Jet lag after a long-haul flight happens because rapid travel throws off our circadian rhythm – the biological clock that determines when we wake up and fall asleep.
When you cross time zones, you’re more likely to be sleepy and sluggish, and your internal clock and the external time are de-synchronized. If you’re older, jet lag may hit you harder and recovery can take longer. Much of the stiffness and the uncomfortable, dazed feeling following a flight is simply the result of sitting inactively for long periods of time.
Stretch and flex!
The good news is there are ways you can help combat jet lag – try these 5, effective in-flight exercises the next time you’re on a long-haul flight.
- Bend your knee and raise it to hip height, hold for 2 seconds, lower while extending the knee and repeat. (10 repetitions per leg)
- While supporting yourself with one hand, bend your knee and grab your ankle behind you. Rotate your ankle while holding this position. (15 seconds per leg)
- With your arms at your side, roll your shoulders in a wide circular movement, forward and backwards. (10 repetitions each way)
- Rotate your extended arm at the shoulder in a full circular pattern. (10 repetitions per arm)
- Interlock your fingers and extend your arms out in front, bowing your back with your palms facing inwards. (2×15 seconds)