While travel can be exciting and fun, it also is a break in our movement routine. Regardless of if you sit during the day, travel requires you to be seated for hours on end. Over the last Thanksgiving weekend I did a lot of walking… all the way from Philly to Los Angeles. That is, if you count walking on the airplane while flying from PHL to LAX.
Behold a sample Travel Day itinerary:
- Wake Sit (meditate/pray)
- Sit (Drive)
- Sit (Yummy goodbye brunch at Fitzpatrick’s Deli)
- Sit (Drive – errands)
- Sit (Drive 1+ hour to the PHL airport)
- Stand in Security Lines/small amt of walking
- Sit (Flight= 6 hours)
- 15 min deboard, walk to cab
- Sit (Cab home)
- Sit (assisted squat 🙂 while eating dinner)
- Sleep 10:30pm
With this amount of sitting looming before me, I questioned how to get in my daily dose of “Vitamin M” (M for Movement). So, during the flight back to Los Angeles I opted to spend as much time walking as possible.
Walking up & down the aisles warranted looks, and the Stewards/Stewardesses played “turn on the seatbelt” sign despite no turbulence, but my body and feet rewarded me! I daydream about walking barefoot while gathering berries while my man hunts…. But last I checked I still live in Los Angeles. While the upside is that it’s less likely I’ll be eaten by a bear in the near future, I have become quite unabashed about creating opportunities for movement. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get my movement in, and it requires the use of our featured body part: the feet.
In my last article, we discussed the extensor digitorum longus (big toe lifting muscle), today we move upwards to an unsung muscle called the peroneus longus.
While you read on, here is a more-TSA friendly stretch routine that can help you if you are going to be sitting for long periods of time in the near future (modify by sitting in a chair):
The peroneus longus and brevis are 2 muscles that help evert the foot as well as assist to plantar flex (imagine pressing down on your car’s gas pedal). They are located on the outer side (lateral side) of the fibula (bone in your lower leg) and they attach in your (drumroll please) foot! Fascinating! Want the details? These muscles which aid your gait and help form the foot arch insert into the 1st metatarsal and medial cuneiform.
These muscles are meant to be worked and utilized, but when we underuse them by sitting often and/or wearing heeled shoes, we miss out on exercising them in their full range of motion. I estimated that I walked about 1-2 hours and did about 1.5 hours of stretches/stability exercises all in the comfort of a flight home. That’s what I call closing the sedentary “gap”!
While I realize that mass mayhem might ensue if everyone spent the flight walking, there are modifications that are much more TSA friendly that can help prime your peroneal longus and brevis muscles for when you do get up & at ‘em. There is no quick fix or pill that supplements Vitamin M – we must move our DNA in as many ways as possible on a daily basis.
What are your favorite ways to stay moving while in transit? Let me know in the comments below!