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Many of us are looking forward to spending time with family during the holiday this week, but are dreading the long hours of travel to get to our destination. Riding in a car for hours or sitting in a cramped seat on an airplane can cause muscle tightness, pain, fatigue and less than festive moods. Here at Jacuzzi, we pride ourselves on helping people unwind and find balance and relaxation, whether through hydrotherapy, stretching or any other form of relief.
Here are some effective stretches for holiday travelers:
LEGS – There usually isn’t room to actually stretch out when you’re in flight or on the road, but you can increase the blood flow to your legs while seated. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, press against the outsides of your knees with your hands. At the same time, push your legs out against your hands for five seconds. The resistance revs up circulation in your lower extremities. Try the same move, with your hands inside your knees, pressing your legs inward to resist.
NECK – The neck and shoulders really feel the pain from sitting too long. You’ll get the benefits from this stretch instantly. First, sit up straight. Clasp your hands behind your head. Slowly, let your palms press your head toward your thighs, pointing chin to chest. Use your palms to gently stretch your head away from your shoulder until you feel a good stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds and slowly lift your head, unclasping your hands. Be careful not to go too far; it’s better to repeat the stretch, gently, a couple of times.
ARMS – You have more freedom to move in an automobile, but on a crowded flight, it can be tough to spread your wings and “fly.” A nice way to stretch your arms without taking up space: 1. Raise your right hand, then bend at the elbow until your hand is behind your back. From here, try lifting your elbow back and higher, keeping your shoulder blade sliding down your back. Repeat on the left side.
The trick to staying comfortable while traveling and arriving without wobbly legs and neck pain is allowing your body’s muscles to move and increase circulation throughout. Once you’ve safely arrived at your destination, take a walk and a stretch break to help you stay alert and prevent muscle stiffness. And of course, if you can – take a nice soak in a hot tub!