Relax and exercise onboard – your body will thank you

Traveling on long-haul flights doesn’t have to mean that you will arrive at your destination feeling less than fresh. With a few simple relaxation and exercise techniques, you can make those flights much less physically taxing.

Calm yourself

There are plenty of meditation apps out there. Here are three that cover variations on inducing sleep, reducing anxiety and letting go of stress. 

  • 1. The meditation app Calm boasts 40 million downloads and says it is the number one app for sleep, meditation and relaxation. Expect calming voices (including actor Matthew Mc-Conaughey’s) guiding you through breathing exercises and lovely nature sounds to help you nod off to sleep.
  • 2. For those not keen on birds chirping and waterfalls falling as a backdrop to their meditation, try Headspace instead. It was launched by Andy Puddicombe, a British former circus artist who became a Buddhist monk. Take your pick from sessions that include letting go of stress, learning the basics of meditation and coping with cravings, throughout which Puddicombe’s voice will bring you to a place of deep relaxation. 
  • 3. If you’re feeling particularly millennial, there is a meditation app just for you. Happy not Perfect, founded by British TV personality Poppy Jamie, provides a daily ritual for a calmer mind. 

Inflight yoga

While you’re unlikely to downward dog-it in your seat, it is possible to get into a few simple poses that will help you relieve tension during the flight.

1. Drink more than plenty!
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other non-alcoholic beverages.

2. Get up and move!
Whether you have tried some yoga or not, It’s also important to get up and stretch at regular intervals during a long flight. 

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  • 1 . Exhale and relax your shoulders, while slowly rolling your neck to relieve stiffness. Repeat several times.
  • 2.  Relax your shoulders further by inhaling as you raise them towards the ears. Release on the exhale and repeat.
  • 3.  Stretch your palms together on the inhale. Exhale and lean to the right, then inhale back to center. Exhale and lean to the left. Repeat.
  • 4.  Put your hands on your thighs. Draw your chest forward and shoulders back on the inhale. Look up. Flex your spine and draw your shoulders forward on the exhale. Repeat several times.
  • 5. Straighten one leg and flex the foot while hugging the other leg to your chest. -Repeat with the other leg.
  • 6.  Put your left hand on your left knee. Lengthen your spine on the inhale. Twist to your left on the exhale, drawing the left shoulder back, and look over the left shoulder. Repeat on the right side.

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