How to Recover After a Long Flight

Holiday season means traveling.  Winter traveling is made more complicated by fickle weather. 

As many people return home from their vacations and must endure long flights in cramped seats, and long lines at airports, their bodies require extra care to recover and prevent chronic tension from settling in.  

Here are a few suggestions to counter the harmful effects of long travel. 


The re-circulated air in airplanes is notorious for being drying to the body. All of our organs and systems function most optimally when we are hydrated.

Start drinking water before you board your flight, sip more water during the flight, and pull that water bottle out again once you land. You can mix in other fluids like teas, Vitamin C emergency, and other electrolyte drinks if you’re getting bored of water. And don’t forget that fruits and vegetables contain water, so snack on some oranges, grapes, snap peas, celery sticks, cucumbers, or an apple during your flight.

Fire up Your Core.

Before boarding, do something to work your core muscles. Keep it simple: a single-leg standing hold, some gentle squats, or even standing in proper posture while bracing your core. After you land try to do something similar while you wait to pick up your luggage.

Stretch it out.

If your seat mates are amenable to you entering and exiting your row a few times, you can grab some standing stretch breaks in the aisle.

It doesn’t technically matter which stretches or movements you do, as long as you do SOMETHING! Stretch your arms overhead, do a few small lunges to reverse the seated flexion position, loosen your spine with standing twists.

Move it, lymph!

Ever wonder why people wear compression socks or stockings on planes? One reason is that they can assist with returning excess fluid out of the lower legs and back towards the heart. If you aren’t going to wear compression socks, at least elevate your legs against a wall or a stack of pillows when you arrive at your destination. Gravity is helpful to move lymph.

Epsom Salt Soak or Otherwise Immerse in Water.

A long hot bath is especially restoring in the winter, when our neck and shoulder muscles tend to travel upward as if to hide our head inside the turtle shell of our shoulders. A twenty minute soak in hot water could provide long-lasting benefits. Adding epsom salts introduces much-needed minerals to your muscles to help them recover.

Get a Massage

Of course, a massage is beneficial before and especially after traveling. As we always say, "Massage is a mini-vacation from your every-day reality." 

Schedule Your Massage: 617-340-9870