Going on holidays is tough…. but someone has got to do it!
It’s that time of year where we are all getting excited about the silly season, going on holidays, summer vacations and hopefully traveling overseas…….it can’t be nearly Christmas already?!!!! Where has the year gone?!
I for one love going overseas and make it a yearly occurrence. With a wife from Canada, we always head there first and then try and attach another destination.
Whilst they are fun and relaxing, holidays can be super stressful for your body and its functionality and normality. I think it tends to have more impact on those that are highly routine and fine-tuned. Therefore, for me personally, I always take a long time to get back to normal once I arrive at a destination or once I get home from the trip.
Over the years I have gained more experienced and learned a few tricks in order to minimise the impact of traveling on my body and health and I would love to share them with you.
As soon as we walk into the airport are bodies are starting to de-hydrate. There is a clear increase in the level of air-con and humidity even before we get onto the plane. Then once we are in the place it just intensifies. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluid on the flight. It will help you sleep as well as recover post-flight. Once overseas and having fun still make sure you are drinking water. I find that you are eating more foreign foods that are generally higher in salt and sugar. Drinking more water will help combat the effects of those delicious new foods…. plus alcohol…. let’s just drink more water!
Whether its two hours or the dreaded fifteen hours stuck on a flight, you have to move. It is no good to just sit there the whole time sleeping or watching movies. You get stiff, you get fluid retention and you generally feel horrible. Try and sleep half the length of the flight and then spend their other time with intermittent walking, stretching and mobility breaks. It will help you hit the ground running once you land.
3 Compression socks
If you are like me and you get fat ankles when on planes compression socks are a must. I also find it helps to walk as much as you can pre-and post-flight so ditch the travellators and walk, avoid the elevators and take the stairs.
One of the big keys to traveling is getting into the time zone of the place you are headed as soon as you are on the flight. Then try and sleep accordingly. It means that once you arrive you don’t feel as bad. Then fall into that day as seamlessly as you can and stay awake for as long as possible. Once away you will be sleeping on a variety of different beds and pillows which I can assure you will not be as comfortable as your bed at home. Do your best to sleep in good positions and bolster your body with extra pillows under and beneath your knees.
You are going to think I am crazy (If you already don’t) but my number 1 rule of traveling is exercise before and after flying regardless of time. I find it helps me settle on the flight and allows me to relax. When I arrive where I am going it definitely helps my body get rid of the horrors of a flight. You sweat out some of that fluid that has built up and helps digest that starchy plane food. I have always found that exercise resets my body clock to the time zone that we have changed too. The release of endorphins and adrenaline will also leave you feeling revitalised to tackle that day.
After my recent trip it really hit home how nothing can affect you if you are happy. I wasn’t exercising as much, I was eating 6000 calories a day, I was sleeping 10 hours a day, I didn’t put on weight, I didn’t get bored all because for the first time in a long time I had not a stress in the world. I was living in the moment and was truly happy and because of that, I was untouchable! It just goes to show that our work/life balance back home has to be more on the same level in order to get results and be able to get to where we want to. Too much of one and there is unbalance and some part of your life suffers…. normally the one you want to improve. Your body holds stress like you wouldn’t believe. Whether it’s musculoskeletal pain, hormone imbalance, weight gain or stagnation even when you think you are doing everything right, fatigue, sleeping problems are all signs of stress.