I hate that holiday travel means sitting for hours at a time, which for me also means an aching lower back at the end of the day. What can I do to relieve this pain and help me enjoy traveling a bit more?
1. Get up and walk around every hour.
2. Stand at the back of the plane with your arms up in a W shape, as if you were holding dumbbells for a shoulder press. Move them up and down to get blood flowing. These are called "wall angels."
3. Every hour, do 10 heel raises and 10 leg curls (heel to butt).
4. Do a runner's stretch in the aisle. Start in a low lunge, with your back leg straight out behind you and your hands pressing into your front, bent knee. Be sure to not let your bent knee go over the tip of your toes. Hold for 10-15 seconds and change legs.
Luke Bongiorno, Physical Therapy Director of New York Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy.