Melt that thighThe phone rings – your hotel wake up call. Stumbling through a pre-dawn daze, you lurch into clothes and toss toiletries into the carry-on. The suitcase swings into action and its knocking roll echoes down the hallway. The shuttle waits near the lobby and you’re off for an early flight.

It’s a reality for so many on workday flights where consciousness emerges on board. Wedged into the middle seat, you realize how stiff you feel. By then options to do anything about it are diminished but there’s a perfect space for stretching – the security line. You’re standing around waiting anyway and it’s too early to jump into email or calls.

Here’s a few stretches that will help you wake up and arrive feeling great:

1. The thigh melt – Hip and thigh muscles can tighten overnight and once you’re seated, there’s little space to work those major muscle groups.

  • Standing with a hand on a security line post for balance, bend one knee bringing your heel up towards your bottom.
  • Reach down and back with the opposite hand and grab your foot or at least you toes.
  • Hold and breathe. Enjoy melting the tension through your hamstrings and up into the hip crease.

2. Ankles and feet

  • Standing supported for balance, lift one foot up slightly and do small rotations with your foot, warming up your ankle.
  • Reverse the direction.
  •  Lift your toes up and then down.
  • Push the ball of your foot into the floor for a few seconds.
  •  Release. Breathe. Now repeat on the other side.

3. Rolling lunges – As you move forward in line, do a slight lunge with each step.

  • As you move through line, roll your suitcase forward.
  •  Lunge and then step up to your case.
  • As space allows, roll forward and lunge on the other side.

There’s more tips and stretches for whenever you take an early flight to come. Continue stretching in the boarding lounge and enjoy the gentle surge of relaxation and energy as your body wakes up, muscles open and your mind clears for the day ahead.

Happy travels!