Category Archives: Travel

3 day reset after the holiday splurge

After 3 weeks of traveling in Asia I have enjoyed a lot of different foods and drinks, and as much fun as it has been I also can feel the toll it has taken on my body.
No matter how well you choose when eating out, eating in hotels and restaurants is always a challenge as you have no control over what is put into the food. Of course part of the fun when traveling is trying a lot of different things so I am not saying that you shouldn’t. But, all the added extras that tend to show up in restaurant food like different kinds of sugar, taste enhancers and unhealthy fats does make life very tough for your digestive system.

So what can you do on your way back home?
I like to look at the flight as an opportunity to transfer from the holiday fun back into a more healthy sustainable lifestyle. Whether or not there is a lot of jet lag involved I think that following my previous jet lag guide is a great place to start, and this includes avoiding all airplane food. If most restaurant food is not that great for you, airplane food is way worse. So plan ahead and bring your own healthy food along, like organic apples and nuts. Or if you are a bit more hardcore simply fast during the flight. If you think about it, even on longer flights you do not really need to eat, it’s usually something that you tend to do more out of boredom. But if you feel that it is too much, just try with a few healthy snacks instead.

Once you are back home remember to hydrate! Drinking enough water really is key for optimal health. You can think of water as the body’s internal transportation system which is very important for proper cell function and balance within. Do some easy sports or just get out and walk, as your body will feel better with movement, and it will help your lymphatic system to drain excess fluid.
If you have the opportunity to use a sauna then do! It is an excellent way for the body to recover and to sweat out unwanted bacteria and toxins. A bath with epsom salt is also a great alternative. Cut out all sugars (this includes alcohol) as the sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut. I know this one is tough, but it is totally necessary.
Reduce caffeine as much as possible as it is a strong stimulant and as such keeps the body wired and makes it harder to relax and recover.ย Try green tea instead of coffee.
Eat as much vegetables as you can and take a break from meat, to make it easy on your digestive system. Adding a green smoothie into your day is a great way to boost your health.

We quickly get used to eating more sugar (and drinking) so it is important to make a strong reduction as soon as you get home so that you don’t get stuck in the new “holiday habit” you might have acquired. Taking a pro-biotic supplement to help the good bacteria take back control in your digestive system might be a good idea. It might also be a good idea to help out your liver and you could do that by taking the natural herbal supplement of milk-thistle.

Why a 3 day reset? It is small enough that mentally the obstacle isn’t too big, but still long enough to actually have an impact, and if you are up for it why not continue for another few days? I wish you a lot of fun during your future travels, but make yourself a favor and have a plan ready for once you are back home, so that your fun indulgences doesn’t become new unhealthy habits.

Enjoy exploring some new teas ๐Ÿ™‚

My best mobile friends

If you have followed my blog you know that I am a huge ย believer in prevention and taking care of yourself. And just because you are traveling it doesn’t mean that you should stop doing that. One of my favorite methods for doing this is using mobility exercises. There are lots of different ways to get the job done and tools to help you. Depending on how long you will be traveling for and how much space you have in your suitcase, you will most likely have to choose between different tools to bring.

The following two tools are the most minimalistic tools that I bring along where I feel I get all the help I need. They easily fit into your luggage and can also be thrown into your hand luggage or backpack if need be.

No 1 is the lacrosse ball. If you have never seen one before it’s the size of a tennis ball but made completely out of rubber. Therefore it is a lot more versatile than the tennis ball as it does not cave in with added pressure. Basically put the ball on a part of your body that you feel needs extra attention, like your calves after a lot of walking. Slowly let the ball sink into the muscle and then move back and forth across a small area for a minute or two. In my previous post I wrote about how to use lacrosse ball in flight, you can read about that here.

No 2 is the Gemini. I absolutely love this tool and use this every day to mobilize all the way along the spine. The shape of the Gemini is specifically made for this and it works great. I have tried a lot of different mobility tools and so far I have not come across anything that has been more effective in working along the spine than this. You can also use it for larger muscle groups like the quads or lats if you wanted to.

Usually I will bring a yoga mat with me as well as it gets me good traction and helps me avoid some dodgy hotel room floors, but it is not necessary if you are short on space, and you could always use a towel if need be. If I still had some extra space left in my suitcase I would add a foam roller to the mix as I find it to be more effective going over larger muscle groups as well. But with the lacrosse ball and Gemini you really have everything you need, and as they are so easy to bring with you no matter where you are going you will always find them with me while traveling.

Enjoy your traveling and keep up your mobility work ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

Staying mobile above the clouds

As I am writing this I am midair somewhere over the Pacific Ocean on my way to Hanoi in Vietnam. It is my second longer flight in just a few days and how to prevent getting stiff from all that sitting and speed up recovery is on my mind.
So what can you do to help yourself? My all time favorite is to use the lacrosse ball for the hamstrings and part of the glutes (butt). With all that sitting, blood circulation is compromised, especially in the legs. This creates a lot of stiffness whichย  besides making you move like an old grandma also can have longer lasting effects on your hips and knees. This is due to muscles becoming tight and therefore restricting full extension of the hip and knee, for example being able to straighten the leg completely. If you don’t get this taken care of immediately then pretty soon you can end up with low back pain due to the altered way of moving.

How to avoid all of this stuff? Whenever you can – get up and move a bit extra. It is often said to walk around the cabin as much as you can, but I tend to find this very challenging. Instead I try to add in some squats (and lateral lunges if space permits) every time I get up and go to the bathroom. As a minimum I do 10 squats before and 10 squats after.

When you get back into your seat use the lacrosse ball. You might be able to use a tennis ball but I don’t recommend it as I find it too soft against the seat.
Put the lacrosse ball under one of your hamstrings and then do small, slow movements across the ball with your leg. You can also move your lower leg from side to side and back and forth. There really is no right and wrong here so just try a few different angles and see what works for you. Then after a minute or two move the ball to another area and go through the same procedure. Once you have worked your way through one hamstring move the ball to the next.

I like to do this while watching a movie, and during a 10-12 hour flight I tend to do this at least 4 times. It is a huge help and as you only do small movements with the leg you are not jeopardizing to disturb your fellow passenger, which is a plus.

Of course you can do this on shorter flights too, or actually during any prolonged sitting. I have used this technique during long lectures for instance. Keeping the blood circulation as good as possible in your legs is also very important in preventing blood clots forming. You can read more about that here. I also find that compression socks are a great help. Make sure that you get some good ones that fit you correctly so that they are tight enough but not so tight that they are completely constricting you. You don’t want to feel as if an anaconda is eating its way up your leg! By measuring the width of your calf you should be able to find the right size for you.

The Using the lacrosse ball technique on my hamstrings have really saved me on many long flights so if there is just one thing you should try for your next flight, then try that.

Wishing you happy travel adventures ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Here is a motivational video for some more mobility on your next flight.


Air travel health tips from Harvard
http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/air-travel-health-tips

 

Do you say Good-morning when it is midnight?

It is getting to that time of the year where a lot of my friends are traveling far, and with changing time zones the question of how to best deal with jet lag often comes up. This was indeed the topic as I was talking to one of my friends about my upcoming Asia trip. She said that she always has a horrible time with it, so when I said that I usually don’t have much of a problem with it at all, she wanted to know my strategy. Before I tell you all about my strategy lets just take a quick look at hers, or rather the non-existing strategy.

She would:
Drink alcohol or take a sleeping pill.
Not pay attention to hydration.
Not move much.
Sleep as much as possible.
Eat all the food offered.
Would often sugar binge before and after the flight, and drink too much coffee to compensate the blood sugar lows.

During the last two decades of some crazy and extensive travel, this is the strategy that have ended up working great for me and hope it can be helpful for you too!

The day before traveling and on the actual day:
Drink lots of water so you are hydrated
No alcohol
No sugar
Drink very little coffee

On the plane:
Change your watch immediately you get on the plane to the new timezone, this way you are already mentally preparing for the change.
Drink lots of water.
No alcohol!
No sleeping pills!
No sugar. (makes for steady blood sugar levels which keeps the energy steady without major dips)
No airplane food. Bring your own or do a fast. Seriously, no one has gotten ill from not eating airplane food.
Get up and move when you can.
Don’t sleep a lot. I usually only sleep the last 3-4 hours before breakfast is served (on a 10-12 hour flight). That way I am already in the new time zone rhythm, and I am not completely dead once I land because I did sleep a bit, but I will be tired enough when it gets to the evening.

Day 1 in the new time zone:
Stay awake the whole day after landing and do not take any naps.
If possible do some easy sports or take a long walk and/or do some mobility exercises.
No caffeine after 3pm.
No alcohol.
No sugar.
Do some mobility exercises even if it’s only 5 minutes. (I find it very helpful to work along the spine, and on the quads, hamstrings and glutes)
Go to bed around 10pm. You should be very tired by now and manage to get a pretty good nights sleep, which will set you up great for the following day. I once landed in Tokyo at 08.00 in the morning, and it was indeed tough to stay awake the whole day, but I fell asleep in the evening no problem, had a good nights sleep, and the next day I was pretty much in the new time zone without a problem or major energy dips.

Day 2:
Do some sport early in the day or take a long walk and/or do some mobility exercises.
Keep drinking lots of water.
Avoid sugar.
No naps.
Aaaaand….You are good to go!

If you really want to get into more details about this there is also a great website you can use called Jet Lag Rooster. I hope my strategy will be as helpful to you as it has been to me, and enjoy your upcoming traveling.

Happy travels! ๐Ÿ˜‰

“He says Good-morning when it is midnight…”

This video is a special tribute to you Kate (Watson) and your amazing kids ๐Ÿ™‚ what an awesome video and such fun times!