The best way to recover after a long travel day


No matter how much you love seeing family across the country on vacation, travel can be exhausting. The past few days have been especially stressful for passengers in the Southwest, where thousands of flights have been canceled and stranded.

When traveling, “the body experiences two types of stress: physical stress and psychological stress,” says Tim Roberts, Therabody’s vice president of science and innovation. We struggle with uncomfortable seats, reschedule flights, and sit in traffic.

Our bodies don’t like sitting still for hours. At least my body didn’t after she drove I-95 for six and a half hours during our Christmas trip from DC to New York.

Usually what makes me feel better is a scalding shower, a hot meal, and a jog if I have ambitions. We asked travel and wellness experts for their best advice for easing the strain of a long travel day.

before traveling

hydrated, hydrated, hydrated

Traveling, especially by air, can lead to dehydration. “A standard plane is as dry as the Atacama desert and has oxygen in mountains 8,000 feet,” said Jonathan Alder, owner of luxury travel company Jonathan’s Travels. says.

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To combat this, start hydrating before, during, and after your trip.

If you’re on an airplane, drink at least 12 ounces of water every hour, recommends Jordan Crofton, Well’s nurse and director of patient health. She also adds electrolytes to the water.

What you don’t drink is also important. Neha Deol, a nutritionist at I am Health, says travelers should avoid caffeinated beverages such as soda, alcohol and coffee. Not only can alcohol cause dehydration, it can also disrupt your sleep schedule, says Kelly Starrett, a physical therapist and co-founder of Ready State.

If you need a boost of energy, green tea is great, says Deol. Less dehydration.

Similarly, physician and author Fred Pescatore tells us to avoid salty and sugary foods.

while traveling

Stay engaged if you’re not napping

Boredom is the root cause of travel fatigue, says mindfulness instructor Linda Price. Lack of exercise and mental stimulation is exhausting, like long waits on a trip.

Price recommends listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts while driving or reading, and doing crossword puzzles, word searches, and Sudoku while on the plane.

maintain blood flow

With a 17-hour flight to the US, Air New Zealand staff are no strangers to long journeys. In addition to staying hydrated, airline spokesperson Leanne Geraghty says in-flight exercise is vital to travel health.

Road trippers should take regular breaks to stretch their legs, says Deol. One of her favorite stretches is to balance on one leg while pulling her other knee to her chest before switching her sides. (Bonus her points if she can get up to the ball of her standing leg.) Repeat three to four times, focusing on deep breathing to lower her heart rate and improve circulation.

when you arrive

Please resume movement as soon as possible

After hours of sitting, moving your body is a great way to unwind. Starrett tells clients to treat their first day on the ground as an active recovery day. Let her keep it light with activities like stretching and walking.

James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel, sees similar results in running. “This is the best way to release energy from being programmed into a new time zone and being on a plane,” he said.

I love jogging, but I also love trying out the local gyms and workouts. Whether you’re working up a sweat at a Muay Thai class in Bangkok or trying out a gym in Marrakech, getting to know new places and feeling like a new person. It was a way to feel

I go outside

When you’re out and about, try to be grounded (barefoot outside). Deol says walking barefoot on sand or grass can reduce inflammation and make you feel energized.

Sebastien Maingorde, regional manager of Le Barthelemy Hotel and Spa in the French West Indies, says simply being outside is ideal for clearing your mind after being trapped on a plane. increase. He tells his guests to take a walk or swim to rejuvenate him.

Replenish your energy with something satisfying and healthy

Especially if you’re traveling with family, Thornton makes it a priority to find a good local meal as soon as you land. and looking for great pasta and gelato,” he said.

But don’t forget fruits and vegetables. Janice Johnston, chief medical officer at Redirect Health, encourages travelers to prioritize eating vitamin-rich foods while traveling to boost energy levels.

make rest a priority

“I love to take a nap,” said Kristal Hicks of Top Tier Travel Group, after a serious time zone change. Hicks said even people who can sleep on a plane feel more rested because a proper nap in bed stretches them out. Experts also suggest looking for the right light at the right time and extending your circadian rhythm to combat jet lag.

For the best nap (and sleep later), Benoit Ugeux, Chief Operations Officer at Custom Jet Charters, says to pack a pillow from home.

take a shower or steam

After a long day of travel, a shower is the only way to rejuvenate. So does Roberts. “Even if you don’t have much time between your trip and your plans for the rest of the day, take a shower,” he said.

Intrepid souls can take Crofton’s advice and boost your mood with cold therapy, a cold soak or 30-second cold shower.

Are you in a hurry? Andreas Magnus, general manager of his Engelberg resort at Kempinski Palace in Switzerland, recommends Steam in his bath to moisturize skin and open airways. He prepares a bowl of hot water, leans his face against the bowl, and covers his head with a towel. (Add Himalayan rock salt and eucalyptus oil, if desired.)

untie the knot

Your body was slumped in an uncomfortable chair for hours. Eliminate knots, aches and pains with a professional massage.

Vincent Parineau, general manager of France’s Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, said his first choice would be a Balinese massage that combines deep-tissue techniques and gentle stretching, or a general massage that focuses on back pain and circulation. He recommends a gentle back and shoulder massage. .He doesn’t have the budget to avail himself of luxury spa treatments, so he looks for a more affordable reflexology his massage his business.

Alternatively, you can massage yourself. Starrett has athlete clients travel with Hyperice Hypersphere or Hypervolt Go 2 to reach out to their organizations. Of course, Roberts’ choice is her Therabody massager.

take a day off

Most Elite Recovery Moves: Don’t rush back to your normal routine. We want to make the most of our travels, but we appreciate you sacrificing a vacation day to catch up before real life resumes.

“Even on a relaxing vacation, stepping out of your comfort zone for a few days can be exhausting for many people – at least for me,” Rachel Orr wrote assuring Buffer Day. “Think of it as a little staycation at the end of your vacation.”

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