Wakeboarding asks a lot of our bodies, but often times traveling to a competition can do more to your body than actually riding! Riding in a car or plane, eating out, and jet lag can take a toll on your body and affect your performance.
Here are a few ways to help combat the stressors of travel and increase your recovery for peak performance.
1. Drink water. Dehydration is the main component in the ill effects of travel. Air conditioning and heat in cars and planes dry out skin which is your biggest organ. Dehydration can lead to headaches, stiff muscles, joint aches, and poor immunity. The easiest way to prevent dehydration is by PRE-hydrating. The week before travel aim to drink a gallon daily. Bring an empty bottle to fill up after airport security and continue to drink water throughout your travels.
2. Bring tools. Lacrosse balls, tennis balls, rollers, and other mobility tools are helpful to decrease muscle tension and soreness while traveling. Many are small enough to put in your carry-on or backpack. While sitting, use the ball to massage back muscles, shoulders and glutes. Foam roll while waiting between flights or before getting into the car.
3. Stand up and stretch! Take breaks from sitting. Sitting is an unnatural position for our bodies leading to tightness in the hip flexors which ultimately leads to back pain. Walk around the plane during long flights, stop frequently during car rides and stretch out. The front body (chest, abdomen, hip flexors/quads) is the most compressed during travel so focus on opening this side rather than forward folding. Laying with your legs up the wall is also helpful to drain any swelling in the feet or ankles. You may look like a weirdo in the airport or plane, but your body will thank you!
4. Wear compression. Compression tights are helpful during long flights or car rides to combat the swelling from sitting for long periods and changes in compartmental pressure. Swelling can make joints feel achy and decrease joint range of motion which will decrease performance. Compression can improve circulation and ultimately keep your legs feeling fresh during travel.
5. Pack your own food and take supplements. Airports and rest stop stations lack nutritional options for food so plan ahead! Pack healthy snacks, fruit, veggies and nuts to keep your diet well rounded. Fast food and sugar will decrease your immune system and increase your chance of getting sick!
Supplementation is always helpful to combat illness and aid muscle recovery.
-Vitamin C, B complex and Zinc can support immune function
-Glutamine, fish oil, and boswellia can aid in muscle recovery and inflammation reduction