TravelFitness Travel Tips

Going cross-continental? You don’t have to arrive dehydrated, disoriented or otherwise unfit to have fun. Here are some tips and a summary round-up from Bill Tulin, C.S.C.S. & Rebecca Johnson:

  lighten up "The best thing you can do to adjust to a new time zone is to expose yourself to natural light as soon as possible," Tulin says. "Jet lag is the result of your body’s circadian rhythms being out of whack. Light acts as a powerful cue, telling your internal clock where you are and what scheduled to keep."
  drink up Flying is extremely dehydrating, which means the eight glasses of H2O a day rule really won’t cut it. "Add an extra 6-8 ounces for every hour in the air," Tulin says. Limit your consumption of alcohol and coffee. Even decaf can leave you parched, so stick with bottled water, herbal teas or seltzers.
  power up Want to be bright eyed when you arrive? Moderate your intake of carbohydrates (breads, pastas, fruits, and veggies); they induce sleep. Eat more high-protein, low-fat fare (poached eggs, low-fat dairy products, grilled fish) to boost alertness. Reverse these strategies if you plan to crash after you land.
  wake up If you need to catch some shut-eye, take a nap but limit it to 45 minutes. NASA research has shown that this amount of time will improve alertness. Longer naps leave you groggy when you wake up.
  smarten up Buy a suitcase with wheels, check all the bags you can, use bellhops, wear comfy (flat) shoes.
  round up • Take non-stop flights.
• Avoid hub airports and peak travel times.
• Allow extra time to get there.
• Exercise before you go.
• Pack your own bottled water.
• Drink at least one 8-ounce glass of water per hour in flight.
• In flight, avoid alcohol and salty foods.
• Dress comfortably.
• Book a bulkhead or emergency exit row aisle seat.
• Use an inflatable lumbar roll or support belt for your back.
• Get out of your seat every hour or two.
• Perform discreet exercises while in transit.
• Walk during an airport layover.
• Order a special meal.
• Never travel hungry.
• Eat lightly in transit.
• Avoid red-eye specials.