Air New Zealand brings customers EXERCISES while they sit on the plane

Air New Zealand‘s inflight entertainment system now offers stretches, exercises and meditation techniques to its customers flying internationally.

The initiative, which was made available at the start of December, saw the airline partner with group fitness company Les Mills to construct a series of movements that could be contained in your chair or aisle without affecting any of your fellow passengers. 

The Creative Director of Les Mills, Kylie Gates, spoke to FEMAIL about why it’s so important to move your body while on an aircraft to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and improve blood circulation.

‘The exercises are designed to help people feel relaxed and calm – to achieve a deep sense of relaxation using mind and body connections, including the PNF technique,’ Ms Gates, 54, said.

Air New Zealand's inflight entertainment system now offers stretches, exercises and meditation techniques to its customers flying internationally

Air New Zealand's inflight entertainment system now offers stretches, exercises and meditation techniques to its customers flying internationally

Air New Zealand’s inflight entertainment system now offers stretches, exercises and meditation techniques to its customers flying internationally

The Creative Director of Les Mills, Kylie Gates (middle), spoke to FEMAIL about why it's so important to move your body while on an aircraft

The Creative Director of Les Mills, Kylie Gates (middle), spoke to FEMAIL about why it's so important to move your body while on an aircraft

The Creative Director of Les Mills, Kylie Gates (middle), spoke to FEMAIL about why it’s so important to move your body while on an aircraft

‘PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and involves stretching a muscle and holding that position for three seconds, then contracting that same muscle without moving for another three seconds.’

There are two sets of stretching and relaxation techniques for Premium Economy and Business Class passengers.

One is for stretching out to sleep and the other is to fire up your core, involving a full abs and back workout, set to soothing music. 

You can also pick the ‘easy’ or more ‘challenging’ variant of each exercise depending on what you’re wanting to achieve, but none of them will work up a sweat. 

They can be completed with your eyes open or closed and will focus on moving the neck, shoulders, arms, legs and feet with yoga-type positions.

You can also pick the 'easy' or more 'challenging' variant of each exercise depending on what you're wanting to achieve, but none of them will work up a sweat

You can also pick the 'easy' or more 'challenging' variant of each exercise depending on what you're wanting to achieve, but none of them will work up a sweat

You can also pick the ‘easy’ or more ‘challenging’ variant of each exercise depending on what you’re wanting to achieve, but none of them will work up a sweat

Air New Zealand are the first of its kind to come up with inflight exercises

Air New Zealand are the first of its kind to come up with inflight exercises

Air New Zealand are the first of its kind to come up with inflight exercises

But the team at Les Mills – who are famous for their cardio Body Pump classes – had to work their magic within the confines of an air carrier.

‘The unique aircraft setting means limited personal space in your seat, so being respectful of those around you as you carry out these techniques is important,’ Ms Gates said.

‘People need to be completely self-contained in that personal space, from head to toe, so the techniques were specifically designed for that aircraft environment.

That includes details such as your gaze, so when turning to stretch left or right, the eyes go down so you’re still working within your area and not disrupting the personal space of the passenger next to you.

'People need to be completely self-contained in that personal space, from head to toe, so the techniques were specifically designed for that aircraft environment,' Ms Gates said

'People need to be completely self-contained in that personal space, from head to toe, so the techniques were specifically designed for that aircraft environment,' Ms Gates said

‘People need to be completely self-contained in that personal space, from head to toe, so the techniques were specifically designed for that aircraft environment,’ Ms Gates said

Those who struggle with anxiety or find it difficult to relax on board will benefit from these slow-moving sessions in particular

Those who struggle with anxiety or find it difficult to relax on board will benefit from these slow-moving sessions in particular

Those who struggle with anxiety or find it difficult to relax on board will benefit from these slow-moving sessions in particular

Those who struggle with anxiety or find it difficult to relax on board will benefit from these slow-moving sessions in particular.

Ms Gates, who is based in Auckland, New Zealand, said she tends to book an aisle seat on a plane so she can easily get up to perform some exercises or use the bathroom.

She encourages others to avoid heavy food and alcohol on long-haul trips and to bring protein bars or a fruit and nut mix for when you get peckish.

The trainer and yoga instructor with over 29 years of experience drinks twice the amount of water she would normally have in a day and wears loose fitting clothing with compression socks. 

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