Strength Training on the Plane

by Mackenzie M. | October 10th, 2011 | Strength Training

Many of you, including myself, have at one point or another been subject to a long-haul plane flight. If you travel the world, flights can range from 6, 8, 10, to even 15 or 16 hours long.

Sitting in a seat for that long, without moving your muscles, can actually lead to some serious health problems. For instance, being on an aircraft for such a long period can lead to poor circulation, swelling, and sore joints. Most shockingly, it can also lead to the more serious health issue of Deep Vein Thrombosis; however, with a little bit of in-flight strength training, all of these ailments can be lessened or even prevented.

Here is a list of some exercises that can help you do some strength training on the plane.

Upper Body. Simply squeeze a ball or a pair of socks repeatedly to exercise your hands and arms. Bending your head forward, and then slowly moving it from side to side can exercise your neck. For shoulders, hunches are the best way to prevent tension. Simply raise and lower the shoulders as if shrugging. For the back, arching your torso forward and backward will prevent some stiffness. The chest can be exercised by grabbing an imaginary rope with your hands, located right above your head, pulling downward, and tensing the chest muscles. Keep your hands close together, and pull down to the top of your thighs, while trying to keep your body upright.

Lower Body. Many large jetliners with televisions in the seats will commonly pause programming to demonstrate some exercises to do while in your seat. One of the easiest for the legs is to raise them from the ground using your calf muscles. For tougher strength training, a weight should be put in your lap. Also, place your heels on the ground and raise your toes as high as possible. The gluteus muscles can be easily exercised by flexing.

It is completely up to you how many repetitions you choose to do during the flight. Some suggest 25, 30, to even 50 about every 45 minutes. There are plenty of other exercises you can also do on the plane, including lunges while walking to the bathroom, and the use of a resistance band to get even greater strength training. Together with healthy food choices on the plane and plenty of water, these exercises will get you through even the longest flights.

No matter how many you do, these simple in-flight exercises can improve your muscle tone, and make sure that your are fresh for arrival at your destination.

Comments on Strength Training on the Plane

All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.