Traveling by plane for several hours is a physical test for most mortals. Forced postures due to limited space, spending a lot of time in the seat or simply cold conditions due to air conditioning cause problems such as cramps, numbness or loads on muscles and joints. At the same time, we must add the stress of the trip that some people suppose to prepare the luggage or the bureaucratic procedures of the customs and the consequent fatigue due to not resting well, due to the change in hourly habits or due to the night journeys that alter the cycles. of the dream
All this limits the reactivation for those who want to return soon to the gym, run or any physical activity in the destination. It is usually recommended to wait at least 12 hours before vigorous activity. In any case, nobody wants to start their vacation or work trip with an injury, so it is best to follow a couple of guidelines to return to sport in a safe and appropriate way.
To return to activity, it would be a good idea to follow the advice of María Gil, a physiotherapist for the women’s soccer team. The specialist has explained in the official account of the team a specific example with Xana Gil, a player who had traveled 11 hours by plane and her desire to train or play an official match as soon as possible.
The first instruction has to do with the type of exercise. In this case, eccentric movements are recommended because they reduce the risk of injury that can occur with muscles stiffened by a long flight. María Gil summons the soccer player to pedal on a stationary bicycle for 20 minutes at a lively pace because this will force the body to remember the usual rhythms while preventing any physical disorder and detecting possible discomfort caused by the conditions of the trip. In addition, reactivating the circulation will have positive effects for the entire body after so much static time.
Keep in mind that in this example it is a soccer player, for whom it is essential to concentrate on certain areas that are essential for her work. “In our case, we consider that it is important to activate the lower level and to oxygenate the legs,” explains María Gil about her priorities after the long plane trip.
Stretches and movements in the flight and after
The second step is the one that specialists always repeat: stretching and mobility movements. In fact, these steps can be carried out during air travel, when it is recommended to frequently turn the ankles and wrists to reactivate sensitivity, as well as the neck (with great caution and without forcing movements upwards) and drink a glass of water every hour to avoid dehydration.
It is also advisable on long flights to get up once an hour and move for five minutes, opening and closing your arms. This will help to reactivate the body later with specific exercises in the gym or before going back to playing sports with the usual positions to loosen muscles and joint mobility.
Thanks to these simple steps (20 minutes of cycling, mobility exercises and stretching), the physiotherapist makes Xana Gil available to train with the Spanish under-20 women’s football team at a good level in less than 48 hours after a long flight. It is a good reference for amateurs of various levels who want to quickly recover and maintain their physical activity when they travel and who obviously want to prevent physical problems.