Five fitness tips when arriving at long haul destinations

Flying long haul is not something new.  But did you know jet lag used to be considered a state of mind? man asleep at pc iStock_000042206932_Small

Of course, research now shows jet lag is a result of an imbalance in your body’s biological clock which takes a while to adjust to a new time zone.  So you wake up in the middle of the night starving, or you’re ready for bed as soon as your mid-morning meeting closes.  Sound familiar?

The good news is that exercise can help you manage your jet lag.  A regular exercise routine can help to reset your body’s clock by telling it the time of day.

The last thing you want to do when you arrive in a new timezone zone is to fall asleep – unless of course, it’s actually bedtime!  The quicker you can adjust to the new time zone the quicker you’ll be firing on all cylinders.

So what can you do to revitalize, re-energise and adjust your body clock fast?

  • Start before you arrive. Use the flight to rest and reset and take the time to do your long haul flight exercises.  CLICK HERE for five simple exercises you can do whilst remain seated that will reduce your risk of DVT, keep you feeling supple and ensure you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed.
  • early-morning-run-in-paris-istock_000061959358_smallWalk or run in the sunshine as soon as you can. If you don’t have to head straight into a meeting, check into your hotel and then get outside quick!  Exposing yourself to daylight will help your body adjust quicker.  Treat it as an opportunity to not only help you adjust to the new time zone but to take in all the local sights.  Especially if it’s a one-off trip to a destination, you’re not likely to visit again.
  • Gentle stretching. Don’t underestimate the power of some gentle stretching to boost your circulation and gently revive your body when all you want to do is sleep.
    • Shoulder rolls. Sitting or standing, roll your shoulders forward five times using a gentle circular motion and then reverse the movement a further five times.
    • Arm circles. In a standing position extend your arms straight out and slowly start to make circles forward, continue for 10 seconds and then reverse the action.  To really wake you up rotate your arms in opposite directions!
    • Knee lifts. Stand up straight and slowly lift one foot off the floor, aiming the knee toward your chest.  Lift as high as you can and pause for 5 seconds keeping your abs engaged.  Slowly lower and repeat with the other leg.
  • Stand more. If you go to work, set a timer to remind you to stand up and walk around every 30 minutes.  Not only will this help keep you alert it will really help with your productivity too.  You’ll be amazed at how much more you achieve when you’re on a time limit.
  • Go to the gym. If there’s a gym in your hotel and you’re a gym bunny go workout but take it easy.  You’re trying to stay awake not exhaust yourself further.

You can’t avoid jet lag, but by following these tips, you can help manage it.  It won’t just help with your fitness, but you’ll be working smarter too.

©  2106 Extravitality

Author: Julie Dennis
Julie Dennis is a fitness coach specializing in weight loss and body transformation results. She is a level 4 skilled personal trainer and a qualified member of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). Julie also holds a UK Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness qualification. Prior to training as a fitness coach and establishing herself in the health & fitness industry, Julie spent over 20 years behind a desk in London employed in a variety of roles in the management consultancy, executive search and mining industries. Whilst working as part of a global team at Rio Tinto Julie experienced first hand the challenges of incorporating fitness and wellbeing into an international travel schedule. A keen marathon runner she often found running whilst on a long a haul trip an ideal reliever for jet lag.

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