If you’ve ever traveled before, you know how tiring and tightening it can be. Sitting on a plane, train, or bus, without much room to move can leave you feeling sore and stiff. We all love to travel but want to feel our best while doing it. These stretches are some simple, yet effective ways to alleviate the tightness and keep you in the best form for all of your travels!
When we sit or walk for a long time our spine slowly compresses and can cause inflammation and pain/discomfort. This stretch is great for getting spinal fluid back into your spine and stretching back out after a long flight or ride.
To do this stretch, sit with legs uncrossed, back straight and looking straight ahead of you, in a neutral position. This will get your spine into alignment before beginning to twist. Breathe in deep and as you exhale twist to one side. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Similar to the rest of the spine, the neck part of the spine compresses and tightens with excessive walking, working and sitting. This stretch allows us to loosen the muscles surrounding our cervical spine (neck) to help relieve tension and pain.
Sit or stand straight up. Take one hand up and over your head to gently rest on the opposite side of the head, just above the ear. Very gently pull towards one side. You can also pull slightly forward to stretch the back of the neck. Repeat on the other side.
Walking a lot, especially uphill, causes your hamstrings to tighten significantly. This stretch allows us to get the blood flowing back through the muscle properly and keep everything in alignment.
This stretch can be done sitting or standing. Starting in a seated position, sit with legs uncrossed, back straight and looking straight forward. Extend one leg out in front of you so that the heel is gently resting on the ground. While keeping the back straight, lean forward until you are able to feel the stretch. From a standing position, start standing straight up. Raise one leg and place the heel on a sturdy elevated surface. Keep leg and back straight as you bend forward to feel the stretch. This stretch can also be done by keeping both feet planted on the ground and slowly bending forward while keeping back and legs straight.
Deep Glute Stretch
This stretch will help keep your muscles from getting overworked and over tight, allowing your hips and spine to remain in alignment.
Start sitting in the neutral position. Raise one leg and rest that foot on top of the opposite leg, in a figure 4. Once in this position, while keeping your back straight, lean forward slowly to fold over your leg. You can also place one hand on the folded leg and gently push down.
When your quads are overly tight, it pulls everything else out of alignment. This includes your back, hips and knees and can cause significant pain throughout the lower body. Stretching your quads regularly, especially before/after a lot of walking or exercise will help keep your quads in their best flexibility.
Start standing up in a neutral position, near a wall or sturdy support. Reach back and grab the foot on the same side. While staying upright and hips neutral, gently pull on your foot, to feel the stretch through the front of your leg.
As we walk around and depending on the shoes we wear, our calves and heels get extremely tight. This can affect the way we stand and how we walk. Doing this stretch will help keep the muscles loose and everything in alignment.
Start standing up on stairs or near a wall. Starting by a wall, you will want to face the wall and place your toes a few inches up the wall while keeping your heels on the ground. Lean forward into the wall to feel the stretch. On the stairs, you will want to start on the edge near a wall or railing to help keep your balance, facing up the staircase. Stand so just your toes and ball of your feet are on the edge of the stairs. Lower your heels down to feel the stretch. This can also be done one foot at a time.