This Is the Workout a Pro Trainer Says to Do When You Get Off a Plane to Help Boost Your Immune System

Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

The holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year, but they're also the point where you're most likely to get out of your regular fitness and eating routines. (Been there.) Something that can help ensure you enjoy all the fun and still show up on January 2 recharged and ready to kick ass in 2018, however, is a pre-tox workout and nutrition plan.  

In a new four-part series for Well+Good, Tier X Coach at Equinox and fitness model Julie Wandzilak will be sharing intel on foods to eat and moves to master in order to strengthen your immunity, get better sleep, boost your metabolism, and tone your total body. 

The not-so-secret plight of wanderlusters everywhere is the bed of bacteria hiding on the surfaces of airplanes. (Unsurprisingly, the bathrooms are the worst.) So when you step off the runway and check into your hotel, it's not a bad idea to: one, wash your hands; and two, squeeze in a restorative workout.

But more on that later because Wandzilak's pro-travel advice kicks off well before you take off your shoes and go through security. "Some tips that have kept me out of the doctor's office while traveling start with the simple, daily task of taking vitamins," she explains. Probiotics, vitamin C, and vitamin D are her go-tos for prepping her immune system.

"This regenerative workout is focused on mobility to keep your breathing regulated and muscles loose and supple after long days of travel."

Next up, hydration. Wandzilak makes sure to sip her H2O before, during, and after the flight. "Whether you're traveling in a car, plane, or train, having your body in a fixed position for an extended period of time will cause a decrease in blood flood and circulation throughout the body," she explains. Keeping your favorite, uber-hydrating beverage on hand will ensure that you make frequent trips to the bathroom (and thus, stretch those legs).

Vitamins, check. Hydration, check. Now all you need is a refreshing bout of movement. "This regenerative workout is focused on mobility to keep your breathing regulated and muscles loose and supple after long days of travel," she says. For it, you'll need a foam roller (like this carry-on friendly one) and a few other items you can find in any hotel room such as a towel.

Keep scrolling for Wandzilak's restorative, post-travel routine.


1. Foam rolling T spine

Grab a foam roller and lie down on your back. Bend your knees so they're right on top of your feet and hip-width apart. Slide the foam roller underneath your shoulder girdle and bring your hands so they're clasped gently behind your head. Lift your butt off the ground, placing your weight on your feet and the foam roller. Slide backward and forwards on the foam roller. Repeat for up to three minutes.

2. Belly breathing

Lie down on your back. Bend your knees and place either one hand or a block on your belly. On the inhale, focus on inflating your belly as much as you can. Exhale and push all of the air out until you navel lands close to your spine. Repeat 10 times.

3. Hip opener

Place the foam roller within arms reach. Come into a low lunge on the floor with your right foot forward. Make sure your knee is on top of your ankle. Next, walk your right foot out about 12 inches to the right. Turn your right toes out to a 45-degree angle. Hold the foam roller in front of your chest, gripping each side with one hand. Lean into your right hip while simultaneously bringing the roller overhead. Then return your pelvis to neutral, bringing the foam roller back in front of your chest. Repeat 20 times on each side.

4. Shoulder opener

Begin standing up with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Find a towel (or a belt!) and grab each end with one hand. Stretch your arms out so there's about a foot between your hip and your hand on both sides. Bring your arms overhead, stretching out the shoulders. Make sure to keep rolling your biceps towards your face. Return the strap to neutral position. Repeat 15 to 20 times.

Should you need even more post-flight R&R, check out these travel-friendly bath accessories and the one crystal you should *always* pack in your suitcase to banish bad vibes.  


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