How to Recover From Air Travel

[Travel ★★★★]


(P1) Once we set foot on an airplane, we essentially become baggage. We can’t do anything to reduce the length of the flight, eliminate the bumpiness, or render our seats any more comfortable. Rapid recovery from a plane flight does rest in our hands; however, both in the way we approach the flight itself and the steps we take once we land. Plan carefully, and your jet lag will vanish rapidly; ignore the effects of the flight on your body and it may take days to reset your internal clock.

(P2) STEP 1: Schedule meetings at your destination based on the time zone from which you are departing. If you live on the West Coast and have a meeting in New York, set the meeting for 1:00 p.m., which would be 10:00 a.m. according to your internal clock. This allows you to stay focused and remain at your best during such meetings, especially if you’re taking a short trip with a rapid turnaround.

(P3) STEP 2: Drink lots of water during your flight. Airplane cabins are extremely dry and dehydration makes it tougher to recover. If you’re not sure you can get water on the plane, purchase some at the airport after you go through security; you can’t bring liquids in large amounts through the security checkpoint, but you can purchase them afterward. Continue drinking water once you reach your destination, and stay away from alcohol or caffeine on the plane; both are diuretics, which further dry you out.

(P4) STEP 3: Gauge your arrival time and plan to either sleep or stay awake on the plane accordingly. If you arrive late in the day and stay awake on the plane; you’ll be tired and want to sleep when you land. If you land in the morning or early part of the day, try to sleep on the plane so you’ll be refreshed when you arrive.

(P5) STEP 4: Exercise on the plane, even if it’s just a little bit. Get up and stretch periodically, and walk up and down the aisles. If you can’t get out of your seat, then perform small stretching exercises targeting your legs and feet. If you have a stopover, see if you can get off the plane, then walk or perform some basic exercises in the terminal. It keeps your blood flowing and prevents aches, which can lengthen your recovery time from the flight.

(P6) STEP 5: Caffeinate after you land if you arrive in the morning, and avoid napping during the day if you can help it. Coffee, tea, or caffeinated soda will keep you alert and awake until the evening when you can engage in your normal sleep cycle. Conversely, stay away from caffeine if you land in the evening; it disrupts your normal sleep patterns.

(P7) STEP 6: Exercise in the morning after you land, especially if you can do so outdoors in the sunshine or in a brightly lit gym. The lights and activity help your body naturally reset its internal clock, speeding your recovery. If you have trouble getting up, set an alarm clock to help you.

WORDS: 511


VOCABULARY: render, internal clock, turnaround, diuretics, stopover, conversely


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Have you ever been on a flight longer than 6 hours? If so, how did you feel the following two or three days?
  3. What do you do to pass the time away when traveling on an airplane?
  4. What are your eating and drinking habits when traveling on an airplane?


  1. Recovering from a flight can be controlled by us. (T or F)
  2. The inside of an airplane is not arid. (T or F)
  3. When traveling in a plane it’s important to drink plenty of water. (T or F)
  4. It’s never advisable to drink beverages with caffeine right after a flight. (T or F)
  5. Working ou the morning after your flight is recommended. (T or F)


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • set foot on an airplane (P1)
  • which further dry you out (P3)
  • normal sleep cycle (P6)
  • speeding your recovery (P7)

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