Pressure changes while flying, low moisture levels in the air and turbulence can all have negative effects on your body. You can avoid these by doing certain exercises in the flight cabin.
Fluids gather in the feet as a result of gravity and can cause swelling. You can do the following exercises to alleviate this.
Put your feet flat on the floor, and then slowly lift your ¬toes into the air. Keep your feet in this position for 5 seconds. Next, return your toes to the floor and raise your heels. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Raise your feet slightly away from the floor. Rotate your ankles clockwise 15 times, and then anti-clockwise 15 times. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
You can do simple exercises while sitting down which will relieve knee and joint discomfort.
Place your hands on top of your legs. Lift one foot slightly away from the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and return. Do the same exercise with the other foot. Repeat this 10 times for each leg.
Knees chest raise
Join your hands together under your knees. Bring your knees toward your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly return your legs to the ground. Remove your hands from your legs and stretch your feet. Repeat this 10 times for each leg.
Keep your hands by your side. Straighten your feet and put your ankles on top of one another. Stretch your feet up and down. Continue to do this as you bend your knees and bring your feet back toward you. Repeat 15 times, but leave 5 minutes rest between each exercise.
If you have problems such as neck stiffness, arthritis or spinal issues, you can do the following neck exercises. If pain increases while doing these exercises, stop immediately.
Relax your neck and shoulders. Slowly rotate your head in a circular motion. While moving your head, stop every 5 seconds and keep your head where it is for a moment, then continue with the circular motion.
Sit up straight in your seat and while looking straight ahead slowly bring your neck backward. Hold for 3 seconds once your neck is all the way back, then slowly return to your starting position. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Neck retraction with head raise
With your neck retracted, raise your head upwards. Hold this position for 3 seconds, then return to your starting position. Wait for 2 seconds then repeat the exercise. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Left/right neck press
With your neck tensed, place you hand on top of your head and pull it gently to the right. Hold this position for 3 seconds, then return your neck to its natural position. Wait for 2 seconds then repeat the exercise. Do this exercise 5 times on the right and 5 times on the left.
Forward neck press
With your neck tensed, interlock your fingers and place your hands on your forehead, then gently push your chin down into your chest until you feel the stretch. Hold this position for 1 seconds, then return your neck to its natural position. Wait for 3 seconds then repeat the exercise. Only repeat this exercise 5 times.
Back and lower back exercises
Back and lower back pain are some of the most common problems suffered on long-haul flights. Conditions such as a hernia or slipped disc can be aggravated while flying. However, it is possible to relieve some of this pain with basic exercises.
Stand up out of your seat, but hold your position half way through that motion. Then slowly sit back down and rest your back against the seat. Repeat the exercise 5 times.
Try to make small circular motions with your shoulders. Make sure you are sitting up straight and that your shoulders are relaxed while doing this. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Cross your arms, bend forward slightly and grab your armrests. Push your back upward as you exhale. Repeat the exercise 5 times.
Doing the abdominal exercises below can help strengthen your abdominal muscles and maintain your body's form while flying. Be sure to do them in order and rest between them.
Place both feet flat on the floor and bring your abdomen in. Slowly bend forward and walk your fingers from your tibia to your wrists. Hold this position for a while then slowly return back to your starting position.
Hold your abdomen in for a few seconds then release.
Put your hands together, and stretch your arms forward. Wait a few seconds and repeat the exercise.