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

You're prepared for your flight. In fact, you're proud of yourself, as you 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 oddly enough, at least one tennis ball. 

You may wonder why you'd pack a tennis ball in your luggage, but adding one to your carry-on can make your flight much more comfortable. No, they're not for your tennis game, but rather, they're for your muscles. Using them as a tool for a massage can help your body relax and relieve muscle tension on your flight.

Tennis balls for tension relief

Tennis balls are a perfect, portable option for preventing blood clots and sore muscles when flying. They may also help you avoid back pain during long flights. Sitting for prolonged periods of time creates stress on your joints and spine, which can be problematic when you're on cross-country or international flights. Sitting for 13 hours or more is especially hard on your body, so a day spent sitting in airports and flights can become increasingly uncomfortable. In addition to getting up and moving around at least once every few hours, you can use a tennis ball to help your circulation. 

Once you're settled in your seat, try using your tennis ball regularly. To massage, simply roll the ball over your shoulders, legs, lower back, and under the bottoms of your feet. The gentle pressure can help to keep your blood circulating while also loosening stiff muscles. 

An easy-to-use item while traveling

Since it improves circulation and relieves tension, the tennis ball technique is great for those who already experience lower back pain and stiffness. If you feel a little nervous about trying it, that's okay, but just think — 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.

This technique isn't only for flying in airplanes. While traveling, you can use it while working abroad, sitting in a conference, or during a guided bus tour. Overall, it's a great relief for your muscles if you spend much of your day sitting. You can also use tennis balls prior to working out while traveling. While you may use foam rollers for myofascial release at home, tennis balls can provide similar stretch exercises — and they're much easier to pack.