Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation recommends exercise as an effective way to fight jet lag and keep you fresh
You just got off the plane in, let’s say Tahiti, you begin to take in the breathtaking sights and plan your next moves for a week-long vacation, and then it hits you: jet lag.
Few things can get in the way of your enjoying a getaway or simply functioning during a business trip than jet lag, and if you’ve ever experienced it, you know the feeling well. Nausea, headaches, irritability, exhaustion/fatigue and difficulty with memory and coordination are some of the many symptoms that can manifest as jet lag, and not a single one of them is something that should accompany your next trip.
Jet lag is the result of problems with your circadian rhythm, or biological clock, which remains set on the place you departed from and requires time to adjust to your new destination, more so if you’ve crossed multiple time zones. It may come right away or some time after you’ve landed, and further symptoms like loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, constipation and grogginess can last for several days afterwards in the worst-case situations.
Many people have their own remedies and strategies for jet lag, and some—like sleeping on the flight—are usually helpful. One strategy you might not be aware of is exercise. We know regular physical activity is great for maintaining good health, but research has also shown that it can help with time-change adjustments and may speed up the return to a normal circadian rhythm while traveling.
Exercising may be the last thing you want to do at any time around your travels, but willing yourself to do it can make a huge difference. Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation advises you to consider these exercise tips while traveling for jet lag:
- Before flight: If you have the energy, try a high-intensity workout to burn off some calories and reduce travel stress; brisk laps in airport work too
- During flight: You may be confined, but exercises on the plane are very helpful and will keep your blood flowing while also making you feel less cramped and tight; try ab twists, inner thigh squeezes, neck, shoulder and hip stretches; also be sure to get up and walk around the plane periodically
- After flight: Jet lag may take some time to set in, so you should exercise the day you arrive or next day, even if it’s a short walk at moderate intensity
- Try to exercise at the same time each day, which has been found to help people better adapt to even significant time shifts
- Normal hydration may be reduced from the flight, so stay hydrated
- Avoid naps, which can further interfere with circadian rhythms
Don’t let your next trip be plagued by jet lag and use exercise as a tool to fight it. For additional exercises or more information to help you, visit Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation at any of our four locations in Woodbridge, Union, Somerville or Edison, NJ. Call 732-494-0895 to schedule an appointment.