Traveling for destination races and training camps is the best because you often get to do your favorite activity in a beautiful location and the reward of exploring, shopping, and eating in a new place awaits when you’re done.
The tricky part is getting there. A long flight can leave you feeling stiff and less than ready to hit the road running, or in my case, rolling.
In preparation for this year’s annual Luna Chix Summit—where pro members of the all-women Luna Chix teams gather from across the country to train, hone in key skills, and just hang out with each other and some media folks like me—in Berkeley, California., this weekend (April 5 to 7), I asked Dori Goldstein, a Gyrotonic instructor at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, to help me combat flight fatigue. She shared five easy exercises to keep my spine flexible during my six-hour plane ride.
“Performing all of these exercises for just five minutes every hour will ensure that you are refreshed and revitalized when you land,” Goldstein says. “Your body is like a battery—it needs to be charged too!”
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You don’t need to be at 30,000 feet to try these moves. Do ‘em in your car (at a red light or in the parking lot, of course!), on the train or bus, in your office, or at home. And if anyone looks at you funny—because these exercises might look kinda awkward in public—take comfort in the fact that you’re doing something healthy and positive for yourself. Forget those nosy negative Nellies who are only gonna wish that they had your smooth moves.
1. Spinal Circles: While standing or sitting, place your hands on your hips and move only your torso in a big, full circle (try to keep your hips still). Make 5 circles, then reverse direction. This will work out the kinks from your hips to your neck.
2. Arch and Curl: While in a seated position, arch your back forward, then curl your belly button inward toward the spine. Do this 5 times to open your spine and heart center. Bonus: This move sneaks in a mini abs workout.
3. Twist: While seated, keep your legs glued together. Take your left arm down your outer right calf. Use your back of the hand to push your leg, and reach your right arm high to the ceiling as you twist to the right. Aim to do this 5 times on each side. This move, which lets you ring out your spine like a wet towel, cleans your colon and detoxifies your internal organs.
4. Hip Opener: While seated, place one leg on top of the other, creating the number 4 (it helps to be in the aisle seat for this one so that you can kick out into the walkway). Slowly bend forward over your legs to give your hips a soothing stretch.
5. Hanging: Stand up (perhaps by the bathroom area where there's more space) and fold over at the waist, reaching toward your toes. Breathe into the posture to detoxify your kidneys and release your hips and lower back. Do this 3 times.
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