7 Tips to Help Fight Those Frequent Flyer Blues

By Vy Vu, February 21, 2020

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This article originally appeared on our sister website, Urban Family Shanghai.


As part of our Education Blog series, FitFam Executive Director Vy Vu offers fitness tips, and tell us what is new on the sweat scene.

With the coronavirus outbreak coming over the Chinese New Year, many have extended their exile from China, decided to leave the country for the time being, or are finally returning. All of which means a lot of flying.

None of us are immune to the most common of sleep disorders: jet lag. The condition results from an imbalance in our body's natural 'biological clock' (otherwise known as circadian rhythm) caused by traveling to different time zones. These rhythms are measured by changes in body temperature and hormones and are influenced by our exposure to sunlight which helps determine when we sleep and when we are awake.

When traveling to a new time zone, our circadian rhythms find it difficult to adjust and remains on their original biological schedule for several days, causing tiredness and alertness still based on the initial time zone. For those time-zone hopping globetrotters, here are some ways to fight those holiday blues to reduce the side effects of traveling. 

Hydrate – Before, During and After 

Hydrate with drinks high in vitamin C, antioxidants and charcoal which give your immune system a boost and prevents infections; since illness will only exacerbate all of the other effects of jet lag, as featured in Lizzy’s travel kit. 

Lizzy’s All Natural have packed smoothies in international travel-approved containers to help protect, hydrate and nourish your body, boost your body's energy level and fight fatigue. Keeping you full and wards off cravings during those long haul journeys.

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During Your Flight

Avoid drinking coffee, tea and alcohol as these are diuretic drinks which may cause dehydration.

Avoid heavy and greasy foods as it is tougher to digest and takes away energy and resources from your immune system, effecting sleep quality and causing discomfort.

Most flight carriers allow you to select vegetarian option as part of online check-in. 

Do as the locals do, adjust your watch to your destinations local time, to allow your body to adjust to the new time zone before you land.

To Stay Awake

Listen to podcasts we love Oscar Fuch’s Mosaic of China, Clara Davis’ Unravel and Michelle Ibarra’s Pop Abroad podcast.

To Sleep

Turn off your electronics, put on a face mask to avoid infections, pop in some noise cancelling ear plugs and block out the light with on an eye mask to assist with sleeping.

Onboard – In the Aisle

Exercises recommended by Erwin Regidor from ALFA Coaching to do every hour of flight.

Alternating Cossack Squat

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Great for getting side to side opening of the hip joint and stretching the inside of the thighs from extending sitting.

Deep Squat Thoracic Rotation

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Great for getting deep hip mobility and range of motion while hitting lower and upper back rotation to prevent stiffness.

Alternating Split Stance Good Morning

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Great for stretching the lower back and hamstrings.

On Arrival

Some restorative yoga poses and some simple breathing practice can really help post travel. Jade from Free Soul Yoga suggests some shoulder opening yoga poses and different sitting positions can really improve the blood circulation on the shoulder, neck and the hips. holding each pose for 5-10minutes.

Halasana on Chair 

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Setu Banda Sarvangasana

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Viparita Karani

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Welcome Back

Recover with Floatasian. Floatation is reaching a state of tranquility by floating. When floating, the body, salt waterand air inside the tank all rest at 34.8 °C. This creates a feeling of weightlessness and deep relaxation. After a float session many people experience less tension, pain, stress and fatigue and those benefits are perfect after a long flight. Another great benefit of floating is that many people sleep better at night after their sessions, and that alone can help you get back on track after the holidays.

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Now you can appreciate those holiday snaps and plan your next get away.


When not being a fashionista in her day job, author Vy Vu can be found encouraging the FitFam  community to sweat with smiles on their faces, and all for free. For more on FitFam scan the QR code:

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This article was originally published by our sister magazine Urban Family Shanghai. For more articles like this, visit the Urban Family website, or follow the Urban Family WeChat account (ID: urbanfamilyshanghai) or by scanning the QR code below.

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[Cover image via Unsplash]

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