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How to Prevent Jet Lag

Try these tips to prevent travel fatigue and stay healthy on your vacation

In an ideal world, everyone would fly first class: with legroom, a reclining seat, cozy blankets and warm chocolate chip cookies. But in reality, air travel can be a bit of a drag. No need to prolong the misery once you land though. Follow these tips to keep jet lag at bay.

Keep sipping
Staying hydrated is important because it will keep exhaustion at a minimum (a bonus when you’re navigating your way around an arena-sized airport or parked at the turnstiles looking for your luggage). Alcohol and caffeine will only make you jittery and anxious “ stick to water, fruit juice or herbal tea. Carrying a reusable water bottle will allow you to fill up between flights so that you never feel thirsty (often a sign you’re already dehydrated).

Be on time
Local time, that is. If you’re away for more than a couple of days, fight the urge to sleep and eat on your home time. Instead, set your watch to the time of your destination a few days before you leave to help your body used to its new schedule.

Move it
On long-haul flights, make sure to get up and walk around every hour “ take a trip to the washroom and stretch for five minutes or walk down the aisle when it’s empty. And while hitting the hotel gym may be the last thing on your mind, exercise is crucial to help you sleep better and avoid getting ill en route.

Pack snacks
Eating meals according to your destination’s time zone as opposed to the time they are served on the plane will help your body adapt more quickly. Packing your own food will also ensure it’s healthy (and edible), further fortifying your immune system for the length of your vacation. Some healthy ideas: almonds, apples, bananas and energy bars “ and make sure you have enough for both your flight and the waiting you’re sure to do in airport terminals.

Shut out light
Light disturbs our body’s waking and rest rhythms “ once you’re roused, it’s hard to get back to sleep. Bring an eye mask for the plane and yank the shade, and once at the hotel, draw those drapes and put that Do Not Disturb sign to good use.

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