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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

10 Easy Travel Fitness Tips

Dec 02, 2019 02:48PM ● By Simone Berzen Levy

Going somewhere for the holidays? 10 anytime, anywhere movements to ease the stress of holiday travel.

There are plenty of stressors involved in holiday travel. No matter the mode of transport, restricted legroom and sitting for extended periods of time can result in stiffness and discomfort in the lower back, knees, hips and feet. Unnatural sleep positions can cause you to wake up with soreness and stiffness, which can cause headaches. Moreover, all of this can affect your mood. And who wants to be cranky during the holidays?

Employing the following anytime/anywhere functional movements can help ease the stress in your body and mind so that when you get to your destination you’re ready to go. Remember these two golden rules: change positions often, and motion is lotion for our bodies.

To offset stiffness, soreness, imbalance, anxiety (and even boredom) that can come with travel, try these 10 functional movements:

1.  Focus on your posture.

Roll your shoulders back and keep your head upright. Keep your chin slightly tucked in towards the chest. Continue with shoulder rolls: rolling them forward 10 times and back 10 times.

2.  Engage “mountain pose” when sitting and standing.

Rest your feet on the ground together with the body tall, strong and vertically upright. Pull the top of your head toward the ceiling while your straight fingers point down towards the ground. Just two minutes in this position lowers cortisol levels and increases testosterone levels, making us feel stronger and more powerful. It also improves balance and stability.

3.  If possible, rise up to standing from a seated position and return to sitting.

Repeat this sit-to-stand activity 10 times each hour.

4.  Interrupt your sitting every 30 minutes.

Find a rest stop and walk around for 5 minutes. If you’re on a train or plane, stroll the aisle as appropriate.

5.  Run” in your seat.

Alternate lifting your knees to replicate running for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

6.  Massage your jaw muscles on both sides of the face in front of the ears.

Keeping your lips slightly apart, use two fingers to massage your jaw muscles in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. Yawn, or take a deep breath in and then sigh out. This will increase circulation and reduce muscle stiffness.

7.  Gently turn your head from right to left five times.

Then tuck your chin to your chest and slowly raise your head back to the neutral position. Repeat.

8. Straighten your legs as much as possible, raising your feet off the floor.

Circle your ankles, pointing and flexing the feet. Repeat 10 times on each side.

9.  While seated with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, raise and lower your heels 10 times.

You could repeat this activity by standing up while holding the back of your chair.

10. Place your hand on your tummy, breath in deeply and slowly for a count of four and breathe out slowly for a count of five.

Repeat five times. This will slow down your breathing and heart rate and induce rest and relaxation.

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