Staying healthy while we travel continues to be one of the biggest challenges for those who travel regularly. This is especially true for frequent flyers and those who find themselves traveling through airports and on planes constantly.
In-flight wellness is particularly hard to achieve when you’re cooped up in a small seat for hours, and it’s even worse with long-haul flights.
In-flight wellness challenges
On my recent flight from Toronto to Las Vegas, which isn’t a very long flight (it’s about 4-5 hours), I found it difficult to get comfortable enough to get a nap in, and hard to stay well hydrated with the tiny cups of water offered. My leg muscles tend to cramp up when I’m not moving around enough on flights too, and poorly designed seats can cut off circulation leading to pain and numbness. I typically have to get up multiple times to walk around.
Needless to say, flights are a huge challenge for maintaining proper health and wellness. For many people the question is still, simply, how am I supposed to stretch on a plane?
Well, Hawaiian Airlines now has an answer that’s accessible to everyone via their in-flight entertainment system.
Hawaiian Airlines’ new in-flight wellness content
Health-conscious travelers on Hawaiian Airlines’ transpacific flights can now choose from a selection of wellness content meant to enhance the wellbeing of passengers before, during and post-flight. The in-flight wellness content includes a series of stretches and breathing exercises.
It turns out breathing is a really important component of our mental health. Learning how to focus on and moderate our breathing is linked to improvements in cognitive capacities like attention and memory. Breathing has always been a central element of some of the most ancient Yogic practices, but scientists are making new discoveries every day about just how important this seemingly insignificant and automatic activity is for our health.
The onboard content, titled “Ola Pono” or “Live Well” in Hawaiian, was produced exclusively by the airline. The stretches and breathing portion is hosted by Wainani Arnold, a Honolulu movement specialist and founder of the Wainani Wellness Center.
Arnold is a hula dancer and choreographer with over 15 years experience teaching yoga, dance, pilates and gyrotonic. That last one is an exercise method using spiraling, circular movements and rhythmic repetitions with corresponding breathing patterns.
The wellness video series
The video series is separated into themes that cover three areas of inspiration: air, sea and land.
“Air” is the series’ first chapter, which takes guests through stretches and breathing exercises that can be done on the aircraft or in an airport. There are three videos in total hosted by Wainani Arnold.
“Sea” follows and takes viewers on a voyage through Mākaha on the west side of O‘ahu with virtual tour guide Brian Keaulana, a Hawaiian surfer, lifeguard and waterman, and his daughter, Ha‘a Keaulana. This series focuses on the healing properties of water.
“Land” is the final series, which highlights Hawaii’s unique agriculture through visits to farms and local markets. This series focuses on good nutrition.
Holistic wellness approaches
One thing we really like about the airline’s new wellness content is its holistic approach. It includes nutrition alongside fitness and weaves in discussions of local ingredients, history, and connection to the natural landscape. It offers a way to stay fit before, during and after your journey in a way that supports good overall health.
We can’t wait to see more airlines get on board with this kind of wellness offering!
Have you tried the new wellness program from Hawaiian Airlines? Let us know what you think in the comments below!