GFGL TRAVEL FIT BLOG: Staying Refreshed While Traveling

I cannot say that my body has ever thanked me after any length of flight. I can say it’s unappreciative for the way I let it get: sticky, dirty, smelly, oily…the list goes on.

But the thought of my upcoming 24-hour trek made me rethink my travel habits. If my body disagrees with a 3-hour fight, there is no way this journey to Spain will work out. I wasn’t hopping off the plane to run my race, but I would still be in a foreign land and needed to be alert for my next hour-long adventure to my new apartment.

Between the possibilities of jet lag, dehydration, cramped muscles, or an empty tank, I decided it was time to learn about travel health and how to stay refreshed.

Step 1: Hydration

48 hours prior to your initial departure, start chugging water. Hydrating will also help fight unhealthy cravings and keep your body feeling its best. Avoid alcoholic beverages and soda pop as well as high-sodium packed foods. I bought a Camelbak filtered water bottle (see below) just in case I was unsure of the local water.

Step 2: Rest

Stay well rested. Sleep, along with staying hydrated, is critical for not only feeling rejuvenated, but also helps your immune system strong. Though it may be expected for you to be exhausted at arrival, it will make your recovery time much quicker.

Step 3: Hygiene

I created a little care package (place in Ziplock for TSA inspection) for myself to keep my body fresh without a shower. My necessities included face wipes and face moisturizer; dental care for fresh breath; paper soap, hand sanitizer and hand lotion; deodorant, perfume, eye drops, an energy bar, and a Tide to Go pen. I also included some makeup for when the arrival, but not for the flight. All of the liquids fit into a TSA size-approved ZipLoc bag.

Step 4: Keep Fueled

Bring a few energy bars or pack a lunch. If that is not an option, research the airport or restaurants near your airport to make sure you choose the healthiest option. BUT, make sure you take food with you on the plane because airplane food is FULL of sodium, sugar and unhealthy carbs. Foods with a high-sodium count can only dehydrate you. Try to find a sandwich shop and pair it with some fruit.

Step 5: Be Active

Got muscle cramps and the person in the aisle seat is asleep?! It’s very important that you do walk around and stretch on a long flight to prevent cramps, swollen feet and blood clots. While seated, do some calf raises and shoulder raises. Unless you do these movements the entire flight, you won’t be sore, but it will still keep your body active. When you have the opportunity to get up and walk, make sure you stretch out your entire body as well. Sleeping, for me at least, just leaves me worthless after the flight. Upload some movies onto your computer/tablet/iPod, or maybe start a new book.

After 24 hours of straight traveling, I was exhausted–I won’t lie. But it was also 3 or 4 a.m. in my head (thanks, jet lag!) when I arrived at my new apartment. I think anyone would be a little tired, right? I definitely felt better than I would have thanks to these tips!

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