Road trips are inevitably an unhealthy undertaking. With constant trips to the gas station you tend to find yourself constantly gorging on gas station food – the type that won’t go bad until November 2030. You’re also likely to visit your share of drive-thru restaurants, and won’t be particularly active while stuck in the car.
So how do you go about ensuring the road-tripping fun you have won’t equal the equivalent amount of road-tripping pounds added to the waistline? Here are just a few quick tips which will help to maximise both your health and your enjoyment when you next hit the highway.
While a refreshing Coke – or a refreshing beer – may usually go hand-in-hand with a road trip, these types of drinks aren’t ideal if you’re drinking gallon upon gallon of them every day. Along with the unnecessary sugar and fat, such drinks will generally dehydrate you even further, causing you to drink more.
Instead of being tempted by the fizz, bring some plastic bottles and refill them with water at rest stops. If you’ve got access to a freezer at your accommodation you can enjoy ice-cold H2O for the entire next day.
Sure, you’re stuck in a big ol’ metal shell, but that’s no excuse to become sedentary. Firstly you should be stopping every couple of hours for a brief rest stop. Take the chance to go for a quick walk or do some stretches. And while in the car it’s wise to stretch the neck and (safely) move the limbs while driving in order to keep your muscles and joints in top condition.
Your posture while seated in the car is key to feeling good on the road. A curved spine will result in pain and lost sleep, and will make the whole road trip experience far less enjoyable than it could otherwise be. Adjust your seat to provide lumbar support, or bring some pillows if your car seat doesn’t have that function.
If you don’t plan your meals on the road, you’ll forever get to 7pm and then lazily go to whatever greasy restaurant you can find. While it may be difficult to action at times as it’s entirely dependent on finding ingredients and cooking facilities that will suit, even a semi-complete meal plan will ensure that you are delivering the nutrients that your body requires. Visit supermarkets before you think about eating out
You’re in the car, not in the club – you should be dressed as such. Tight-fitting clothes can make your road trip a particularly uncomfortable one, and can even cut off your circulation if you stay motionless for long enough. Find your most comfortable ‘Sunday afternoon’ clothes and wear them in the car instead of your Saturday night best.