After making your way to the airport, finding a car park, waiting in lines to get your baggage checked and your body frisked, making your way to the gate, boarding the plane, finding room for your luggage and (hopefully) winning the passive aggressive battle for the arm rest, it’s time to relax… right? Based on the most recent evidence, you should probably keep fidgeting.
Benefits to moving during a flight.
- Increasing blood flow:
As we know, blood carries all the nutrients required for our muscles to thrive – recovering from workouts, maintaining flexibility and helping to prevent joint pain can all be achieved through simple movements on your flight.
- Reduce the risks associated with blood pooling in your legs:
Just as blood will become hard on the surface of a clot, if blood is stagnant for a long period of time it will tend to stick together and form a clot. During a flight, this pooling and subsequent clot can form in your legs and travel back to your lungs and heart, potentially causing a blockage and serious medical issues.
- Reduce the risk of postural hypotension at the end of the flight:
Without having the assistance of your leg muscles to move blood back up your body, the amount of blood your heart can pump out often reduces significantly. As a result, when you stand up to stretch after the flight is over, it is possible for you to feel very dizzy, light headed and possibly fall over due to “postural hypotension”. Avoiding this is as simple as the advice in the rest of this blog…. Move! Point you toes, do some stretches and periodically stand up to give your heart a helping hand.
Recommendations on moving during your flight!
- Do not go more than 2 hours without standing up, walking up and down the isle, or taking some time to flex every muscle in your lower body sequentially from your feet up to your glutes.
- Regularly point and flex your toes to encourage the blood out of your feet… the more the better!
Who is at risk?
If you regularly travel for business, drink alcohol/take sleeping pills to help flights go by quicker, consume birth control, or you are typically inactive you are at a significantly increased risk to experience the negative side effect listed above.
Next time you travel, try this quick stretching routine — 30 seconds per stretch, once every 2 hours:
Written By- Mitchell Hooper
If you are experiencing or have experienced difficulties with any of the issue stated or any other difficulties see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick to assess and empower you to begin moving again, taking the right steps towards reducing your long-term pain!