A Tennis Ball—Don’t Leave Home without it

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A Tennis Ball—Don't Leave Home without it

Hi! Are you looking forward to flying away somewhere wonderful as much as I am? I’m fully vaccinated now and am traveling by car but hoping to fly again sometime soon. Still living with a pandemic and new strains jumping out at us, while seeing so many people who have stopped wearing masks, makes me step back,  pause, and lock my car doors.

My most recent car trips from Connecticut to Fredericksburg, Virginia; Wilmington, North Carolina; and Mendham Township, New Jersey all had certain things in common. One, I packed food with me in a cooler. That made life much easier. Bathrooms were a larger problem, but I kept a package of wipes with me for all occasions. Of course, there are all sorts of helpful ‘just in case’ items in my suitcase—extra clothes I never wear, toothbrush, toothpaste, current book I’m reading —along with a tennis ball. I don’t play tennis but I always have a tennis ball handy when traveling.

During my flying days, I never left home without my tennis ball, although I do not play tennis. But I’ve learned that especially for the very long trips I’ve made to the Middle East and other away locations, the simple little tennis ball is a great aid for flight time stretching.

Sitting for a very long time makes me cranky, muscle cramped, and miserable. However, during long flights, having a tennis ball handy can increase overall circulation over the neck, shoulders, arms, upper and lower back, hips, legs, and feet tops and bottoms. One little tennis balls is a great tool that conveniently fits into the side pocket of my carry on.  A few minutes of tennis ball massages can be just as great as being able to get up, walk around and literally stretch out.

But, alas, I’m not out flying yet. Last night was only my third time eating a meal inside a restaurant and I’ve only met a friend for coffee once at an outside location during the pandemic which still much very much exists. With my fourth major car trip coming up, I have acclimated to seated tennis ball relief.

While driving I can safely move the ball around my back, against the car seat, to relieve pressure points. After driving for a few hours, the ball pressure against my lower back is a big relief. It also helps to place the ball and lean against it whenever my hips feel super tight. That’s also my cue to stop at the next rest area and take a walk.

Happy safe travels, by car or plane, with a tennis ball to relax tight muscles and improve circulation. Where will you go next? Let me know! I’m currently planning two-post pandemic dream trips, of course, along with my handy tennis ball.


  • Sheryl Kayne

    Sheryl Kayne is a writer, editor, educator, and motivational speaker. She is the author of travel guidebooks. Immersion Travel USA: The Best & Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living & Learning Excursions was awarded The Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Best Travel Guidebook 2009 and Volunteer Vacations Across America was named on Amazon’s list of best new travel books 2010. Kayne travels extensively and works and volunteers where she visits. She was the writer-in-residence at the Everglades National Park, Homestead, Fla. and a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, N.M. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, CBN, ABC Weekend Evening News, Lifetime Television Network, and MTV, among others. Visit Sheryl at: www.sherylkayne.com/

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