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Home / The Serasox Blog / The Importance of Stretching and Exercising While Traveling
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The Importance of Stretching and Exercising While Traveling

Traveling is something we all do or wish we could do more of! Oftentimes we only think about our destination and the logistics or activities surrounding our trip. Seldom are we made aware that the actual act of traveling alone, whether sitting on a long flight or for a long road trip, can pose significant health risks if we do not take the proper precautions. Prolonged sitting increases the likelihood of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition associated with blood clot formation, especially in the legs. This reduced blood circulation can contribute to muscle stiffness, and joint pain, and in serious cases can lead to hospitalization or even death.

On the mental front, extended periods of inactivity lead to mental fatigue and discomfort. The lack of movement can result in restlessness, irritability, and decreased mental alertness. Sedentary behavior contributes to a sense of lethargy, hindering the ability to fully engage with and appreciate the travel experience.

Therefore, exercising while traveling is crucial to maintaining physical and mental health. Stretching has been shown to have a direct impact on reducing the probability of things like DVT from occurring, as well as improving our mental well-being. Remaining sedentary during travel heightens stress levels, anxiety, and a general sense of dissatisfaction. Incorporating even minimal movement releases endorphins, promoting a positive outlook and enhancing the overall travel experience.

If you want to reduce your chances of physical ailments that stem from prolonged sitting, read on

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling - STRETCH!

Stretching is probably the best and most convenient activity you can do on any form of transportation or during any mode of travel (provided you are not driving!). Exercising while traveling in the form of stretching is something we can easily do from either a seated or standing position, and there is a seemingly never-ending list of stretches we can do that elongate different parts of our body. Lucky for you, we have compiled what we think is the best list of stretches you can do while you travel! Man doing a leg stretch over the fence with the city in the background

Seated Forward Fold:

    • Sit with your legs extended straight in front of you.
    • Hinge at your hips and reach forward toward your toes.
    • Keep your back straight and feel the stretch along your hamstrings and lower back.
    • Repeat on the other side.

Standing Quadriceps Stretch:

    • This form of exercising while traveling assumes bringing your right heel towards your buttocks and holding your ankle with your right hand.
    • Keep your knees close together and ensure your standing leg is slightly bent.
    • Feel the stretch in the front of your thigh (quadriceps).
    • Repeat on the other side.

Calf Stretch:

    • Still wondering how to stay healthy while traveling? Stand facing a wall with your hands pressed against it.
    • Step your right foot back, keeping it straight, and bend your left knee.
    • Feel the stretch in your right calf.
    • Repeat with the left foot back to stretch the left calf.

Seated Spinal Twist:

    • If you’re exercising while traveling and sitting, put your legs extended in front of you.
    • Cross your right leg over your left, placing your right foot on the floor.
    • Twist your torso to the right, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee.
    • Feel the stretch along your spine and through your hips.
    • Repeat on the other side.

Downward Dog to Forward Lunge:

    • Start in a plank position.
    • Lift your hips into a downward dog position.
    • Step your right foot forward into a lunge, feeling a stretch in your hamstrings and hips.
    • Hold for a moment, then switch legs.

Lateral Side Stretch with Arm Reach:

    • Sometimes, exercising while standing means standing with your feet hip-width apart.
    • Extend your arms overhead and clasp your hands.
    • Lean gently to one side, feeling a stretch along the side of your torso.
    • Repeat on the other side.

    World’s Greatest Stretch (this requires some space in front of you)

    The World's Greatest Stretch, often hailed for its comprehensive nature, engages multiple muscle groups and promotes flexibility. Still wondering how to stay healthy while traveling, perform this stretch:

    1. Starting Position:

    • Begin in a plank position with your arms straight and shoulders stacked over your wrists.
    • Engage your core to maintain a straight line from head to heels.

    2. Step Forward into a Lunge:

    • If you’re exercising while traveling, bring your right foot forward to the outside of your right hand.
    • Ensure your knee is directly above your ankle.

    3. Rotate and Reach:

    • Rotate your torso to the right, extending your right arm towards the ceiling.
    • Feel the stretch in your chest and thoracic spine.

    4. Hip Flexor Stretch:

    • Drop your back knee to the ground, lowering your hips toward the floor.
    • Feel the stretch in the left hip flexor.

    5. Hamstring Stretch:

    • Straighten your right leg while keeping your toes pointed upward.
    • Hinge at your hips, reaching toward your toes to stretch the hamstring.

    6. Return to Lunge and Plank:

    • When exercising while traveling, return to the lunge position, then step your right foot back to plank.
    • Repeat on the other side, stepping the left foot forward.