Stretch Tips to Beat the Travel Cramps

Reduce stress and body aches with simple stretches pre and during flight

Traveling is a pain. The lines, the crowds, the carrying, the sitting, the waiting, and all the stress can create real pains on the body. Luckily, there are a few quick and easy tips that will help alleviate some of the adverse effects your body experiences when traveling.

Muscle pain and cramping in the lower body can occur during long periods of sitting and are felt either while sedentary, or shortly after you stand up from your seat. This happens because the muscles have not moved for so long they produce signals to stop activating the muscle. These signals can make the muscle automatically tighten. Factor in lack of water intake and proper diet while traveling can cause more intense cramping. Symptoms usually occur in the lower body; the calves, quadriceps, glutes, and lower back and can range from a dull ache up to full cramping (although not as common).

Prolonged cramping or chronic cramping from sitting even for a short time may be a sign of a serious condition known as DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), so consult a Doctor if you experience any of those symptoms.

Solutions:

Stretching

Pre Flight

Try to concentrate on slow static stretching of the lower legs, upper legs, hips, and low back 20 minutes before flying. Below are three stretches for the hamstring, quads and calves. Hold each stretch for one minute for each muscle group.

During Flight

Try doing some resistive exercises in your seat or aisle. The stretch band is a great tool that can be used to for resistive exercises while being travel friendly. Performing simple and exaggerated gas pedal stretches to activate you lower body muscles. We suggest 3 sets 20, with 1 minute rest between sets. Below shows exercise both with and without the stretch band.

Other Things to Think About:

Check your Posture

Airline seats and long flights cause you slump and loose good posture, which can cause lower back and shoulder pain. Try putting a towel, or the AcuRoll behind your lower back. This will help create better posture and reduce shoulder tension and pain.

Stay Hydrated

As we travel sometimes we forget to drink water like we normally do. Airplanes also have little humidity and can become warm which both increase dehydration. Water keeps muscles supple and flexible, so your lack of water increases likelihood of cramping and muscle pain. To cramp or not to pee on the airplane bathroom? That is the question you will have to answer.

Remember to Breathe

Stress can have a large affect on the body, as well as the mind. Simple deep breathing techniques can help manage stress and relax the body, relieving muscle tension and pain. Try taking in a breath slowly through the nose for 5 seconds, then out through your mouth for 5 seconds. Work mentally feeling from your head, to your arms, to core, to legs, and finally feet to relax each area of the body.