Have a Pain free Holiday

July 19, 2015

After recently leaving the Sunshine Coast for a family holiday I had to endure a few long flights in a row. I thought I would pass on a few tips for a healthy and pain free arrival so you can quickly get on with enjoying your holidays.

With long flights taking you across time zones it interferes with our internal clock so it is important to plan for your trip before you take off.  The best advice is to get in to a good sleeping habit a few days before you fly to ensure you are well rested.  On arrival ideally try to get your body clock in line with your new time zone. The most effective tips for this are to do some gentle exercise outside in the sunlight and getting to bed at the correct time for your new time zone.

Form a physiotherapy point of view it is also important that if you have spent a long time sitting while driving, flying or just waiting around you will have to move and stretch out certain muscle groups.

While sitting when you are travelling aim to move every hour  :

  1. shrugging your shoulders up and back and hold for 10 seconds, 3 times
  2.  turn your head each way 2 times.
  3. stretch your hands up above you head as high as possible 2 times.
  4. squeeze you buttocks muscles together for 5 seconds, 2 times
  5. bend and straighten your knees as possible in your chair 2 times
  6. pump your feet up and down 10 times
  7. walk at least once an hour for 2 minutes

Once you arrive at your destination some light exercise (walking is ideal) and prolonged stretches are essential to help lengthen out some muscle groups that have spent time in a shortened position while sitting for a long time.

There are many specific muscles you may want or need to stretch which may be specific to any injuries you may have but the following will be a great start.

Have a safe and happy holiday!


Calf stretches 3x30secs


Quadriceps stretches 3x 30 sec


Hamstring stretches 3×30 secs


Hip flexor stretches 3 x30 secs