Can you believe how fast this year has flown by? The holidays are drawing near, and for many of us, that means traveling. Traveling can be a huge pain in the neck – literally! Whether you’re driving a few hours to be with family, or flying across the country to spend the holidays with relatives, you may be spending the holidays very sore.
But not to worry, we’ve got you covered! The key to preventing those aches and pains is doing leg stretches before and during your travel day. We know when you’re trying to pack up and hit the road the last thing you’re going to want to do is squeeze in time to stretch. But trust us, you’ll thank us later!
If you’re doing any traveling this holiday season, give these 5 leg stretches a try!
Leg Stretches for Before Your Trip
Lie on your back, with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your left leg and cross it over your right leg, try to touch your knee to the ground. Do your best to keep both shoulders on the ground. Hold for 20 seconds. Return to the starting position, then do the same with your right leg. Alternate 3 times.
Heel to Butt
Standing straight up with arms at your sides, bend your left knee and lift your left ankle toward your butt, grab it with your left hand. Hold for 20 seconds. Take a step forward with your left foot and repeat on the right side. Alternate 5 times.
Standing Calf Stretch
Stand 2 feet away from a wall with your feet hip-width apart. Place both hands on the wall, and reach your left foot back in a lunging position. Keep your left leg straight and shift the weight to your left foot, you should feel a stretch in your calf. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the right leg.
Leg Stretches for During Your Trip
Ankle Over Knee
Place your left ankle over your right knee. Use your left arm to push down on your left knee. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Switch legs and repeat on the right leg.
This one may be difficult to do on a plane (thanks, limited legroom!), but you shouldn’t have a problem doing it in the terminal. While seated, start with both feet flat on the ground. With a flexed foot, raise your left leg until your knee is no longer bent and hold for 5 seconds. Switch legs. Alternate 5 times.
Those don’t seem so hard, right? We get sore when we travel because when we’re seated for long flights or car rides our muscles begin to shorten, which makes them feel tight. Plus, our blood doesn’t circulate as well when we’re seated for lengthy periods of time, which can cause pain too. These leg stretches will keep your muscles lengthened and help increase blood flow.
If you’re going to be doing any traveling in the next few months, remember these 5 leg stretches. Your body will thank you!
Remember, if you’re still sore after you get home from your travels, contact us at Contact Physical Therapy!