How Fitness Can Help You Beat Jet Lag

Studies have shown exercise has an impact on our internal clocks, which is huge when it comes to time zone hopping (and ensuring you don’t look like a zombie while doing it). As a frequent traveler — more frequent than even I’d like to admit — I’ve found that keeping myself feeling good post-flight is a lot easier when exercise is in the mix. It helps with my energy, eating pattern and sleep cycle, which is key to syncing your circadian rhythms with the time zone you’re in. Here’s how fitness can help you get back into your routine: 

One hour after landing
Remember to take it easy. While it’s tempting to jump off the plane and head to class, make sure you give yourself a little time to check in on how you’re feeling. Depending on the disparity of time zone change, a quick nap or snack might be in order before you jump into a workout. Once you’re up for it, start on the gentler side with slow flow yoga or book an hour of gym time so you can take things at your own pace. Even moderate movement can help you get back in sync with your body and surroundings, which can help with your focus and overall energy level.

24 hours after landing
Luckily, as you’ve already gotten in a moderate workout and know how you’re feeling, this is a good time to kick things up a notch or two. By now, your initial adrenaline boost has started to wane, so you’ll want to choose a class that gets your heart pumping a bit to increase blood flow circulation.

36 hours after landing
You should wait a solid 1.5 days before throwing yourself into any class that maxes your exertion levels. Even if you’re feeling stellar, it’s hard to judge exactly how your body will react to an increased heart rate and shortage of breath, considering it’s already trying to sort out your circadian rhythms. Don’t be afraid to take an extra break than you’d normally need, and don’t forget to hydrate thoroughly before jumping in.

Jake Goodrich is an avid sports nut and unapologetic fan of Steve Winwood’s '80s albums.