How to beat jet lag is a never ending conversation among frequent travelers. Perhaps the most common advice for adjusting to a time zone and beating jet lag is being exposed to bright lights. Usually that means spending time outdoors and getting sunlight as soon as possible after arriving at your destination. This bright-light exposure shifts your body clock so you can quickly overcome jet lag.
Have you ever wondered whether or not exercise would do the same thing?
And if so, how much exercise and perhaps even when to exercise? After all, exercise is good for us so maybe it’s a jet lag antidote along with light exposure.
Here’s the good news! Researchers at Arizona State University and University of California, San Diego, found that exercising in the morning at 7:00 AM or mid-afternoon between 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM. was effective for advancing the body clock.
Training in the evening between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM delays the body clock.
The study noted that “desiring to delay or advance one’s body clock is of course dependent on whether your air travel has taken you westward or eastward.”
Lead author on the study, Shawn Youngstedt, PhD, said, “This is the first study to compare exercise’s effects on the body clock and could open up the possibility of using exercise to help counter the negative effects of jet lag and shift work.”
I’ve tried so many jet lag solutions and do have my favorites. People who travel as much as we all do can never have too many strategies in our how-to-beat-jet-lag tool box. I’m looking forward to personally verifying this new research!
The study appeared in The Journal of Physiology (2019). Full details of the study can be found here.
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