Travelling across time zones, walking all day, and dragging your luggage around is a tiring side effect of travel. India-based celebrity fitness instructor Samiksha Shetty shares insights on a few necessary steps and precautions for a comfortable journey.
Make sure you get a good sleep before and after your travel. Prepare your body and mind by being well-rested. This will help reduces cortisol and keep the body stress-free.
Stretch out your neck, arms, shoulders, legs, hips, and back right before your flight or journey. It’s easy to do simple neck and shoulder stretches throughout the flight. If you have time at the airport or if your flight gets delayed find an empty corner at the airport and stretch your entire body.
Neck and Shoulder movement:
- With your hands resting at your sides or on your thighs, slowly and mindfully turn your head to the right, hold for a breath and then turn your head to the left. Repeat this a few times.
- Turn your head up and look towards the ceiling, hold for a breath and then turn your head down and tuck your chin into your chest. Repeat a few times.
- Drop your head sideways by dropping your ears to your shoulder on the right and then on the left.
- Rotate your head clock-wise in circles, taking care to get the ears close to your shoulders and chin close to the chest. Now move anti-clockwise. Do these movements a few times with intention and an even breath, then change directions.
- Shoulders- with an inhale, shrug your shoulders up to your ears, then exhale to lower them back down and back, squeezing the shoulder blades together. These airport yoga poses will counteract the non-ergonomic shape of your seat.
Seated Figure 4:
This pose will help keep your hips open. It will also elevate your ankles to prevent swelling and soreness in the area.
- Start by sitting upright. Lift your left ankle up and place it over your right knee. For a deeper stretch in the lower back and more opening in the left hip, encourage your left knee down until it is parallel with the hip. For an even deeper stretch, you can keep your spine straight and bend forward and down over your bend leg. Repeat on the other side.
Seated Spinal Twist:
Spinal twists assist in digestion. It massages your organs and allows fresh circulation into the torso. Twist to the right from the hip. Use your core to twist and gradually follow with your shoulders and head as your spine feels ready. If you need a little extra push, rest your left hand on your right knee and then push to encourage the twist to go deeper. Repeat on the other side.
Our digestion tends to slow or become erratic with the stresses of travel. The wind reliever massages the digestive tract, helping you stay regular during travel and at your destination.
With your hands on your knees, inhale deeply to straighten your spine and slightly lift your feet off the floor. Exhale to tuck your chin, draw the right knee towards your chest, and round your spine. Hold for a few breaths and then release back to your normal seated position. Repeat with the left knee.
We tend to restrict our breathing, and the mind wanders to the worst-case scenario when we see a flight delay or experience turbulence during our flight. Yogic breathing exercises and meditation help us maintain a physical state of calmness and helps avoid and distract from the negative effects of stress.
Breathing exercises can be performed anywhere and anytime.
- Start by sitting up straight and then inhale- hold your breath for a second – then exhale. Repeat this a few times.
- Belly breathing. It helps you relax and counter the stress of travelling. Repeat several times and you’ll immediately start to feel better.
Have water with you at all times and make sure you’re properly hydrated. Sip on it through the trip to keep your body and skin hydrated. Splurge on the water – you’ll look and feel much better.
Protect your skin:
Dehydrated skin is dull and prone to wrinkles. Be sure to use face and body moisturiser before you board your flight. While everyone else on the flight is drying out, your skin will stay comfortable and hydrated.
Beat jet lag:
To avoid jet lag, try drinking chamomile tea that will help you sleep on your flight. Prepare for the inevitable issues from jet lag with a good skincare routine. Use face wash and face moisturiser as you normally would at home.
You’ll constantly touch door handles, money, crosswalk buttons, and escalator handrails. Come prepared for all situations and sanitise frequently.