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Travel like a pro athlete

We all know the joy that travel can bring, but sadly, there are some drawbacks to travelling that can be challenging. Hours spent on aeroplanes and in airports, time sitting cramped up on a bus or train, hot and humid climates, unfamiliar food…the list goes on.

 

Whilst many of these are part and parcel of the adventure of travelling, there are definitely things you can do to mitigate some of the more problematic experiences involved with travelling, whether it’s domestically or abroad.

Related article: Travel Guide to New Zealand: Top 10 places to visit

 

Athletes have become used to travelling the world for major sporting events and they have mastered the art of mitigating troublesome experiences when travelling.

 

Travel can quickly leave you feeling worse for wear and whilst some athletes do benefit from travelling in business or first class, many also still travel in economy or on buses and it is important for them to prepare themselves properly when travelling so they arrive in good condition, reducing stress and strain on the body.

 

When teams travel away for matches, whether it’s by bus, train or plane, it’s so important that they arrive in the best physical condition. Home advantage is already significant in many sports. Betway Sports revealed that “Of the 71 seasons in NBA history, the team with home advantage in the Finals has won the championship in 50 of them. That’s 70 per cent.

 

Travel is one of the key influencing factors in home advantage. Not having to travel and sleeping in your own bed make a huge difference when it comes to preparation for a big game and whilst teams will often travel days before a big game, sometimes a tight schedule will not allow for that and teams will be forced to travel the day before or even on the day.

 

Whilst you may not be a professional athlete, there is plenty you can learn from the way they travel in order to make your own travel experiences more enjoyable (and comfortable).

Move as often as possible

No matter how you are travelling – plane, bus or train – try and move as often as you can. Obviously, this one is more tricky if you are travelling by car, however regular movement – standing up, stretching, taking a walk down the plane/bus/train – can all help to stimulate blood flow and increase your heart rate a little bit.

 

When you travel by car, try and incorporate regular stops along the way to give you and your passengers the opportunity to stretch your legs. Make sure you also stretch your arms, your back and your neck. Shoulder rolls and shrugs can really help to relieve the tension that builds up when you are sat in one position for a long time.

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is an absolute must when travelling, especially on planes. No matter where you are travelling, try and keep up with a regular drinking routine. Invest in a quality drinks flask before you leave – Hydro Flask has a great range of bottles that will keep your drinks ice cold (or warm depending on where you are travelling).

Electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade can really help to keep you hydrated or you can invest in sachets that can be added to water that contain all the valuable electrolytes you need to keep you hydrated and in peak condition for when you arrive.

Adjust your body clock

If you are travelling across time zones, one of the biggest challenges can be adjusting to the time difference in your new destination. It can take roughly one day to adjust to a time difference of one hour so make sure you try and adjust your body clock as quickly as you can when you arrive.

If you are flying long haul, try to sleep at the same time as the new timezone you will be landing in. If you want to prepare before you set off, try slowly adjusting your timezone in the build-up to your trip by going to bed and getting up earlier or later than usual (depending on where you are flying).

Ease your way into local cuisine

Although it can be very tempting to get straight into the cuisine in a new country, try and ease yourself in. It takes time for the body to get used to eating different foods, especially spices, so take a slow and steady approach to local cruising and don’t go for an all-you-can-eat buffet on the first day.

 

Upset stomachs are part and parcel of travelling, however, you should pack some snacks from home to make sure you can still get some sustenance even when you are not feeling great – cereal bars and oats are great travel foods.

Be careful in the sun

Heading off to a warm and sunny climate is always exciting – especially if you are heading there from a cold destination – however, you should be cautious not to spend too much time in the sun too soon.

Like the food, ease yourself into the heat as sunstroke or heat stroke is not much fun and can leave you feeling pretty poorly for a few days. Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and apply it liberally and often. Try and keep out of the sun at the hottest time of the day and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Tips from the pro athletes

In a GQ article, they chatted with seven professional athletes who provided some of their top tips for travelling. There was a common theme that ran through all of their travel tips – don’t travel without headphones. This is a great tip for anyone travelling as it helps you to destress, block out the noise from other travellers as well as provide entertainment, whether you are listening to music or watching a film on your phone or tablet.

 

James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets takes things one step further, always packing his Beats portable speaker when he travels. This is a great tip as you can play music no matter where you are and it can also be a good way of making friends when you are on the road.

 

Harden goes on to say, “staying hydrated is super important when travelling, otherwise, I can feel really rundown. I never travel without BODYARMOR SportWater—it’s packed with electrolytes and tastes great so it’s easy to drink a lot of.

Summary

Travelling brings so much joy and hopefully, by following some of these simple tips, you can make sure you arrive rested and relaxed and ready to enjoy every minute of your adventure, no matter where it takes you.

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