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Travel well: Smart moves on the road or in the air


Will you be hitting the highway for some summer excitement? Or catching a flight to places far and away? They say getting there can be half the fun. But it doesn't feel that way when you're cooped up in a car or airplane for long stretches.

Moving around while you're on the move may help you:

  • Keep your muscles limber.
  • Reduce travel stress.
  • Prevent blood clots.
  • Avoid jet lag.

So try these moves the next time you take to the skies or the open road.

Air travel tips

Before your flight or in the air, try these three ways to stay relaxed and well:

1. Explore the airport. During layovers, stroll around the terminals. Take in the artwork—or challenge yourself to walk every concourse before your next flight. And skip the moving walkways and escalators.

2. Do some in-flight stretches. Too much sitting can make your body feel tight—and increase the risk of blood clots. You can loosen up and keep your blood flowing with these exercises in your seat:

  • Ankle circles. Lift your feet off the floor, and turn your toes in circles—first in one direction, then the other.
  • Heel-toe raises. With your toes touching the floor, raise your heels up. Then lower your heels to the floor, and raise your toes. Repeat several times.
  • Knee stretches. With your hands behind one knee, gently pull the knee toward your chest. Repeat on the other side.
  • Shoulder rolls. With your arms at your side, roll your shoulders forward in wide circles. Switch directions.
  • Arm stretches. Raise each arm over your head for several seconds at a time.
  • Neck stretches. Tilt your head to one side, and hold for several seconds. Repeat on the other side.

3. Feel free to move about the cabin. During long flights, walk up and down the aisles now and then. Snag an aisle seat to make this easier.

Road trip tips

Stay comfy as you coast along with these healthy road trip habits:

1. Stop and stretch. Take regular breaks at roadside rest areas or other places where you can safely stretch and walk around.

2. Brake for stress relief. When driving makes you tense, pull over and try some deep breathing: Close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose. Then exhale through your mouth. Place your hand on your belly, and feel the gentle rise and fall as you breathe.

3. Ease eye fatigue. Before getting back on the road, try this move: Close your eyes and slowly move them up, down and to the sides a few times.

4. Enjoy the passenger perks. When someone else is driving, give your arms and legs a stretch with the in-flight exercises above. They work just as well on the road as in the air.

Find an Adventist Health facility

If you're exploring the West Coast or Hawaii, there may be an Adventist Health facility near you. Find a hospital or clinic while you're on the road.