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Hack your travel experience by treating flights like a rejuvenating workout


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Photo: Stocksy/Mosuno

Few situations test your body more than sitting in a tiny seat (hopefully not the middle!) on an airplane for hours on end. People have gotten super creative in order to make the situation more comfortable, whether that means packing a tennis ball to promote better circulation, snagging an aisle seat so you can easily stretch your legs, or drinking all the water to stay hydrated. And all of these hacks call to mind different components of popular exercise methods.

And some fitness experts are totally into that connection: At Marriott’s Innovation Days Summit, Chris Frankel, head of human performance at TRX, said his approach to traveling is to think of the experience as a workout.

“If you ever see me in the airport, I’m doing weird couch stretches on the chairs…and then as soon as I hit the hotel room, another 5 or 10 minutes [of that].”—Chris Frankel, TRX head of HR

“I treat travel actually like a little athletic event because where else do you have to go sit in a steel tub for an hour and a half, or four hours, and usually never get the armrest?” Frankel said. “If you ever see me in the airport, I’m doing weird couch stretches on the chairs…and then as soon as I hit the hotel room, another 5 or 10 minutes [of that].”

So, whether you’re getting ready for a 16-hour direct flight (a thing I have done) or a quick hour-long domestic jet, think of your gate as the warm-up station, the flight like a sprint or a marathon, and your tennis ball as a foam roller for recovery. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!

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