Ensuring your carry-on is packed with the essentials to ease the rigors of a long flight is key to comfy traveling.
Things like extra underwear, toothbrush, toothpaste, reading materials, Sudokus, snacks are preferred by some, but unnecessary to others.
What carry-on item should be in every traveler’s carry-on, however?
A tennis ball.
No, it’s not so you can bounce it against the seat in front you for hours – it’s so you can get some mid-flight stretching going.
It’s no secret that sitting is today’s topical health hazard, much like cigarettes were a couple decades ago. Flights require long sedentary periods, meaning it’s best to get up, walk around, stretch and move to not only make you more comfortable, but helps with jet lag on the muscles.
Related: 7 Amazing Stretches to do On a Plane
“Taking a tennis ball or a massager on the plane will help increase circulation,” explains Ali Ghoz, a surgeon from the London Orthopaedic Clinic. He suggests rolling the tennis ball over your lower back, legs, shoulders, and the bottoms of your feet to promote blood circulation in these key areas.
If you feel too silly using a tennis ball for therapeutic purposes, or you just hate the sport, Ghoz suggests simply massaging your legs and working your way up, to get the blood moving back to your heart once more.
And if you’re still wary about the public’s perception of your tennis ball massage, you can take solace in the fact you won’t look as ridiculous as the guy next to you and his in-flight masking regimen.
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