Travel, Jet Lag & your regimen

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 20, 2007 8:09 AM GMT
    I am soliciting tips, ideas and inspiration from you traveling Jocks.

    I find that the couple days before and after a long trip are often wasted because of commotion and time pressures. It often takes a couple days to find a suitable place to work out (if at all possible).

    Then there is JET LAG-- so even if one works out diligently, it is squandered through lack of rest. Yesterday I arrived at London Heathrow, dropped off my bags and went straight to the gym like a good boy. But this morning I woke at an ungodly hour following only 5 hours sleep. And I only got about 4 hours of zzz's the night before on the plane. Not good for recovery.

    How about airport/airplane food? Do any of you order the dietary-restriction meals they sometimes offer on planes?

    What are other fixes you road-warriors out there have discovered?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 20, 2007 9:09 AM GMT
    I'm a vegetarian and thats what I order in the air.

    As far as eating goes, I was just discussing this with my pal. I wanted to take some protein powder and supps with me on a trip but they always take my stuff away as soon as I declare it.

    I leave to India and Nepal soon and the only idea I had was to maybe fedex a bottle of whey powder to one of my hotels just in case the Himalayas don't have a local GNC.

    As for Jet Lag and working out, I feel like running helps with jet lag or if you're having one of those nights where you can't sleep - do some pushups, take a nap, do some crunches... take a nap.... i dunno

    By the way ... Great Topic... I cant wait to read what anyone else has to say.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 20, 2007 4:27 PM GMT
    When I travel oversees....usually landing in europe in the morning....I stay up...Once I get to the hotel, I put my bags in my room...take a quick shower...and I get outside and walk the city....I stay away from the hotel room and the bed for as long as possible...that gets my body on their time...
    As for diet...I never leave without a big ziplock bag full of assorted nuts to munch on...and Kashi bars and rolls.

    I dont know what airline youre flying...but meal requests are few and far between on US carriers these days...

    Also, I try to avoid alcohol in flight...other than a glass of red relaxes me and puts me right to sleep.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 20, 2007 4:33 PM GMT
    I have to be one of the very few lucky ones! I don't get jet lag at all....I can sleep anywhere, anytime or not at all and function! is very weird....very weird....but usually I try to sleep at lot before the trips, rest as much as I can so when this happens doesn't take me long to recover.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 20, 2007 6:23 PM GMT
    It's pretty much a fact that travel is going to interrupt your routine.

    As such, I don't usually bother trying to find a gym; I usually do some body-weight only exercises in my hotel room or in a park if the weather is nice. I also usually bring my running shoes. Lately, I've been trying the "strong & lean" workout plan featured on this site; it's worth checking out, it's been a really good source of exercises that don't rely on having weights at your disposal. It's also a pretty kick ass-workout in general, if you're in to trying something different for a while to get out of a rut.

    Anyway, I think a more realistic goal for travel is maintenance rather than progress, particularly if you travel a lot. It's simply a matter of doing what you can when you can.

    For me, the bulk of my travel is done between april and november (I'm a bicycle race official), so I go to the gym when I can between trips, and try to do enough exercise when travelling to avoid losing muscle or getting fat. Then, I get a chance to settle back into a routine during the winter.

    As for food, I usually try to find a grocery store, and stock up on reasonably healthy snacks; eating small amounts throughout the day works best for me, though it can be hard to do when on the road. I usually do salads at restaurants, and things like oatmeal for breakfast.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 21, 2007 10:33 AM GMT
    I go to Europe a fair amt and to and from there can set off a jet lag attack sometimes
    ...but they have studied this and now say that a lot of the jet lag symptoms are really manifestations of high altitude sickness from being on the plane for so long...

    but disruption of your sleeping pattern also is a factor so the best thing to do is when you get to your destination...stay up - find a place to workout
    do strenuous cardio or something like that and tire yourself out
    this will allow you to sleep once the time comes
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 21, 2007 11:53 AM GMT
    Resetting your body clock to the time zone you are in is essential - yes you may wake up at an ungodly hour, but believe me this helps. On my last trip to Oz it took the full 12 days i was there to get in sync, however from the moment i arrived i did my best to get into Oz time - even if that meant having 2.5 hours sleep the first night... That magically increased to 6 hours the following night!

    Minimal alcohol/caffeine on the flight and lots of water are also help - not just with hydration, but also just so you don't feel like a pile of shite when you arrive at your destination.

    Another tip - try and book in for a massage either as soon as possible after arrival, or a couple of hours before you hit the sack - the relaxation at either time will help... and if you feel good enough to hit the gym, or go jogging then do (as others have advised)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 21, 2007 4:11 PM GMT
    I am unable to sleep on airplanes when I travel. It is one of my downfalls. Ways that I avoid jetlag is once I get to my destination, get to the hotel, take a shower and get back outdoors as soon as possible. I remain outdoors and moving until a typical sleep hour. This gets me adjusted to the new time zone.

    I don’t request any specific dietary meal. I generally choose the lesser of two evils in respect to what they are serving. I drink a lot of water as well. Keeping well hydrated while flying is extremely important. It is hard too on our immune systems with the re-circulated air so I boost my immune system with vitamins before I travel and take Airborne while flying.

    For exercise, while flying to get up and move around and do some basic stretches to keep the circulation going especially long haul flights. Once in my destination I don’t search out a gym. If the hotel has one I will go workout, but I generally will maintain with push-ups, crunches, leg lifts, etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 21, 2007 4:50 PM GMT
    I too am unable to sleep on airplanes. And US airports seem specifically designed to prevent rest. I generally save up some thick books to take along, of a sort that otherwise would challenge my attention span.

    There is a web site that purports to locate the nearest gym to any airport, so that you can work out during layovers:

    By the time I get to any destination in Europe, I've generally been awake for 48 hours. More if I was working on a pre-travel deadline. (It's not easy to get there from here.) Frequently, I just lay down and sleep through an entire day when I arrive. Then I launch right into work. During the first few days, there is definitely a mental low point at my usual bed time, though it may be midday in the local time zone.

    In his recent novel, "Pattern Recognition," William Gibson had some amusing things to say about living in "the post-geographic world." One of them was that if you are an international traveler, your soul trails out behind you on a 5000 km-long bungee cord. As long as you keep moving, it never catches up with you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 20, 2007 9:58 PM GMT
    As a pilot for FedEx I, I know how hard it is to work out on the road. My tips are: I pack protein powder and supplements in zip lock bags and a shaker. From everything I have read you don't have to declare it. It is not a food item but rather a supplement.

    I make it a point to work out first thing on arrival. Many of our crew hotels have great gyms, but if I know I am going somewhere new, I try to contact some of the real jocks in the area and ask about off-site gyms?, where they work out? etc, This helped me find the Gold's Gym in Osaka.

    As for sleeping, I take Melatonin as needed to help me sleep when I need to sleep. I found I am so sensitive to this, that I take only .5 miligrams. If you try this, do not take the sublingual tablet, as studies have shown that a rapid increase in melatonin can actually cause insomnia (sp?). Other pilots tell me that the keep a second dose by the bed with water so if they wake up and it is too early they can easily take the second dose without distrubing their sleep too much.
    That being said I am writing this at 5am local Shanghai time because I can't sleep any longer!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 21, 2007 12:03 AM GMT
    I do a couple of things.

    - I make sure to drink plenty of bottled water, preferably the fruit flavored ones (Because US flights are tricky these days, my Concierge service makes sure they always have some; but I don't think its a problem if you request ahead of time).

    - I avoid Caffeine and Alchohol on trans oceanic trips, and for 24 hours afterward.

    (I know - the attendants look at you weird when the drinks are free - I have even been asked if I was Muslim)

    - When I get where I am going I try to get as much sunlight as possible, especially the first day. For this reason I often schedule my flights so that I arrive very early in the morning.

    - A couple of nights after my arrival I take Melatonin before going to bed.

    I was told to do this years ago, and never seem to have the problems other people do.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 21, 2007 12:21 AM GMT
    I find that the biggest problems I have in working out when traveling relate to the crazy pace of the day--when I'm on the road, I'm usually on a 12- to 14-hour schedule, and the best of intentions quickly get lost in the rush and hum of work. What I try to do:

    1. Stay away from airport food. I usually pack larabars or nuts/raisins to get me through the flight.

    2. Drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol.

    3. If I'm traveling to a client and know that I'll be back once or twice, I'll research the local gyms online beforehand, talk to the owners/manager, and strike an arrangement for temporary or per-use membership. Sometimes I get good advice from the client that I'm visiting--once or twice, they've even arranged for gym passes for me.

    4. Get the workout done in the morning, before the day starts.

    5. Lower my expectations for what I can get done on the road. Usually, I go into maintenance mode for weights and focus more on light cardio.

    6. Be really careful eating out in the evenings--the temptation to have comfort food when you're on the road gets much stronger.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 21, 2007 6:25 AM GMT
    Cure, I cannot argue against any of those points you made. I only hope I can adhere to those strongly next time I'm on a trip.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 21, 2007 12:43 PM GMT
    I'm going to tell you what I told Mr thecureforeverything-

    This is a circadian rythym issue

    Drugs- Rozerem (ramelteon) it affects melatonin pathways in the brain. It is NOT a sedative hypnotic.

    Photo therapy- check out this site:

    It really works. When you travel your brain is no longer synchronized with the day length of your home.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 23, 2007 5:42 PM GMT
    if only less then 6 hr difference, i cna usually adjust fine. The big one are those 12 hr difference when i travel to asia. Hence you really have to plan a head of time and adjust according.
    if you will be landing in the morning. Try sleeping on the plan despite it might be day time for you. take ambient or whatever to put yourself to sleep, dont' let the movies tempt you.
    if you will be landing in the evening. try stay awake as much as possible. again, take pill, coffee, watch movie.
    it cut down your jetleg a lot more. since you are trap in the plane doing nothing anyway.