There are a lot of theories, myths and “Wives’ Tales” that deal with cures for jet lag and exercise is my cure.
There are a lot of cures for jet lag, from the simple to complex, scientific to goofy, medicinal, herbal and elemental. Some are simple and others are complex and convoluted. Take melatonin, drink water, starve yourself take pharmaceuticals, wear goggles that shine light into your eyes and more.
I don’t travel all that much, but when I do I find the best way to get over jet lag and its associated problems is to grab a quick workout, sometimes intense, sometimes restorative. I don’t have any hard and fast rules – there’s no science behind cures for jet lag – but I listen to my body to determine what kind of exercise routine I’ll do.
If I’m on the road I usually intend to do a light workout – especially if I’m feeling laggy – and definitely start slow. Sometimes I perk up during the workout and wind up going pretty hard, other times nice and easy does it. Also, sometimes the facilities don’t permit a heavy-duty workout, but any workout is better than no workout.
Calisthenics, dynamic flexibility work, a light run, an easy circuit training routine are all good strategies to combat jet lag. Do something that gets you, and keeps you, moving for at least 25-35 minutes, incorporates whole body movements and has you changing elevations. You know, get down on the ground, get back up…keep moving and get the blood flowing.
When I get back home my workouts tend to be more rigorous, usually because I’m glad to be home and that I’m familiar with my surroundings. I just got back from Las Vegas and less than 2 hours after I we touched down I was on the local high school field doing what started out as a recovery-style run but wound up being a full-blown workout.
Felt great, ate great, slept great and I was back in the swing of things right away. Exercise is a great cure for jet lag.