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This post is a guest post courtesy of the fabulous, fit, and well-traveled Nanette Gray! Nanette first developed a passion for staying active on long trips particularly lengthy flight to Africa. Since leading aerobics in the aisles is generally frowned upon, she figured out ways to keep moving in her own seat. Later, when friends and family faced long flights, they asked Nanette, “What is your secret?”

From their requests, this list was born. When I read these suggestions to stay moving and stave off restlessness on long journeys, I immediately wanted to book the longest flight I could find to test them out! To those of you with long flights or road trips ahead, you’re welcome.

The usefulness of staying active on a trip isn’t limited to planes. Nanette also notes that some of the items on this list were inspired by a cross-Iowa bike ride where she averaged 75 miles a day for 7 days! (You go Nanette!) Unlike the other thousands of riders, Nanette didn’t have the usual aches and pains. She did these mini-exercises on the bike to prevent many of the complaints long distance riders suffer. Yay Nanette!!

DON’T SIT STILL – for Airplane and Auto Travel.

  1. Inhale deeply, exhale and push your back into seat. Repeat 5 times.


  1. Roll shoulders back, chest out and full. Roll 5 times back, 5 times frontward. Keep breathing deeply.


  1. Raise up on your toes, lower back onto your heels and lift your toes. Repeat 10 times. Breathe.


  1. Chest up, shoulders back. Now squeeze your butt, release. Repeat 10 times.


( you have now worked 4 different parts of your body)


  1. Stretch your arms out in front, do “tennis elbow” wrists.(fingers point to heaven, palms face out, and fingers point to the ground, palms face your body). Repeat 7 times. Now play the piano with your fingers.


  1. Clasp your hands, palm to palm, then push hard. Unclasp and pull apart. Repeat 7 times and breathe deeply.


  1. Reach around in front with one arm and pat yourself on the back. Stretch it. Repeat on other side. Do 5 on each side. Reach straight back, over and pat.


  1. Stretch foot out in front, toes pointing up – feel the calf stretch. Hold. Alternate legs, 7 on each side.


  1. Tighten your gut. Hold it. Release, inhale and exhale. Repeat 7 times.


  1. Twist your head to the side, look at your seat mate, then the other side. Repeat 5 times each side, then tilt head back and chin to chest. Repeat 5 times. Keep breathing!


  1. Now twist your body and arms side to side, like a dance. 10 times.


  1. If you can, reach straight up to the ceiling (sky). Reach and stretch high as the sky. Continue to breathe deeply.


13. Bounce your feet and legs as often as you can think of it.

Bounce    Bounce   Bounce.


I am so excited to try this on my next long trip! Thank you for sharing your awesome advice, Nanette!

About the Author

Hi! I'm Nic. Let's chat about remote work and ways to incorporate more travel into your life. Whether you're here to find an online job or need some tips for planning your next trip, I've got you covered! More about me

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