Experts explain how to make your flight more comfortable

I like flying. However, I don't like how my entire body gets so congested and sore after even a short flight, and frankly I can't imagine what kind of superhuman strength someone must possess to endure a long flight. But for those of us who don't have the stamina, there are a few tips for minimizing the general discomfort of plane travel, which start with learning how to sit comfortably on a plane to help ease discomfort during and after the flight. - Uncomfortable flying.

"Staying in the same position makes you more likely to experience stiffness in your muscles and joints, and sometimes even pain when you eventually change positions," Amanda Bricker, a physical therapist at Professional Physical Therapy, tells Bustle. This is "very" relevant for anyone who's been stuck on a long-haul flight and managed to fall asleep - while it's nice that you can get some sleep, you know your whole body will be on pins and needles once you wake up. Not very pleasant.

The thing about airplanes, however, is that there really isn't a lot of room to move around, so you have to make use of what space you have. Brick's advice for sitting comfortably on a plane is actually pretty simple. "Make sure you're sitting as far back in the chair as possible so there's no space between your hips and the back of the chair." Once you're comfortably seated on the back of the seat, you should roll up a sweatshirt or blanket (available from some airlines), then "lean forward slightly and place it at the beginning of your lower back," says Brick. She adds that laying out a blanket/sweatshirt will help you maintain your best posture throughout the flight.

But even if you maintain good posture, being in a small space for three or four hours, or (you guys be strong) more than twelve hours, is going to cause discomfort no matter what. Bricker says you should try not to stay in your seat for the entire flight. Instead, you should stand up and stretch every once in a while, doing stretches that include "simply moving into the opposite position from where the joint is resting."

Brick recommends, "Stand up for a minute every once in a while to stretch your knees, hips, and back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together five times for five seconds to help your shoulders and neck." Finally, "elbow extensions" Lift your heels up and down ten times in front of you. " She also says that you can use a massage ball (or a lacrosse ball if necessary) when traveling to relieve in-flight jitters. To use it, simply "place the ball on the area that feels tight and use it like a foam roller."

You may not be paying attention to your posture during the flight, or may not be getting up and stretching, which may have adverse effects. Staying in the same position "makes you more susceptible to stiffness in your muscles and joints, and sometimes pain when you eventually change positions," Brick says.

She added that if you have blood clotting problems, not getting enough movement during the flight may put you at risk for deep vein thrombosis. But in general, you're only at risk for deep vein thrombosis if you have a medical condition that affects your blood's ability to clot, or if you're inactive for an "extremely" long time, according to the Mayo Clinic. situations” such as after surgery or an accident, or when you are bedridden. "

Despite your best intentions, it's entirely possible to forget to stretch or fall asleep at an odd angle because you're buried in a good book. In these cases, you will have to do some post-flight work. If you're nervous after a flight, Brick says you can use ice or heat to relieve symptoms. "Ice the affected area for 10-15 minutes to relieve pain, and heat for 10-15 minutes to reduce muscle tension," she explains. If you're feeling nauseous, give yourself a massage -- always a good thing if you're on vacation, Brick says.

Since airlines always seem to be looking for new ways to reduce legroom and seat space on flights, those of us who fly economy class have to make sure we're doing everything we can to help keep us as healthy and happy as possible. Thankfully, these solutions are fairly low-tech, and while they won't make hours-long flights any less boring, they will help us stay active in the air and on the ground.