In our modern day lives, travel has become an essential part of not only our pleasure but our work as well. We all know how challenging keeping to a fitness routine can be when we are on the road. Thankfully, it is absolutely possible to keep up a Pilates routine while travelling from your airplane seat to your hotel room.
Sitting for long hours in a plane can leave us feeling lethargic, tightness in our backs and necks and swelling in our legs or feet. For frequent travellers, Pilates is one of the best exercises to focus on postural alignment, stretching and core stablizer muscles. You can do Pilates even without any equipment and on the flight itself!
So here are some exercises and tips you can do in flight or in the comfort of your hotel room to help keep you feeling refreshed and relaxed on your next trip!
Practice controlled breathing
Sit as upright as you can in your seat and place your feet together and gently press against the floor. Inhale for 4 counts and feel your ribcage expanding laterally. Exhale for 4 counts and feel your ribcage closing and moving closer towards your pelvis. Repeat for 6 reps.
Sit as upright as you can and just rock your pelvis front and back but keep your core connected. This rocking back and forth motion helps to strengthen the lower back and our core muscles.
Sit upright in your seat and place feet on the floor, keeping core engaged and connected. Turn your upper body to the left side looking over your shoulder, while keeping your knees and hips facing forward. Place your right hand on your left knee to help deepen the stretch. Try to hold for about 10 counts and do 3 to 4 reps. Repeat on other side.
Sit upright and place your right ankle over your left knee. Start to lean forward and allow your right knee to open as much as possible. You can place your arm on your right knee to help deepen the stretch.
Standing roll down
After sitting for hours, it is definitely advised to take a short walk along the aisles. While you’re at that, standing roll down is the best exercise to do. Stand as tall as you can and keep your feet slightly apart. As you exhale, start to nod your head towards your chest and begin to roll your spine down. Keep your abs drawn in towards your spine as you do this. You can soften your knees to allow your head to reach towards the floor and your arms to hang by the side. You don’t have to touch the floor with your head or hands.
As always, stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the flight. Try to get out of your seat and move around every 1 to 2 hours to keep the circulation flowing. It’s also good to pack an apple or some nuts with you for a healthier snack option as airplane meals tend to be higher in sodium and fat. Remember, a healthy body is a happy body!
Happy and safe travels!
Haley Soh, Instructor