Sitting in a cramped airplane or automobile seat doesn’t exactly lend itself to yoga moves. But these tips from Judi Bar, a certified yoga therapist at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, can help travelers arrive at their destinations feeling limber and relaxed.
Departing on the journey
“Maintain your usual exercise routine in the days leading up to travel, but don’t begin any new types of exercise that might cause muscle soreness,” says Ms. Bar. “Incorporating some easy stretching movement into your regular routine a few days before your trip begins will help you on your journey, as well.”
Once en route, Ms. Bar says that good posture is essential for keeping the spine aligned. “Sit up straight,” she says. “It’s the best thing you can do for your back. And one of the most important things to do when traveling is to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated because this will keep your body lubricated.”
When traveling by airplane, get up and move around as much as possible to help blood circulation, Ms. Bar suggests. If you have enough room, bend forward, sideways and backward to stretch your spine. If you’re not comfortable doing this in the aisle, there may be enough space in the restroom.
Strategies for a healthy arrival
When you’re seated, either in a plane or car, Ms. Bar recommends simple breathing and gentle stretching exercises to help you feel more comfortable:
- Move your fingers and toes; gently rotate wrists and ankles
- Do neck and shoulder rolls
- Rock your spine back and forth
- Reach between your legs to stretch your back
- Do a simple twist or an arch
- Practice deep breathing to increase oxygenation
- Tighten muscles and take a deep breath, then exhale with a gentle sigh and relax your muscles
- Sit straight and let your belly expand on the inhale and release it on the exhale
- Be mindful of your breathing and move when you feel stiff
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, continue to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Do movements to loosen your joints such as hip circles, shoulder circles and neck rolls.
Whether you’re on the road for business or pleasure, simply sticking with your regular exercise routine and drinking plenty of water are two good ways to be a savvy traveler and alleviate many common travel stressors.