Competitive shooting is technically a “Summer” Sport, but we all know that we compete all year round, traveling all over the country and the planet. The necessary evil of traveling can have a detrimental effect on our minds and bodies, and as shooters progress through their careers, planning how to travel can boost your own athletic performance. Here are a few personal tips that I follow to ensure that I am in the right physical condition.
Drink lots of liquids when flying
This one is a no-brainer. The human body requires a humidity level of 30% to maintain proper and healthy functionality. When traveling by aircraft, your environment is below that mark, at a low 20%. In order to compensate, one must consume liquids to offset that. It is common for people to ignore consuming liquids while flying, which ultimately results in dehydration prior to your competition. Avoid this by consuming liquids, preferably with some electrolytes, throughout the travel day. This will maintain a balance between the low humidity and can help flush out toxins from recycled air.
Take an empty water bottle through security, fill it full and consume the entire bottle before the flight. That’ll help you get a head start on your hydration for your journey. Avoid drinking too much caffeine before a flight, that can cause the dehydration process to accelerate.
Brings snacks... the right kind of snacks
The additional stresses of traveling can tax the body is different ways. Besides drinking enough water throughout the trip, you also need to make sure you eat the right kinds of food to avoid bloating and that sluggy feeling at the end of your trip. To do this, try your best to avoid the greasy fast-food options that can be heavy in your digestive system. These foods can lead to bloating and heartburn, not pleasant things to experience in the Troposphere. Other foods to avoid would be the “Gassy” kinds of foods. You don’t need a physics degree for this: as cabin pressure drops, your stomach and intestines gas will expand.
Bring foods that can help keep you energized and hydrated. Fruit is an excellent food that can be consumed easily and will not cause discomfort. Consuming nuts and almonds, or granola will also be great sources of protein while you travel.
Avoid that jetlag
You’ll be tired, regardless of how many time zones you cross. If you get into town early in the day and have a whole day to kill before you can go to bed at a normal hour, here are two tactics you can use to overcome that feeling.
Expose yourself to bright light: the natural light will help your body reset to the environment you now exist in.
Light exercise in the days that lead up to the event: similar to the natural light, this helps your body recalibrate its natural functions and speeds up the recovery from travel.
Silence the noise
Being exposed to air travel noise can cause sleep disruption, increase your stress, and raise your blood pressure. An easy solution would be to find some noise canceling headphones or just some earplugs and these symptoms can be avoided. Remember, your body is using more of its resources because your traveling, there is no need to add stress to your stressful day.