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Do you get jet lag, digestive distress, or general fatigue when traveling? Travel fatigue is so common today, not just from the stress and lack of sleep that often accompanies travel, but from what happens to your body when you fly.
Air travel is stressful on the body, especially during takeoff. You can easily sustain energy and support smooth digestion on a long flight by taking along a delicious powdered protein shake, like Body Ecology’s new Immune Power Protein Shake with 15 grams of vegan protein per serving.
This season’s travel is already gearing up to be a doozy. AAA estimates that 2015 holiday travel could break records — with travel numbers projected to top 100 million for the first time. Nearly one in three Americans may be preparing to take a holiday trip, up 1.4 percent from the previous year.1 Considering that the Christmas holidays are ranked among some of the worst days to travel, right along with the day before Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and spring break, you can imagine the toll that a crowded (and delayed) airport can take on an already tired body.
Can You Avoid Jet Lag?
If you stop and think about your last trip — what was it like? If you are like most people, it probably went something like this:
- You worked really hard to get your job and house settled before leaving: running around, staying up late, getting up early, and burning the candle at both ends.
- The little time that remained was spent packing the things you and your family needed for your trip.
- You made lists on paper — or maybe in your head — and found that your mind was swimming with thoughts about what you might have forgotten.
- In the week-before rush, meals were eaten on the run, came from restaurants, or out of boxes or cans.
- You ate the food on the plane but did not really enjoy it — maybe you started to feel symptoms of digestive discomfort.
It's amazing the lengths we go to for a week or two off. We go on vacation to relieve the stress of everyday life and yet, we find that there is often a price for our precious time off — both before and after the trip. And what about business trips? We often arrive home more tired than before and "crash" from fatigue.
There is a better way to travel — a way that will help minimize the stress we feel before, during, and after our trips.
As University of Surrey and Lund University researchers explain, travel is often depicted as happy and lighthearted by travel companies and the media, when in reality, jet lag and other side effects of frequent travel can have a long-term impact on the body.2 Just like anything else, healthy travel takes time and preparation, but the increase in energy you will feel will be worth the investment.
3 Ways to Travel The Body Ecology Way
You have probably heard the basic guidelines to beat jet lag before. According to the National Sleep Foundation, based on the 24-hour circadian rhythm cycle of the body, it helps to choose a flight that arrives in the early evening so that you can stay up until at least 10 p.m. when traveling to a new time zone. You can also prepare your body in advance for a time change by waking and going to bed earlier several days in a row before an eastbound trip — or waking and going to bed later prior to a westbound trip.3
The World Health Organization advises arriving at the airport as rested as possible and taking short naps, less than 40 minutes, on a medium to long flight. Eating light and limiting alcohol consumption are also key. Heavy meals and alcohol can affect digestion and impair sleep quality.4
Yes, the health of your body before, during, and after a flight can greatly impact your chance of jet lag and travel fatigue.
The best way to prepare for an upcoming trip, large or small, is to consider what your body needs before you take off:
- Minimize stress - This is easier said than done in today's busy world. Consider making a list to get the details out of your head and onto paper. That alone will help minimize stress. Play soft music and take deep, focused breaths whenever you can the week before your trip. Consider taking a day off before and after your trip to give yourself space to plan for and recover from travel.
- Prepare simple meals - The week before the trip, take some time on the weekend to prepare simple, healthy, BED meals for the week. Store them in the refrigerator or freezer so you can take them out and have quick, healthy food during the week. This will keep you healthy and full of vitamins and minerals to feed your body's energy producers—the thyroid and adrenals. Cultured veggies are a great fast food that is nutrient-dense and can easily be carried with you for a meal before or after your flight. Supporting digestion en route is especially important if you already have digestive troubles — a lack of oxygen on a plane can trigger intestinal inflammation in those who are predisposed.5
- Plan your airport and plane nourishment - Bring a simple BED meal for the airport, but don't eat food on the plane. When the plane takes off, your whole body goes out of balance, including your digestive organs. This is why we feel so tired after flying. Bring liquids packed with minerals for the flight and plan your meals for before or afterwards. Bring Vitality SuperGreen or Body Ecology’s new Immune Power Protein Shake, a complete vegan protein, to mix with water for extra energy on long flights.
You deserve to be at your best whether you are traveling for business or pleasure. These simple steps will make a big difference in how you feel so that you can truly enjoy your holiday.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Travel fatigue sucks the fun out of an otherwise perfect vacation. And travel fatigue is more common than you think — it may be caused by stress and lack of sleep, as well as the impact flying has on your body.
You go on vacation to escape stress, yet traveling stresses your body even more. Use these three tips to nourish your health and keep energy levels stable to better enjoy your next holiday:
- Minimize stress - Make a list of everything that needs to get done, take deep breaths and listen to relaxing music, and plan to take a day off before and after your vacation to recover.
- Prepare simple meals - Prepare healthy, simple, Body Ecology-friendly meals in advance for your trip. Bring cultured veggies to eat on-the-go, before and after a flight.
- Don't eat on the plane - Flying puts your body out of balance, especially your digestive organs, causing fatigue as soon as you land. Bring Vitality SuperGreen or an Immune Power Protein Shake to mix with water to keep energy levels up on a long flight.
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- "AAA: Number of Holiday Travelers Expected to Top 100 Million for the First Time." AAA.
- Cohen, S.A. & Gössling, S. A darker side of hypermobility. Environment and Planning A, 2015 (in press).
- "Jet Lag and Sleep." National Sleep Foundation.
- "International travel and health." WHO | World Health Organization.
- Stephan R. Vavricka, Gerhard Rogler, Sandra Maetzler, Benjamin Misselwitz, Ekaterina Safroneeva, Pascal Frei, Christine N. Manser, Luc Biedermann, Michael Fried, Peter Higgins, Kacper A. Wojtal, Alain M. Schoepfer. High altitude journeys and flights are associated with an increased risk of flares in inflammatory bowel disease patients. Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.crohns.2013.07.011.
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