It is time to be proud of yourself, my fellow healthy lifestyle enthusiast: if you read this article, you travel tons, and that means you belong to the cutting-edge, cream of the crop of human kind – you are a Doer, not only a Watcher. Perhaps you travel a lot to indulge your international business connections, to experience new adventures, or to explore another wonder of the world just because it is there. Or just because traveling is fun and sheer joy.
Deep inside of you there is a feeling that travelling helps you savour the essence of life and makes your soul vibe
Also, you personally spread tolerance into the world while travelling. Tourism is the best sustainable way to bring down the wall of misunderstanding between nations and change biased views on a personal level. So, you actually change yourself and the world by travelling! (watch TED talk “For more tolerance, we need more…tourism?”
by Aziz Abu Sarah, to know more). How nice of you!
Now, have we pleased you enough to keep you reading? We’d love to share some valuable health tips for the frequent traveler (yes, we mean you, dear travelholic)?
Take a look at what we have here to help you maintain your good physique on a trip. Looks yummy, doesn’t it?
⇒ unusual things to do in the airport (we mean wellness things only, despite all the things some weirdos could think about) ⇒ 5 easy peasy moves to beat excessive sitting (to use on a plane, in the car etc) ⇒ 5 insanely easy exercises to stretch all of your body on a plane ⇒ 3 episodes of the audio podcast “Fitvize workout for drivers” ⇒ Walk like a Pro: The One exercise before long distance walking ⇒ 2 min video “How to relieve sore legs after all day walking”
Let’s start with flights. A fascinating fact: more than three billion people travel every year by plane. That number equals the population of the world in 1960. Can you imagine that?!
The good news is that on the day you take a plane ride you experience an ultimate body work out. How is this possible? Watch this: for starters – weightlifting when you drop in your baggage and warming up when you go through security check (a few sit-ups to take off your shoes and straightening your arms up to the ceiling when you go through the scan).
After that – 10 -20 minutes walking with duty free goodies to your gate. For some airlines and destinations – balance challenge in the bus to your plane, and – our favourite – stair climbing (up to 30 stairs!) to reach your plane’s door. Clearly, that climbing is done carrying duty free goods and hand baggage.
Sounds familiar? And we haven’t even mentioned the running quest “find your transfer gate in 15 minutes or be late to your next flight” and “pick up the fish” game in the baggage claim area.
On the day you take a plane ride you experience an ultimate body work out. So all you need is relaxation.
“Ok, sounds interesting, but I would not call it a workout…” Is that what you thinking, peep? But it is a shocking fact! Stanford Business researchers insist that we do not need to run marathons to see a major impact in our health. All we need is to not skip exercising completely. So, 10 minutes running a day (or 30 min walking) is enough to stay toned (Stanford Business, Health Issue, summer 2015). Sounds quite tolerable, indeed, and confirms our exercising-without-noticing theory.
So, on day of your flight you have already
suffered exercised enough. And what you really want to do is relax, release your back and neck muscles, and get rid of all body stiffness after excessive sitting. Are we right?
Let’s explore the fitvize options we have here. Actually, there are at least 3 time slots you can have time for yourself: before the flight – at the airport, during the flight – on the plane, and after you have landed.
What can you possibly do to nourish your body at the airport, except for consuming duty free snacks and not-too-good-to be-true coffee at the soulless cafes? A LOT! Yep, there are a lot of free and a few chargeable options to give a positive boost to your health.
To enjoy the airport experience, you can explore ABSOLUTELY FOR FREE:
- sleeping rooms and cubes – to sleep your way to success (you remember that, do you? go to “Truth or Dare: 10 cutthroat facts you need to know about motivation in sports and life” if not)
- long terminals to walk through. They are indeed a perfect opportunity for a long walk. And some hand baggage magically turns a walk into a power walk!
- massage chairs – to ease your body and refresh your soul in 5 minutes
- oxygen cubes to oxygenate the whole you
- yoga and meditation rooms, even aromatherapy rooms.
All free-to-use. Just come in and enjoy!
Airports can surprise you with wellness choices
And if you are ready to invest a few dollars into your body renewal (sounds like we are trying to push a sale, but it is just that we adore everything we suggest here), you can spend some time at pay-per-use spa lounges with beauty treatments, swimming pools, jacuzzi and pampering massages. And by a few dollars we literally mean a few dollars. You will be surprised what you can get for 15 bucks or less.
To help you maintain your healthy lifestyle enthusiast drive, we have done a petite research project to find out what some of the busiest airports have to amuse you. The information is taken from official airport websites and our FFF (frequent flier friends). The results are below.
Of course, we do not pretend to cover it all. There are other airports (they say so and we believe) and many more cool things to do there. Let this table be a guide to knowing what could be out there.
The biggest take away here is: airports can surprise you with wellness choices.
Maybe next time, before you fly, you will find it worth while spending a few minutes to discover all the airport opportunities. By the way, do you know which airport was voted as the best one in the world for sleeping? Here’s a hint: the answer is given below.
By this time, you are on a plane. Ready to fly to the sky with a fastened seatbelt. You have listened to a predictable dialogue between the cabin crew and one of the passengers called “Why? Explain to me, why I have to switch off my laptop?!” and the most boring presentation of safety rules ever. You feel comfortable and relaxed.
But then, if your flight is longer than 2 hours, your comfort level slowly goes down to zero. You want to move around, stretch out your legs and arms and so on. You most truly fully need some kind of workout.
Curiously, if you fly with Chinese airlines, you most certainly get an aerobic routine on board: sooner or later a stewardess welcomes all passengers to stand up and make a few elementary moves to warm up your body, to stretch your muscles and to make your blood flow faster. That’s we call customer service!
But don’t be sad if you use other airlines. Here are a few exercises to help you. Please don’t go away right now! You are right: long exercise lists are boring. It is much more fun to explore the sky shop magazines or to watch newly released movies on long distance flights. But we promise to keep it simple, elegant and fun.
Are you ready? Are you steady? Then let’s do
Five Easy Peasy Moves To Beat Excessive Sitting
Here’s the irony: they are all supposed to be performed while sitting. The keynote to mention: do them slowly and keep breathing.
- Gentle neck half circle stretch: to improve flexibility of your neck
- Backward shoulder circles: to release stiffness of your shoulder girdle
- Pushing your chest forward-backwards: to articulate your upper back vertebras
- Pulling your bellybutton in to spine – to prevent lower back pain
- Squeezing your glutes 100 times (yes, squeeze and release your buttocks a hundred times in a row) – to make your gluteal muscles work.
So, these five exercises should be enough. But if you are the same kind of fit maniac that we are, you can listen to the 10 Minutes Audio Podcast with many more exercises like that.
To complete our on-board exercise theme, let’s spend five minutes near the toilets: there is usually enough space to do the splits and acrobatic bridges. Just kidding. We will do only
Five Insanely Easy Exercises To Stretch All Your Body on a Plane
all to be done in a standing position
- Straighten both arms up to the ceiling and stretch one of them even more while exhaling. Repeat the stretch with another arm. Keep your abs in.
- Take a deep breath in, put your chin to the chest and roll all the way down vertebra by vertebra while exhaling. Than roll up slowly and smoothly.
- Put your hand behind your head and twist with your upper body to the right and to the left. Try not to move your pelvis while doing so.
- Stretch towards each leg with both arms.
- Make a few clockwise and counterclockwise circles with your feet.
Now you’ve got everything you need to stay toned and fresh on the day of your flight. Oh, almost forgot! The only tip you need to know about luggage pickup: try to pull it from the baggage line with all the weight of your body (abs in, all body leans backwards), instead of trying to lift it with your back. It is the core of back pain prevention science.
The only tip you need to know about luggage pickup: try to pull it from the baggage line with all the weight of your body instead of trying to lift it with your back
Now hello to you, our friends – drivers! As you’ve probably already gathered – you can use almost all the health tips for frequent fliers. Also we have prepared a special podcast for you: 3 episodes of Fitvize Workouts for Drivers, up to 5 minutes each. Please be aware of safety rules: no exercising while driving. Unless they resolve this dilemma with a driverless car )) You can download the audio right here. It’s FREE.
Dear walkers, we did not forget about you. We know you can walk up to 20 km per day while sightseeing and we admire you for doing so! Our secret wish is that the specially designed orthopaedic shoes for walkers were not so ugly.
For now, please think about
One Exercise Before Long Distance Walking
“The One Leg Stretch”. This Pilates exercise strengthens your core muscles (deep abs that protect your lower back), stretches your leg muscles from hip joints to the toes, warms up your ankles and strengthens your knees. Five minutes and a place to lie down is all you need here.
The technique: lie on your back and press your knees to the chest with your arms. Inhale to prepare. While exhaling, lift your upper body so that you look forward and straighten one leg away as far as you can; inhale and change the position – straighten the other leg while banding the first one and pulling it to the chest. Be sure to keep your abs deeply in while performing. Repeat 12-36 times.
One more point to mention is neck tension prevention during this exercise. There should be no tension at the side of your neck when you are lying on your back with your head lifted. When you need to lift your head, invite your spinal column to elongate and lift instead of just curving your neck. If you still feel tension here, maybe your nose and your chin are too high. If tension does come into the sides of your neck, let your spine release your head down then right up again. That moment will release neck tension. Do this as often as it needed.
If you wanna know how to stretch your legs and release your back after the long walk – watch our Two Minute Video “How to relieve sore legs after all day walking”.
It is a free little bonus for you))
If you trip is within the next few months, or weeks, or in a couple of days, perhaps you want to experience beach relaxation right now. You can do it with an amazing Pilates exercise, the core take away of which is to stretch all your spine.
To feel like a holidaymaker we need to elongate our spine. Lie comfortably on your back with legs stretched forward and arms next to the body. Imagine that you are laying in a hammock between two coconut trees. Mentally invite your spine to stretch, vertebra by vertebra: the top of your head and neck stretching to one palm tree, the coccyx with heels – to another. And now try to drop your bellybutton into the center of the hammock, as if the navel holds a small sinker, which pulls the stomach through the waist down. Be sure to keep stretching the spine.
So, what now?
Watch the videos, listen to podcasts and share your personal wellness frequent travellers tips via comments. We would be glad to read and try them all!
Looking for more visual tips? We’ve pinned a lot of fitness hacks’ photos!