On Vacation: Stress-Relief Stretches

By Nicole Dorsey Straff / September 12, 2011

When you’re on vacation, it’s finally time to sit back, unwind, and relax…but what if you can’t?  Trainer Jessica Poplawski of BodyScapes Fitness in Southborough, Massachusetts, recommends her muscle-soothing stretches to ease tension and allow your body (and mind) to relax.

In the airport and on the plane:

Neck Stretch: Sit or stand with shoulders rolled back and your back straight. Look forward and drop the right ear to touch the right shoulder but keep looking forward. Push your other shoulder down while reaching down with left hand. Hold for three breaths; slowly switch ideas.

Arm Stretch and Upper Back: Sit or stand and stretch both arms overhead (palms face each other). Drop right hand in between shoulder blades (as if you’re patting yourself on the back), and use left hand to gently push right elbow down toward the middle of your back. Hold for three breaths; switch sides.

In your hotel room and by the pool:

Lower Back and Hips: Lie back and bring both knees in toward the chest with your hands. Make large, slow circles (using both knees) three times to the right, then reverse.

Tummy and Torso: Lie stomach-down with legs outstretched behind you and place hands under your top ribs. Gently push off of your arms with elbows bent. Push the chest slowly away from the floor inch-by-inch and breathing deeply at the top. Keep chin tucked down toward chest and breathe. Slowly reverse back to the floor and repeat as needed.

Nicole Dorsey Straff

Nicole Dorsey Straff

Nicole Dorsey, M.S. is a travel and wellness expert who earned a Master’s Degree in the health sciences while writing and editing for industry giants, such as The New York Times, Fitness Magazine and Aol.com. Her true passion is adventure travel and her spa reporting has taken her all over the world.
Nicole Dorsey Straff

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