Plank in Bryce Canyon

Traveling is one of my favorite ways to spend time.  But with the adventure of seeing the world comes a lot of small, confining spaces that force you into a seated position for hours on end.  When you need to fly, drive, hop on a train, or find yourselves in a dirigible, how can you keep moving in tiny spaces?

Tips for Moving in Small Spaces

·        Stop Caring:

I think a key factor in moving is not to worry about what other people think.  When you travel whether you pull over at a gas station, find a corner of a busy airport, or head to the back of the plane to stretch, people are going to see you doing something most people don’t do.  I always tell myself that I’m going to feel better than all the folks just sitting there.  That’s how I get over it.  

·        Get Up When You Can: 

In a car make regular pit stops.  While out of the car walk around a bit or do some gentle stretches.  You can use the curb of a sidewalk to stretch your calves.  In a plane, hydrate, then get up to get some relief.  Use the restroom and do a hip flexor stretch while you are waiting in line.  Pace the aisles a couple times before sitting back down. 

·        No Move is too Small: 

In places where getting up isn’t an option or perhaps the seatbelt sign is lit for your entire inflight experience, you can still sneak in some small moves.  You can roll the shoulders, do shoulder raises, point and flex the feet, do a pelvic tilt, or focus on some deep breathing.  And that is just the tip of the small movement iceberg. 

·        Take A Walk: 

While waiting for a flight, take a stroll through the airport.  At rest stops park far away from the building.  Pace the train platform before it arrives.  Best of all, when you arrive at your final destination a stroll around the area is a great way to start to figure out the lay of the land and see the sights.  Ask at your hotel for a great place to run or walk.   

·        Bring A Prop: 

Keep a flex band or a small ball like a racquet ball in your travel bag/carry on.  The ball can be used for foot or hand massages—that’s a double bonus (massage and movement mixed into one).  A flex band can enhance some gentle foot stretches and when you arrive at your hotel you can use it for a short workout that incorporates both strength and stretching moves.

·        Be Creative:

If something feels stiff, find a way to move it.  You don’t need an expert to tell you how to move.  Your body knows how to do that.  So explore any small move you can that doesn’t hurt.  If it feels good do it.  Wiggle a little.  Be a little squirmy.  Remember Tip #1 when that feels odd. 

Movement is the best tool for relieving pain.  It comes with no negative side effects.  Most of the time, seeing the world requires spending a lot of time on our feet, walking, starting and stopping.  We follow guides around at a pace we may not be used to.  The more movement you can sneak in the better you feel.  Moving helps us see more of the world! Where will your next plank be?

Keep Reading

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How Egypt made me feel safe traveling the world.  

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