By: Geirthrudur Alfredsdottir.
Doing some light exercises during longer flights may help to stimulate blood flow and thus lessen the likelihood of swelling and oedema which can occur under such circumstances. Taking a stroll along the cabin is a good idea, particularly when there is more than one aisle on the aircraft. In aircraft with a single aisle, however, it may be impossible to stroll through the cabin area, particularly during the serving of food and beverages or during the sale of goods. In such cases, it is better to wait until service has been completed and do some light exercises while seated.
EXERCISES YOU CAN DO WHILE SEATED:
These exercises can easily be done while seated without disturbing fellow passengers.
Repeat the exercises approximately every 30 to 60 minutes.
Begin with both feet on the floor with your weight evenly distributed.
Lift your toes up while keeping your heels on the floor, and then lower your toes and lift your heels while keeping your toes on the floor.
Repeat 5-10 times.
Lift your left foot slightly from the floor, and turn your foot at the ankle in a circular motion, first to the right and then to the left. Repeat 5–10 times in each direction and then switch feet. The exercise can also be performed with both feet at once.
Lift one knee up and hold for about 10 seconds and then put it down again. Repeat 5–10 times with each leg.
Sit up straight.
Lift your shoulders and then move them in a circular motion, first forward 10 times and then backwards 10 times. Repeat 5-10 times.
Sit up straight, look straight forward and tilt your head to the left and hold for 5 seconds, and then lift your head back up, tilt it to the right, hold for 5 seconds and then lift it back up again.
Repeat 5-10 times.
Sit up straight and look straight forward. Tilt your head forward, link your hands at the back of your neck and bring your chin down to your chest.
Take care that your back is straight while you look to the right and stop for 5 seconds and then look to the left and stop for 5 seconds.
Repeat 5–10 times without lifting your head up in between.
Geirthrudur is an airline captain, phys. ed. instructor and editor of the webside FitToFly.com.