Travel Exercises: 6 Pre-Flight Stretches to Do in Your Hotel Room to Help Prevent Blood Clots
Health magazine’s fitness expert, Lauren Williams, demonstrates the best pre-flight stretches you can do in any hotel room, like New York City’s AKA Sutton Place.
This story originally appeared on health.com.
You may love to travel, but it’s probably safe to say that sitting for hours on an airplane won’t be the highlight of your trip. Remaining seated in the same position for an extended period of time can lead to cramping, and puts you at risk for a blood clot called Deep Vein Thrombosis. But don’t worry: We consulted with our health and fitness experts about the best ways to prevent blood clots when you travel. Dr. Raj, Health’s medical editor, recommends getting up and walking every one to two hours; staying hydrated; and sitting with your feet flat on the floor, as opposed to crossing your legs. To help prepare your body for long-haul travel, our fitness expert Lauren Williams developed five pre-flight exercises you can do in any standard hotel room before you head to the airport. To prove it, we headed to AKA Sutton Place to try it out. Watch the video to learn exercises that focus on stretching your calves, hamstrings, and hips.
Don’t have time to watch? Read the full transcript:
One of the dangers of long-haul travel and sitting for long periods of time is the formation of blood clots. I spoke with Dr. Raj, Health’s medical editor, to come up with a series of exercises that you can do in your hotel room before your flight to help prevent blood clots.
We’re going to focus on your calves. It’s important when traveling and sitting for long periods of time to make sure you're stretching your calves to avoid getting blood clots.
Downdog Calf Stretch
Come down to the ground, and find your downward dog position. Hands are flat on the ground, butt is up towards the ceiling. From here, you're going to alternate, pressing both heels down towards the ground, keeping the legs nice and straight as you press through.
Start with your feet hip-width apart, then hinge forward, reaching for your toes. From there, walk your body into a plank. Once there, drop your hips down, and look up. Move back up, walking your hands back to your feet. Stand up and repeat.
Figure Four Stretch
Stand on one foot. Take your right ankle and cross it over your left knee. Sit down as low as you can go, and as you sit low, you're going to start to feel that stretch on the outside of that hip. Hold it for several seconds, and then stand up and switch legs to repeat.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. You can use something to balance. Raise up onto the balls of your feet. Squeeze everything from your toes all the way up to your butt, and then lower down heels to the ground. Repeat.
Hamstring Reach & Sweep
While standing on your right foot, take your left foot out in front. Flex that toe to the ceiling. Reach down, bending your right knee. Reach with your hands toward that foot, pass the toe until you feel a stretch. Then, come up tall, reset, and put your other foot forward.
Half Kneel Hip Stretch
Come down onto the ground, starting in a half kneel position. Start on your right knee up, left foot is flat on the ground. Bring your right hand down to the ground, and extend your leg squeezing your butt, so you can feel the stretch through the front of the hip. Then, lower that knee down. Repeat with the other leg.