AirplaneIt’s tough enough to stay in shape during the holidays–what with all those turkey trimmings and desserts tempting you to overindulge. But add in travel and it can be an even bigger challenge. Shana Schneider, founder of FITWEEK, a fitness company that helps women stay fit, offers these family fitness tips for airplane travel:

Fitness Tips for Airline Check-in and Boarding

Don’t just stand there. The lines for airport check-in and TSA security are guaranteed to be longer at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Spend that time going leg lifts to the side. Schneider recommends three sets of 12 on each leg.

Stand up. You will have plenty of time sitting once you board the plane and buckle you’re your seat. Rather than sitting around at the gate staring at the television, do some laps up and down the airport terminal–a brisk walk if you’re traveling without kids or something even faster if you’re flying with a toddler. Depending on the airport, you might find a few shops where you can pick up a last minute hostess gift. If you’re traveling with little ones, ask whether the airport has a children’s play area.(Check out our list of the 10 best airports for traveling with kids.)


Fitness Tips Once You’re on the Airplane

Just because you’re seated with your seatbelt firmly buckled, it doesn’t mean you can’t do a few discreet exercises from the not-so-comfortable confines of coach class. Here are Schneider’s recommendations for in-your-seat calisthenics:

family waiting at airport gateSide twists: Tighten your abdominal muscles and sit up straight. Put your right arm on your left thigh and lift your left leg up, then twist and do the same with the opposite arm and leg. Do 10 on each side.

Double knee lifts: Put your knees together than lift them up and down. Just touch your toes to the floor don’t let your abdominal muscles relax.

Crossover knee lifts: Cross your right leg over your left knee. Lift your left leg up and down. For more of a challenge do the pulses up and down while never letting your foot touch the floor. Don’t forget to do the other side, too

Fitness Tips at Baggage Claim

This is another place where you can move rather than stand. Do a few more side leg lifts or pace up and down in front of the baggage conveyor belt while lifting your carry-on bag. And, most importantly, remember to breath.

Finally, Schneider recommends taking three slow, deep breaths while you’re waiting for your bag to pop out of the baggage claim chute. “Better than holding your breath hoping it arrives,” she says. “Plus, you’ll be nice and more relaxed in case they did lose it!”

Check out our Tips for Exercising on Road Trips.