Whether you’re driving to the in-laws’ house in another state for Christmas or heading to the beach for a holiday trip, a long drive can take its toll on the body. Here are 10 tips to stay healthy while on a road trip.
1. Plan Ahead
Before you even get on the road, map out your route, planning for pit stops to get gas, eat and stretch your legs. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination on time so that you don’t feel pressured to speed, skip stops or drive too tired. To help with planning your road trip, you can download an app for your phone that pinpoints gas stations, restaurants and rest stops.
Hydration can be a double-edged sword when it comes to long road trips — proper hydration means frequent pit stops, but we all know the importance of hydration. Plus, staying hydrated helps to keep your eyes in good condition for safe driving. Since you planned ahead and gave yourself plenty of time to complete your trip, frequent pit stops won’t derail your timeline.
3. Limit Alcohol Consumption
You should never drink and drive, but even off road during a trip, you should limit alcohol consumption. There are many unpleasant side effects from over-indulging, including dehydration, headache, nausea and grogginess. Any of these side effects can impair your driving ability, so wait until you’ve arrived safely at your destination to imbibe.
4. Eat Fresh
Finding fresh foods on the road can be challenging. It’s much more convenient to swing through a drive- thru and grab a burger. That is okay for some meals, but if you have a prolonged lack of fresh food in your diet it can negatively affect your health. When planning your trip, include time to source meals using fresh ingredients, and make sure to include fresh fruits and vegetables.
5. Boost Your Immune System
Being exposed to public spaces outside of your normal routine can expose you to new germs. Make sure your immune system is up to the challenge of keeping you healthy. Fresh foods and proper hydration will go a long way in boosting your immune system, but consider adding vitamins to your daily health regimen if you don’t already take them.
6. Rest Up
Get plenty of rest before you start your trip, and if your journey takes multiple days, schedule an adequate amount of time for you to sleep. Driving drowsy is just as dangerous as driving drunk, so don’t let yourself get sleep deprived.
7. Keep Moving
Keep up with your normal fitness routine while on the road. If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, you can still get your work out in by performing body weight exercises in your hotel room or swimming if the hotel has a pool. If you feel safe enough in the area you are in, going for a run outside is always a good option, too.
8. Make Pit Stops
While exercising at the end of a long day of travel is good, stopping to stretch your legs often while on the road is just as important. Instead of coasting through the drive-thru, get out and move around. If only one person in the car needs to use the restroom, everyone should get out and stretch anyway.
9. Stash Snacks
Keep healthy snacks handy to keep yourself fueled in between stops. This will help keep your blood sugar from dropping, which can make you drowsy or shaky. Some energizing snacks include fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and granola.
10. Entertain Your Brain
Driving is stressful. Keep yourself relaxed and your brain entertained by listening to music, podcasts or comedy routines. If you have travel companions, engage them in lighthearted conversation to keep the mood the in the vehicle fun.
Plan Ahead to Prosper on the Road
Road trips can either be fun and exciting or burdensome and stressful. By planning ahead and taking steps to keep yourself healthy on the road, your trips will always be more fun.
About the Author: Sarah Landrum
Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and career blogger, sharing advice on finding happiness and success in your career and in life. Passionate about both food and living a balanced life, Sarah is always on the lookout for healthy new recipes and ways to get fit. Share your favorites and check out more from Sarah by following her on Twitter @SarahLandrum
(all photos sourced from pexels.com)