If you have travel plans in store this year, you’ll want to read this!

Short flights are usually a breeze (especially if you’re lucky enough to be in first class), but once they get longer than a couple hours, you may start to feel a little antsy or uncomfortable.

Here are some tips to make your trip a little more enjoyable and easier on your body:

Use a neck pillow – you have probably seen people use these and think they look kind of awkward. You should try one though, as they can really improve your travel experience. They provide good support for your head and neck (keeping them in their natural position) and make it easier to sleep. And we all know how tricky it can be to try to sleep on a plane…

Keep well hydrated – It’s very important to drink more that you normally would because you can get very dehydrated from air travel. Also, drink throughout your flight. Stick to water over coffee because coffee can further dehydrate you, keep you awake, and possibly make you anxious or jittery. Alcohol will also dehydrate you, and possibly make you groggy or even sick.

Use lumbar support – We all know that airplane seats lack comfort – the c-shape is not good for your spine, leading to achy necks and backs. It is a great idea to wedge a pillow, sweatshirt, or blanket behind your lower back. This will help keep your spine in it’s natural shape.

Do in-seat exercises – of course you are limited with what you can do on a plane, but it’s important to do these in-seat exercises:

  • Lift your feet and rotate them in circles
  • Keep your heels on the floor and point your toes up as far as possible – followed by pointing them down, while lifting your heels up
  • Roll your shoulders backwards and forwards. You should engage in these exercises for a few minutes each hour.

Get up and stretch – Moving around the plane every couple of hours is important, whether it is to walk to the bathroom or just up and down the aisle. This is a great benefit of choosing an aisle seat.

Use compression socks – these are great for preventing swollen feet and ankles, pain in your legs, and even blood clots and a condition called ‘deep vein thrombosis’ that people can get from sitting in the same position for a long period of time.

Wear loose clothing and layers – It is better to place more importance on your comfort than fashion when flying.  Also, you never quite know the temperature on a plane, so it is better to have more layers than risk being cold.

If you are in the Vancouver area and wish to see a physiotherapist before or after your vacation, call us at Dunbar Physio: 604-266-3303