Jet Lag

     We have become a fast paced society always on the go making it difficult sometimes for our bodies to keep up. Thanks to air travel, we no longer need to spend weeks at a time traveling from one end of the world to another. For example, you can fly from Toronto to the U.K. in just over 8 hours (which is amazing when you think about how that's 1/3 of a day to pass through multiple time zones!). Downside to that, it can seriously mess up your body's internal clock causing you to experience mental and physical side effects. 

     Circadian Dysrhythmia aka Jet lag refers to what your body feels physically and mentally when quickly traveling through multiple time zones. If you're passing through one or two time zones, you likely won't feel the side effects from jet lag.  

     So how does this all affect your body? 


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In general..

     Depart for trip well rested. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration (because of dry, high altitude, low-humidity cabin air). Reset your watches according to the new time zone after boarding the plane. 

     On arrival, immediately adopt the local time schedule for training, eating, and sleeping. Forget about what time it is where you came from. Avoid using alcohol before, during, and after travel.



Traveling West

  • Get up and go to bed 1 hour later for each time zone crossed when traveling west.
  • Eat light meals early and heavy meals late in the day.
  • Consume caffeine in coffee, tea or soda.
  • Exercise/ training should be done later in the day.
  • Get as much sunlight as possible on arrival.

Traveling East:

  • Get up and go to bed 1 hour earlier for each time zone crossed when traveling east.
  • Eat heavy meal earlier in the day.
  • Caffeine should be avoided.
  • Exercise/ training should be done earlier in the day.


Source: Principles of Athletic Training, William Prentice, Daniel D. Arn

Academy Athletic Therapy Inc.

Unit 1 - 695 Osborne Street

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R3L 2B9


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