Exercises to Maintain Your Fitness on a Flight

While flying first class is probably ideal for our muscles, many of us endure long flights in tight seats with barely any room for our legs. Sitting for long periods of time is not only uncomfortable but also unhealthy, so how do we maintain our fitness on a flight?

Long flights can often leave your muscles feeling tight and cramped, however, a little stretching can go a long way in loosening up those cramped muscles and increasing blood circulation.

It’s not just our legs that need stretching; our arms, necks, and shoulders need some stimulation as well. Fortunately, the whole plane is your exercise space and all you need to know is how to use the space for a workout opportunity.

Exercises to Do on a Flight

Engage in some healthy exercises and stretches to maintain your overall health and fitness while on a flight.

1. Ankle Circles


  • While sitting in your seat, lift your left leg a few inches off the floor and flex your toes.
  • Using your ankles, move them in a clockwise direction for 20 seconds and then in a counter-clockwise direction for 20 seconds.
  • Bring your left leg back down and repeat using your right leg for the same length of time.

2. In-Place Marching


  • Once you are able to stand and walk around the cabin, move over to stand next to your seat.
  • Bending the right knee, lift and bring the right knee as high as you can and bring it back down.
  • Repeat using the left knee.
  • Continue this exercise for at least 10 to 20 rounds.

3. Neck and Shoulder Roll


  • Starting with your shoulders, roll them upwards and downwards in soft circular motions.
  • Perform this exercise for at least 30 seconds.
  • Moving onto your neck, gently start to tilt to the left side and then the right side. Perform this exercise for at least 30 seconds.
  • Next, rotate your neck clockwise for 10 seconds and then counter-clockwise for 10 seconds.

4. Tri Lifts


  • Place your elbows and forearms on the handles of your seat. Your elbows should be pointed towards the back.
  • Slowly start to lift yourself off the seat and feel your triceps being put to work.
  • Lift up and immediately shift down, then lift up again.
  • Perform this exercise for at least 20 seconds.
  • Whether you keep your legs on the floor or try to lift them, you’re still going to get a good workout in.

5. Knee-to-Chest


  • Gently start to bend forward and clasp your hands around your shins or ankles to pull your knees towards your chest.
  • Pause and hold for about 10 to 15 seconds and lower back down.
  • Repeat this exercise for at least 30 seconds.

Tips to Consider

Here are a few tips to consider when you plan on embarking on a long journey.

  • Once the seatbelt sign is turned off, try to walk back and forth in the cabin to engage in a little activity.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that is breathable and will not constrict blood flow.
  • Eat light.
  • Drink lots of water before, during, and after the flight.
  • Try to walk around the terminal as much as you can to avoid sitting down for longer than you need to.
  • Keep your caffeine intake in check to avoid dehydration.
The content of this Website is for is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.


Braverman, J. (2017, October 05). Exercises to Stop Your Legs From Clotting on Airline Flights. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/315242-exercises-to-stop-your-legs-from-clotting-on-airline-flights/

Allan, P. (2015, April 16). Stay Loose on Long Flights with These Simple Plane Exercises. Retrieved from https://lifehacker.com/keep-loose-on-long-flights-with-these-simple-plane-exer-1698335114

Ogle, S. (2018, March 15). Seven Exercises to Do From Your Airplane Seat. Retrieved from https://www.locationrebel.com/airplane-excercises/