your belly forward. Keep looking towards the roof of the plane. Now draw your shoulders forward while rounding your spine. Lower your head to look at your belly. Repeat.
2. Leg Movements Are Essential for More than One Reason
It’s important to keep your legs moving to avoid cramped muscles and to reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis. Simple foot circles will do the trick. Lift your legs and draw a circle with the toes, simultaneously moving one foot clockwise and the other foot counterclockwise. Reverse circles. Rotate in each direction for 15 seconds.
3. Use Your Small Space to so Some Seated Tuck Jumps
It is one of the best ways to exercise on a plane, and you don't need a lot of space to enjoy this little workout – you can do it on the plane without leaving your seat and the bonus is that it’s great for your abs too. It's a simple exercise – though you may find it a bit tricky if you're tall. Sit on the edge of your seat and lean back slightly. Keep your legs at 90 degrees and now use your core muscles to pull your legs towards your chest. Don't forget to tap your thighs on your way up.
4. Standing Calf Raises Will Keep the Blood Circulating
The best time to perform this exercise is when you're standing in the post-drinks bathroom line. Slip your shoes off. Press your weight down into your toes and slowly raise your heels from the ground tensing the muscles as you go. Hold and repeat a few times. To ramp it up, do it on two legs first and then do each leg in turn.
5. Test Your Strength and Try Your Hand at a Fist Stand
This simple exercise can get your blood flowing and save you from dealing with unnecessary cramps during and after your flight. Simply make fists with your both hands, place them on your seat – keep your hands firmly placed right next to your knees. Now, push yourself forward and lift your body up slightly using your hands, shoulder, and upper body. The longer you can hold this position, the better.
6. There’s Enough Space to do Crossover Leg Lifts
This is another great way to exercise in your seat (unless you’re supermodel tall because then you’ll be sticking your knees in your seatmate’s throat!). While seated, pull your left leg up to place its ankle on your right thigh. Now move your right leg up and down slowly, 8 times. Switch legs and repeat. Do not have your feet on the floor during this routine.
7. If You Want to Push Yourself a Little Harder, do the Tri Lift
You could start with the regular tri lift. For this you keep your feet on the floor and using the armrests, lift yourself out of the seat and back down again. Repeat 8 times. Then, if you want to push it to the next level, repeat the exercise but with your feet off the floor.
Of course, just getting up out your seat and walking around the plane is recommended as a minimum, but you can do these simple exercises without disruption to your fellow passengers, so why not give them a try the next time you’re on a flight that lasts more than 4 hours.