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Moves to cure your #EuroSummer jetlag

by Tali Samoylenko on Saturday 26 May 2018


The season of holiday envy is just about upon us. Aussies across the nation are off to enjoy a fabulous #EuropeanSummer and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t just a little jelly! 

If you’re one of the lucky jetsetters, you’ll likely be returning from your escapades not only to winter, but also to regular life, which means getting back on track before your tan starts to fade!  

The combination of colder weather and the transition from timezones can have you hiding in bed for way too long, but don’t worry, these tips are sure to help you cure your jetlag and get you back to normal in no time! 

Wait, what’s jetlag? 

Good question! Jetlag is your body’s reaction to your circadian rhythm being slapped out of whack by differing time zones. What that means is that your body gets used to anticipating certain times, like when it gets dark (and it’s time to sleep) or when the day starts (when it’s time to get up and be active). Traveling can throw you out of balance because these times change in different countries. 

How do you fix it? 

1. Start preparing your body early   

Before your flight (both there and back) take a look at local time zones. This will give you an indication of whether you should be staying up later or going to bed sooner. Slowly adjusting your body clock means that the new time zone won’t be as much of a shock to your system.  

2. Try to get some ‘plane’ and simple shuteye 

When you’re on the plane, try to get as much rest as possible. Do you what you need to do; get an eye mask, read or listen to a meditation podcast – whatever it takes! It’ll mean that your body is better equipped to deal with whatever time zone you land in next. And, don't forget to stretch your legs between zzz's.

3. Resist the alluring pull of sleep 

Whatever you do, don’t cave! If you’ve arrived home during the day, do your best to keep your eyes open and resist the temptation to snooze. Grab a coffee, get outside and absorb the sun – it’ll help you reset your clock and allow you to sleep at your usual local time.  

4. Get active 

After being cramped up on a plane for hours on end, your body is in some serious need of a good stretch. First, walk around to get the blood flowing around the body fully again. Gentle walk/movement will help to transport blood around the body that will promote the delivery of essential nutrients to vital organs and muscles allowing us to perform more dynamic exercise. Then, try the following moves:  

Wide leg Torso bend  
•      Stand with your feet parallel, a little wider than your shoulders, toes are pointing forward, and knees slightly bent
•      Take a deep breath and hold as you fold forward at the waist, maintaining the slight angle at the knee
•      Release and exhale when at the bottom of the fold 
•      Hold this pose for about 30-60 seconds, relaxing the upper body but maintain form in the lower body
•      Bring your hands to your hips for support and slowly roll yourself up, starting from the waist and finishing with the head and chin, until completely upright

Cat stretch   
•      Get down on all fours, hands below shoulders, knees below hips
•      Take a deep breath and arch your back upwards towards the ceiling (angry Cat)
•      Hold for a few moments, keep your head tucked in and don’t forget to engage those abs!
•      Exhale and this time, lowly arch your back in the opposite direction towards to floor (happy cat) 
•      Slightly raise your head to create that extra stretch
•      Repeat three or four times

Spine twist    
•      Sit down with a straight back, head neutral, with relaxed shoulders
•      Have your knees slightly bent in front of you, with your feet slightly apart
•      While maintaining a straight back, slowly twist to your right – you can put the back of your left hand on the outside of your right knee for support
•      Placing your right hand flat on the floor behind you for support, feel the stretch in the middle to lower back
•      Keep your head neutral with the shoulders throughout the stretch 
•      Slowly come back to the centre 
•      Repeat on the opposite side and for two or three times going that little bit further each time while maintaining form

Returning home from your European getaway? Sweat the jetlag away and get into shape at one of your nearest Virgin Active clubs. We’ve got a class for any kind of mood you’re in; from an intense circuit session, to a more chilled out vibe at yoga. We’d love to hear about your trip while you’re here too! 

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