Do you fly a lot for business? If you’re like the stereotypical PGPT client then the answer is yes. I recently took the family on a holiday to Toronto, Canada for 2 weeks and came back to the UK with very little jet lag and ready to work. Why? Because I have a routine! Beating jet lag is crucial for performance both with your fitness and work goals. Unfortunately, being a busy Londoner there is no time for fatigue!
Below are my 5 best tips to beat the jetlag.
Change Your Watch To The Time Zone You Are Flying To
This is crucial to giving you the psychological edge. Having that mental preparation of being 100% in control and aware of the end time zone will allow you to be far more organised for the flight. This will keep sleep patterns in the right zones. Aim to have a minimum of 4 hrs sleep if it’s a night flight.
Don’t fall for the trick of having a nightcap to put you off to sleep. You are far better to avoid the alcohol and focus more on hydration. Yes, a glass of wine with your meal is not a disaster but anything more than that will impact hydration levels. One drink in the air is equivalent to 3 drinks on the ground so keep that in mind! Have a bottle of water in sip this regularly throughout the flight.
Caffeine Is Not Your Friend
You may be looking for a stimulant to keep you alert and awake such as caffeine. Whether it’s in the form of coffee or fizzy drinks the caffeine isn’t doing you any favours on a flight. Besides elevating your heart rate, caffeine increases the stress hormone cortisol. Try and have herbal teas and stay nice and relaxed for the flight and for landing in your destination.
Eat At The Usual Meal Times
With flights and time different time zones it is hard to keep your eating times consistent, but this is an important factor to reducing jet lag. For example, if you are taking a night flight back from New York the meal may be served at 10pm, this is not your normal super time and can set your body clock out of whack. My suggestion would be to eat your meal in the lounge prior to flying then stick to a small snack like cashew nuts and water on the plane as well as focusing on sleep!
Don’t spend the entire flight in your seat. Move around every hour (if you are not asleep) and stretch your legs. Focus on movement. Whether its standing on your toes doing a calf raise or simply walking up and down the aisle. This will insure that nothing nasty like DVT threatens your journey. Back pain is a common complaint from clients post flying so it’s well worth doing some rotational movements and hamstring stretches (bending from the hips reaching down and touching your toes).
Following these 5 basics steps will ensure that you arrive in your destination ready for work and more importantly ready to lift weights.
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