Stanley Cup Finals Also a Travel Competition

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The Vancouver Canucks made the longest trip in the history of the Stanley Cup Finals on Sunday, but not before carefully planning the best way to shield themselves from the deleterious effects of air travel.

The team's Boston-bound itinerary was carefully shaped by Dr. Len Zaichkowsky, a performance specialist and former Boston University professor who was hired by the team after working with the Real Madrid soccer club.

In Vancouver, Ziachkowsky has instituted a "sleep monitoring program" under which players are asked to wear bracelets that track their Circadian Rhythms, the bodies daily physical processes. This data allows Zaichkowsky to tell players when they should rest in order to avoid jet lag, which he defines more broadly than just feeling split between time zones.


A decade ago, Zaichkowsky published studies showing that minimal sleep loss not only made physical exertion seem more difficult, but limited athletes ability to contain their anger--a potential problem on the ice.


And Zaichkowsky is not the only one gaming out the effects of plane travel. The Bruins left Vancouver for their homestead early Sunday morning despite having played late Saturday in order to get back on Eastern Standard Time.


"Well, we're not going to hide the fact that we don't travel as much as they do," Bruins captain Claude Julien told Fox News. "They're probably used to this more than we are."


Athletes consider travel a skill, but what does this mean for mere mortals who want to get better at it? Probably not that anyone should be rushing out and buying ridiculous body rhythm watches.


Vacationers who fail to rest while in the air may wind up groggily attempting to crosscheck their spouses. Dr. Zaichkowsky is demanding that travelers make the most of their sloth: Avoid sleep at your peril and consider time zones. For weekenders, this means not trying to change time zones on short notice.


Have any personal tips and tricks for beating jetlag? Leave it in comments.
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