- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Problems with coordination and memory
When you're in the midst jet lag, exercise may be the last thing you want to do. However, a workout may actually help reset your body clock while reducing the symptoms of jet lag. Studies have shown that outdoor exercise can help resynchronize your body and that there are three important times when exercise can help you the most:
- Exercising Before Your Flight - While you're still fresh and full of energy, try a higher intensity workout before your flight to burn some calories and get rid of any travel stress. If you have a very early flight, you may not have time for a full workout, but a few brisk laps around the airport before boarding will work just fine.
- Staying Active During Your Flight - It's tough to move in such a small space, but any movement can keep your blood flowing and help you feel a little less cramped and tight. Get up and walk around if you can or, if that's not an option, try isometric exercises. Squeeze your glutes 20 times, contract your abs and hold for as long as you can or do leg extensions if you have the leg room.
- Exercising After You Arrive - You may find that your worst jet lag symptoms happen 2 or 3 days after you arrive. To help combat that, try to exercise the day you get there, even if it's a short walk or a few exercises in your hotel room.
There's not much research on the best exercise to reduce jet lag, so listen to your body and do what feels best. High intensity cardio may be out of the question when you're exhausted and your body feels like it weighs twice as much as it normally does. If that's the case, try a light body weight workout, a walk or some stretching exercises and remember you'll be back to your old self in a few days.
Easy Jet Lag Workouts
Shiota M, Sudou M, Ohshima M. Using outdoor exercise to decrease jet lag in airline crewmembers. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1996 Dec;67(12):1155-60.