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In-flight exercise advice by Eastbourne chiropractor

Exercises on the plane are incredibly important. We’ve all heard of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and this can be prevented with some simple exercises, I also tend to advise compression socks for a long flight also. There are a few exercises that I tend to do when I travel and I have summarised them here. Some are easier than others and I have separated them into sitting and standing exercises.

Seated in-flight exercises

Seated exercises are easy exercises that you can do to help to prevent things from stiffening up too much and keep the blood flowing. These are also easy to do without other people noticing you and easy to do in a confined space. Lots of people don’t like to do exercises obviously in the aisle as it can seem a bit embarrassing. I personally will do mine anywhere but some people don’t like to do this. These are designed to get lots of different joints moving and blood flowing. These are also targeted at different parts of the body.

Image shows couple doing in-flight exercises by rotating their ankles in each direction

Ankle circles – lift your feet off the ground and rotate ankles in both directions

Foot pumps – have your feet flat on the floor, lift the toes up as high as you can keeping your heels on the ground, then lower the toes back down and raise the heels off the ground keep the balls of your feet on the floor. Repeat 10 times.

Seated march – keeping your knees bent lift your feet off the ground alternating between sides as if you are marching while seated. Do this for around 30 seconds.

Neck movements – turn your head side to side ten times, then up and down ten times and then ear to shoulder 10 times.

Knee to chest – lift your knee into your chest as high as you can five times each side.

Shoulder rolls – roll your shoulders forwards ten times and then backwards ten times.

The picture demonstrates a man seated pulling his knee up to his chest to accompany the blog on in-flight exercises

Knee to chest exercise

Standing in-flight exercises


The picture demonstrates a man with his hands in the small of his back and arching backwards and keeping his legs straight

Extends – as we tend to sit in a slouched position I find this one really important and it’s one I do every time I get up from my seat. Standing up tall place your hands in your lower back and arch backwards, hold for a couple of seconds and repeat ten times.

Side bends – stand up tall and place your hands by your sides, slide one hand down the side of your leg making sure you don’t let your body bend forwards, then do the same to the opposite side and repeat ten times.

Lunges – with sitting so long our glute muscles (the ones in our buttocks) go to sleep. I find that lunges are a good way to switch these muscles back on.

Squats – also a good exercise to get the glutes switched back on. The key thing with a good squat is that your weight goes through your heels.

Calf stretches – when I travel my calves always get tight so I find stretches invaluable. Calf stretches are a great one to do in general but on a plane very useful. I tend to do these when I am waiting for the toilet, as there is always a queue.

These standing exercises are really good and I always do these if there is a stopover on my flight also. Another good thing to do if you have a stopover is make sure that you take the stairs instead of the escalator. It can be tempting to take the escalator as we are often very tired but as we haven’t been moving the stairs are the option that you should take. A foot massage is also a very good thing to do on a stopover or after a long flight in general. When we flew to Thailand we got a foot massage not long after and it was amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

These exercises are very useful and doing these on your flight will help to prevent DVT as well as keep the muscles and joints moving and working.

Yours in health

Mykel Mason your Eastbourne chiropractor

Chiropractic Advice on how to Choose an Exercise Class or Gym in Eastbourne

If you’re looking for an exercise class or gym in Eastbourne, then here’s some key ideas to remember.

Chiropractors Recommend Keeping Active

I often recommend activity and exercise to help people recover from back pain. Whether that’s rehabilitation exercises or joining a gym it’s important to keep mobile.

However, when you are recovering from back pain, it’s important to make sensible, informed and achievable decisions about how you move and exercise. An excellent reason for going to a gym class is that the variety of different activities can be in a social setting but you can still be in control of what you can manage to do.

I’ve found that people here at Lushington Chiropractic often get better results when they combine their Chiropractic treatment with exercise and self-help advice. However, it can be difficult to know what type of exercise or class is best for you.

In certain competitive sports, like football or tennis where you have to move suddenly to get the ball it’s virtually impossible to stay in control of what you’re doing.

For people returning to activity after an injury I usually recommend home rehab, walking, gentle jogs, an exercise class or joining one of the many gyms in Eastbourne. I want you to choose a form of exercise that’s right for you, so you can stay in control.

Exercises classes and gyms can be particularly popular if you like listening and moving to music. They’re also social, fun and uplifting and the class instructor and fellow classmates can all help with motivation.

There’s Plenty of Choice in Eastbourne

Go and watch a class before you do it so that you know what is involved. Once you have decided to go to your first class, go a little earlier and have a word with the class instructor. Tell them that you are recovering from back pain and that you may have to do parts of the class a little differently or rest for a while. his gives the instructor opportunity to give “low impact” options during the class.

If you see me or one of my colleagues for your chiropractic care I’ll be more than happy to advise on classes and gyms in Eastbourne.

Chiropractors always recommend you Listen to Your Body

When you’ve found the class or gym in Eastbourne that suits you start off steadily. Don’t push yourself too hard too soon. Pain is not gain! Listen to your body, and don’t over do it.

You can still join in by doing fewer repetitions of the movement or moving slower. Using a lower weight or stopping the class or warming down earlier are also options. Every personal trainer or gym instructor will want to know if you’re struggling and will reduce the intensity of the exercise if needed.

Don’t get Competitive

I enjoy playing Touch Rugby here in Eastbourne. It’s much safer for me as a chiropractor than contact rugby, but my Eastbourne team members and I still get competitive!

Remember once you’ve chosen an exercise class or gym, you don’t need to be the fastest or the strongest. Exercise is about taking part, and keeping the habit going.

There will always be someone who can run faster or is older but quicker than me but “run your own race”.

Lots of Gyms and Exercise Classes Available in Eastbourne

Here in Eastbourne there are many exercise classes and gym options that are on offer.

Back friendly options include;

  • Aqua fit – moving to music in a pool
  • Tai chi – a gentle martial art, slow movements and good for balance and breathing
  • Zumba – sort of line dance with Latin and world rhythm music. Depending on the class this can be high or low impact (Zumba gold is a little gentler)
  • Energie fitness for Women in Grove Road, Eastbourne
  • Pilates – there’s various places, but one which has lots of classes is the Natural Fitness Centre on Eastbourne Seafront
  • Yoga – try the Natural Fitness Centre and there’s also a range of classes at the Enterprise Centre near Eastbourne train station

Ask your Chiropractor or Massage Therapist

Your chiropractor or Massage therapist here at Lushington Chiropractic will be happy to help. They’ve got lots of local knowledge about exercise classes and gyms in Eastbourne and will know what best suits you. Just let them know that you’re keen!

If you’re not already a patient here, but are looking for local Eastbourne advice, then please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

We also work in conjunction with several Eastbourne exercise classes and gyms – just ask your Chiropractor for further information.

The Image Shows a Massage Therapist Tree Climbing in Eastbourne, perhaps he couldn't find a gym in Eastbourne to suit him?

Here’s a Picture of one of our more adventurous Team Members Getting some Exercise on the downs outside Eastbourne. Can you guess who it is?

Classes To Exercise With Caution

  • Step – simple all body workout with a lot of choice between low and high impact movements.
  • Spinning – on stationary bikes. Adjust the bike, get a good position and don’t go too fast.
  • Body pump – uses light to moderate weights. No bouncing but lunges, bends and crunches.

Classes Not To Do When You Are In Recovery

  • Body attack – high energy class. Lunges, press ups, squats, running and jumping.
  • Jump fit – on mini trampolines. Fun but difficult to control your movements.

Here in Eastbourne we are lucky to have a beautiful seafront promenade and The South Downs on our doorstep for “free” walks that can help to keep you active in the fresh air and outdoors.

Whatever you choose and decide to do – just ENJOY.

Thank you,

James Revell

About Me:

I’m a Doctor of Chiropractic and Clinic Director at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne. I have worked in Eastbourne since 2004 and I have always taken an active approach to keeping fit and healthy. I have been a member at many of the local gym’s in Eastbourne and as a chiropractor I am always keen for my guests (patients) to keep active.