The Unexpected Reason You Should Pack A Tennis Ball For Your Next Flight

You're prepared for your flight. In fact, you've managed to fit all of your clothes and essentials into your carry-on bag. Sure, you had to sit on your suitcase to get it to close, but your mission was ultimately accomplished. You avoided excess baggage fees and are now looking to make your flight as comfortable as possible. It'll take a couple of hours to reach your destination, so your next task is figuring out how to make it even more relaxing. You have your headphones, neck pillow, and after reading this tip, at least one tennis ball.

No, they're not for improving your tennis game, but rather, tennis balls can help to alleviate issues associated with sitting for prolonged periods of time, namely muscle tension and poor circulation. Using a tennis ball as a massage tool can help your body relax. By rolling them over specific body areas, you can relieve muscle tension and improve blood flow while flying.  

Tennis balls for tension relief

Sitting for prolonged periods of time creates stress on your joints and spine, as well as the muscles that help stabilize these parts of your body. When traveling, you may spend a couple of hours sitting waiting for your flight before sitting a couple more hours during your flight. Sitting for too long can also cause blood clots, which is why some passengers wear compression socks when flying. According to WebMD, you should try to move around every 2 to 3 hours to help blood flow. You could use the bathroom periodically or walk to the end of the aisle and back.

However, if you can't get up due to turbulence or rather not squeeze past others in your row, you can simply pull out your tennis ball. To massage your muscles and improve circulation, roll them firmly over your body, especially your legs and lower back. If you're prone to blood clots, you should also roll them under the arches of your feet. 

While beneficial to all flyers, the tennis ball technique is particularly helpful to passengers prone to lower back pain, muscle stiffness, and blood clots. If you feel a little nervous about trying it, remember that most people are dozing off, absorbed in a show or book, or simply aren't paying attention to you. If they are, you can share the hack with them. Who knows? Maybe they'll try it next time they travel.