Beating the causes of jet lag after a long-haul flight
On a recent trip to Europe the Bulalicious team realised just how important it was to ensure that our bodies quickly recovered from jet lag following an intense six-day adventure home. What should have taken a mere 36 hours ended up taking six days due to aircraft mechanical faults and excessive delays (but that’s another story). What we quickly found when we arrived back to Fiji was that if we didn’t look after our bodies during our lay overs then 2018 was just going to be a year of catching up on sleep, without any sense of a time zone and forever beating the causes of jet lag.
The Bulalicious Activewear team is forever seeking inspiration on the latest surf, swim and gym wear which means we are fortunate to travel a lot throughout the year. However, this used to always result in one if not more of our team getting ill whilst flying. So we came up with a plan to ensure that we never got ill on flights again and that we are always prepared prior to flying. When packing your carry on bag, take these little pointers into consideration. Here are a few essentials that may make your journey that little bit more pleasant:
Comfortable clothing: The outfit you wear to travel is often the make of break for a relaxing flight. Ensure you have comfortable clothing such as leggings, loose- t tops and something that doesn’t restrict movement. Check out the Bulalicious Activewear for some travel outfit ideas that will leave you feeling and looking fabulous during your flight.
Eye mask: This will ensure if you are trying to get your 40 winks and that the cabin lights will not disturb you.
Anti-bacterial wipes: When you board the plane just give your arm rest and tray table a quick wipe over, to rid your area of any germs from the previous passengers.
Hand sanitiser: Prior and post eating, drinking or using the restroom be sure to use your hand sanitiser.
Eyes drops and throat spray: When you are thousands of feet in the air your body can often become de-hydrated resulting in itchy eyes and a scratchy throat causing to you rub them, passing germs about your body. Prior to boarding drop a few eye drops in each eye and spray your throat ready for a relaxing journey ahead.
Water bottle: This will ensure that you are only drinking from a bottle that you have used.
Light weight blanket/neck pillow: As these items actually touch your skin it is more hygienic to bring your own as you never know how many skin cells they are carrying from other passengers.
Headphones: Bringing your own headphones means you know you will be able to listen to your music or movies in peace without crackling or constantly adjusting them.
Avoid caffeine or alcohol: Stay clear of the caffeine and alcohol on board flights even if it’s free. You may want to have a tipple whilst you are sat for hours on end but it will leave you feeling groggy and disorientated once you arrive.
Take your own teabags: Leave the sleeping pills alone and if you are on the red-eye flight then take a chamomile, lavender or peppermint tea to send your body into a natural sleep.
Keep moving: After several hours of sitting your body needs to have blood pumped around. Don’t worry what you look like, during one of our team’s flight it looked as though we were about to break into a flash mob with all the lunging and high kicks but anything to avoid DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and if you don’t want to re-enact a scene from Flashdance down the aisles then investing in a good pair of flight socks will also do the job.
Book your seat wisely: There are a few pointers to consider when booking your seat on a plane which can be the difference between a relaxing or stressful flight. If you are in need of extra-leg room then sitting on an exit-row is the best option for you. If you need to sleep then stay clear of the front of the plane as this is where most families and babies are seated on long-haul flights and if you like to get up and move around the cabin then choose an aisle seat to save you having to awkwardly climb over your neighbouring passengers.
Prior to flying always make sure you eat clean, that you don’t have any heavy carbohydrates sitting in our stomach and that you wash your systems out with water, avoiding any sugar or caffeine prior to boarding.
In- flight meals contain a lot of sodium which causes bloating and can often be uncomfortable when travelling for hours on end. So if you prefer to have something healthy have a nutritious breakfast or lunch prior to flying so you don’t get peckish during the flight, but if you do pack yourself a cereal bar, dried fruit or nuts for some slow- releasing energy.
Be sure to set your clock to the time of your destination before you set off and plan when you should be sleeping and when to fight through it and stay awake. You can easily lose count between the different time zones of how many meals you are offered and it’s easy to eat a big meal when your body thinks its breakfast time.
Once you are home follow these few steps to have that we have tried and tested and will guarantee to have you back on your feet in no -time:
Equalise your brain: If you have been travelling for several hours and on and off planes your brain will not be aware that you have landed so take some time to be barefoot on the ground just to help your brain realise your are on solid ground for the foreseeable future.
Get a massage: Booking a massage will rid your body of all the toxins that have built up over the duration of your flight. It will also help to increase blood flow back to the legs and ensure you feel less stiff from all that sitting down.
Flood your body with goodness: Once you return it will be very tempting to each fast food or unhealthy snacks as you are tired and probably not wanting to cook. Therefore plan ahead and go grab a salad or vitamin smoothie to kick-start your metabolism and re-boot your systems after all that plane food.
Try and beat the sleep: Your body will be wanting to sleep at any given chance as they say for every time zone you cross its will add a day to your jet lag. If you can stay awake as long as possible then great, but if your body is telling you to sleep then have a 30-minute power nap and set your alarm to ensure you wake up.
Get some fresh air and keep moving: Your body needs to know what time zone you are on, so ensure you take yourself out for a walk and get some natural air after being cooped up with cabin air for so long you need to get your body moving and blood pumping around your body.
We hope our little tips make your next long-haul flight a more relaxing one and our jet lag tips have you back on Fiji-Time in no time.
The Bulalicious Activewear Team
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