Traveling long distances to new, foreign places can be an exciting adventure! The only thing that can drag down the joy of travel? Jet lag. Nothing is worse than spending an extra day or two on your trip having to adjust to being in a different time zone. Jet lag can cause extreme tiredness in your body after a long flight, and can affect your health and wellness. In some cases, jet lag causes headaches, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, and lack of concentration. But this should not be something that prevents you from jetting off to see the world. Getting your global experience that you need should not have to be done with these terrible symptoms of jet lag. Fortunately, there are 5 ways to keep your body prepped and ready to take on traveling long-distance:
5 Ways to Beat Jet Lag
1) Stay Hydrated
Since there is a lack of humidity in the cabin air on a plane, dehydration is extremely common. Also changing time and temperature zones can throw off your body’s thirst and hunger. Starting at the airport, make sure to already be drinking plenty of water! Try bringing a re-usable, filtered water bottle that you can have the flight attendant fill up. Alcohol and caffeine are also very dehydrating, so it is best to avoid these in order to have less jet lag symptoms. Try packing herbal tea packets or hydration powders that you can easily add to water.
2) Pack Healthy Snacks
It is best to avoid airline food because it is often served on-board according to the mealtimes at your home base. This can make it difficult for your adjust your body’s internal clock for food when you land making jet lag worse. Instead, try packing your own airplane-approved snacks that you can eat on your new, adjusted scheduled eating times. A bag of cut fruits and veggies with nuts is an airplane snack that will give you essential vitamins and minerals that you need to feel healthy and jet lag-free.
3) Be Active During Flight
A factor that makes jet lag worse is spending a long time sitting uncomfortably. Studies show that people who can stretch out during a flight are less likely to experience symptoms. For your jet lag prevention as well as sanity, try getting up to stretch and walk along the aisle as often as possible during your flight. Some easy exercises to do on a plane (without looking weird) include neck rolls, shoulder rolls, reaching for your toes, calf raises, or quad stretches. Even doing squats in the bathroom can get your blood pumping and muscles moving.
4) Eat a Protein-Rich Meal Upon Arrival
Once you have arrived at your destination, it is very important to be mindful of your meals. When you are tired and sleep-deprived it is easy to overeat a carbohydrate-heavy meal. But to keep energy levels steady, choose a lighter, protein-rich meal in order to overcome jet lag. Some ideas of foods that are not hard to find in your new destination are nuts, seeds, whole-grain crackers, cheese, protein bars, nut butters, or yogurt.
5) Spend Time Outdoors
Once you have been able to leave the airport, spend some time outdoors in order to do the body some good. Preferably spending time in sunlight will help with the body’s natural circadian rhythm. This will help your body adjust to your new sleeping schedule so that you can fully enjoy your trip. Being outdoors and seeing the new area will be joyful for yourself, but also increase your body’s health and wellness. So get out there, beat jet lag, and relish in your new, global adventure!