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How To Prevent Jet Lag Easily

How To Prevent Jet Lag Easily

So, you’ve spent months planning and looking forward to a holiday, only to have some of your precious vacation days impeded by jet lag. More like, jet drag, am I right? (Sorry, I know that was terrible!)

If you want to get the most out of your overseas holiday, try some of these handy tricks to avoid feeling like a zombie when you should be having fun.

1. Prepare Thyself

This will only really work if you have the time and patience to do it. If so, read on!

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In the fortnight leading up to your flight, start moving your eating and sleeping times by an hour or so every few days. Doing this will give your body the chance to slowly adapt to its new time zone.

2. Set Your Watch

Start getting used to the time difference early by setting your watch, clocks and phones to the current time of your destination. It will make it less of a shock once you get there and will hopefully help you to start adapting your sleeping and eating habits earlier.

3. Stay Hydrated

Planes are constantly pumping dry air into their cabins, which will cause you to dehydrate. If this wasn’t already bad enough, dehydration makes jet lag worse. Make sure you drink plenty of water both on the flight and during the days leading up to it. Although you may be tempted by juice, tea and sodas, make sure that water is your primary source of fluids.

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4. Act Like You’re Already There

Regardless of what time it is on your flights, start behaving the way you would if you were at your destination. This shouldn’t be hard to calculate if you already changed your watch or phone settings. If it’s daytime there, try your best to stay awake. Coffee is your friend, so long as you don’t overindulge. If it’s night time, try to sleep, even if no one else is. Invest in some earplugs and an eye mask to aid you in your endeavor. If you have access to individual air conditioning, turn it up because the cold will help you fall asleep faster.

I would also recommend attempting to correlate your meals in the same way, although this may be difficult to match up with serving times on the plane.

5. Use Sleeping Pills…Wisely

If you really have trouble sleeping on a plane it may be worth trying sleeping pills, but do so with caution. They can cause a near-comatose state where your body will not have much, if any, natural movement. This can be dangerous because immobility can lead to fatal blood clots. Be sure to speak to a physician before buying sleeping pills. Also be extra careful to drink plenty of fluids if you do take pills because some are anti-histamine variations that can dehydrate you, thus making jet lag worse.

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6. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

I know I said to have a coffee to stay awake if needed, but you must keep it within reason. Having too much will dehydrate you further and also make your body even more confused once you land and have to adapt to the new time. Alcohol is also a bad idea, not only because it dehydrates you further, but its effects are stronger in the atmosphere of a plane. Do you really want to deal with an accidental hangover as well as jet lag? Hell, no!

7. Take a Shower

If you have a chance to take a shower during stop overs, definitely do it. We all know how magical a nice, hot shower can feel, but they’re also genuinely beneficial. It helps to get your muscles and circulation going again, which will make you feel a whole lot better on the next leg of your journey. Many long-haul pilots take showers to combat the general effects of jet lag after a long flight.

8. Get Outside

If you arrive during the day, be sure to get straight outside. Even if you’re feeling tired, getting out and about will help to energize you.

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9. Don’t Go to Bed Immediately

Unless you arrive at night time, avoid going straight to bed. I know that getting some immediate rest is tempting, but if the sun is still shining you need to try and stay awake. Letting yourself drift off will just make it all the more difficult for your body to adapt to the time difference. It will also take longer.

10. Exercise

Once your vacation has officially started, try doing some exercise in the morning and early evening. Working out before you start your day will get your blood flowing and the subsequent endorphins will help you to feel awake and energized. Exercising in the early evening (not right before bed) will also help you feel more tired once it’s time to hit the hay.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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