Let’s face it, we all get restless on long-haul flights and there’s always the temptation to pop on the eye mask, grab a blanket and sleep through it. But there are other options to keep your circulation flowing and your energy high. All but two of these suggestions can be done in your seat, without bothering your neighbour. Of course, we do not recommend handstands on the wing!
Drop your right ear to your right shoulder only as far as it naturally falls. Using the weight of your head, gently roll your head down to the front while dropping your chin and around to the left side. Hold each position for three seconds. Reverse. Repeat 10 times.
Lift your shoulders up, then roll them backward, downward, forward, and back up again, all in a fluid and gentle circular motion. First clockwise, then counter clockwise. Repeat 10 times.
Sit with your knees bent. Lift your right thigh up by flexing the muscles a few inches off the seat. Lower your thigh and repeat with your right leg. Repeat 10 times.
From a seated position, raise both feet a few inches off the ground. Using your ankles as the hinge point, rotate both feet in circles. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
Foot and Calf Stretch
Begin seated, with both feet flat on the floor. Keeping your heels rooted, draw your toes up as high as you can, flexing them for maximum stretch. Return feet flat to the floor, then lift your heels as high as you can while keeping the balls of your feet and your toes on the floor. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
Although not so subtle as the above, I highly recommend doing this one hourly. Reach up with both arms and stretch your fingertips as much as you can. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Repeat 10 times.
Nothing is better than a stroll up, down and around the aisles to get blood flowing and inactive muscles moving. Try doing this hourly if you can to avoid stiffness and numbness.