HIKE IN – HIKE OUT: Four reasons you should be on your feet pre and post adventure
As a filmmaker and brand storyteller, the past six months I’ve much of my time back and forth on lengthy flights en route to exotic and off the beaten path destinations. There are two words I dread to ever let slip out of my mouth after I disembark the plane. Jet Lag. If you get it, it can tremendously hinder the outcome of your experience, however, short or long you may be exploring in a destination. After running around the world, I’ve figured out a thing or two when it comes to minimizing the in-flight effects on my body after being up in the air for many hours. I have a trusty personal preventative list of things I do in-flight like stretching, constantly drinking water, allowing myself only one glass of wine, always carrying an eye mask for lights out, and using melatonin spray if necessary as a sleep aid, and but there’s one more thing I’ve recently added into the mix that works like a charm.
When I traveled to South Africa, I made it my priority to hike in and hike out. And by hike in and hike out, I mean I set up a hike for the day after I arrived in the country and set up another the morning I was set to fly home. I flew into Durban and set off to hike the beautiful region of the Drakensberg Mountains for a three and a half hour into hike throughout Giants Castle, and upon leaving, trekked for five and a half hours to the top of Table Mountain via Skeleton Gorge with a local guide.
Here are four reasons you’ll benefit from moving your legs after arrival and before your say goodbye on your next long haul adventure.
1. CIRCULATE WHILE YOU NAVIGATE
It really gets that blood pumping again after be cramped in a small space for a long period of time. You can actually build up fluid in flight in certain areas of your body and the best thing you can do to get everything circulating and flowing regularly again.
2. SWITCH OFF TO FEEL ON
Sleeping on the plane can often be difficult, depending on a number of factors like your neighbor, turbulence, and other in-flight factors. If you’re like me, you divert to binge watching movies or episodes of your favorite sitcoms. Getting outside also switches your brain from in-flight entertainment screens you were likely viewing, back at to nature mode. Fresh air gets you back in balance.
3. PLAN APPROPRIATELY
If you’re traveling in a warm/hot climate zone, try to plan your hike for the early morning at sunrise or later in the afternoon finishing just before sunset avoiding the middle of the day heat. When I’m booking my flights, I take into consideration when I’ll land, the time change, and how much I should sleep in flight in terms of the next nights sleep.
4. FATIGUE TO FEEL GOOD
I prefer to pick a hike in the 7 1/2 or 8 level. By the time you’ve finished your hike, your body will feel more ‘fatigued’ allowing your mind to rest easier at when you hit the pillow that night. An obvious statement, but be sure you are hydrating the entire way as well as pre and post hike. Electrolyte drinks are key for this along in addition to regular (or smart) water.
Moving your legs is good for the brain, good for the body, and an excellent choice pre and post flight on long haul adventures. Have a tip on how you actively beat jet lag? Would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.