Stuck at the Airport? 5 Exercises to Do During a Delay

Stuck at the Airport? 5 Exercises to Do During a Delay
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it can be hard to get in a workout on the go. But what about that downtime between flights? While we don’t suggest going into a full sweat session at the airport, there are some simple toning and stretching moves you can do during a layover without looking (or smelling) like you hit the gym.
Besides the obvious muscle-building and calorie-burning benefits, exercising while traveling is good for your overall health, says Sharecare fitness expert Wendy Batts. “On the plane you’re stuck in the same position and you’re limited in leg space,” she says. “Exercises help with circulation and promote blood flow to the body’s tissues. It can also help offset muscle tightness and its impact on posture as a result of sitting for long periods.”
Here are a few easy toning and stretching moves to sneak in while waiting to board -- along with exercises that can help prevent neck and back aches that may come from sitting in a cramped seat once you’re in the air:
Ab Squeeze: Stand with your back straight, feet pointed forward. Suck in your belly, contracting your abs. Hold the squeeze for up to 20 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times for a solid, any-time abdominal exercise.
Butt Squeeze: While standing, contract your glute muscles and hold for as long as you can. Thirty seconds is a good goal to shoot for. Try doing the squeeze in three sets with 15 repetitions each to build those buns.
Walking: “Use your time at the airport to get moving and offset all the sitting you’ll be doing while in the air,” says Batts. “Walking will help you get your daily steps in and get your heart pumping. This will increase blood flow and circulation throughout the body.” Another in-flight move to boost circulation: Raise your heels, keeping your toes on the floor, then bring them down. Do this 10 times. Now raise and lower your toes 10 times. Do it at least every half an hour.
Neck Stretch: “If you sit or sleep with your head and neck in an awkward position during a flight, it’s not uncommon for certain muscles in the upper back and neck to get tight and cause pain,” says Batts. But a simple neck stretch can help relieve it.
Try this one: Place your right hand over your head, allowing it to rest on your left ear. Slowly pull your head toward your right shoulder as far as it comfortably goes. Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Return your head to the starting position and change sides, gently pulling your left ear to your left shoulder. Repeat three times on each side for a good stretch.
Back Stretch: “Not being conscious of upper body posture during the flight, such as a forward head position or falling asleep with your head in an awkward position, can lead to neck and upper back pain,” says Batts.
Try this stretch to reduce pain: Sit at the edge of a seat and cross your right leg so that your right ankle rests on top of your left quad. Place your right hand on your right ankle, resting your forearm on the inside of your right calf. Gently lean forward and press your chest toward your ankle. You should feel the stretch in your lower back. Hold it for 30 seconds, then switch sides so that your left ankle rests on the quad of your right leg.


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