Summer has finally shown up, and you may be getting the itch to jump in the car and go exploring. With blue skies, a great playlist, and the open road ahead, just the thought of a road trip can bring a smile to your face. Yet with all the sitting and road sign after road sign for fast food ahead, how can you possibly stay healthy for days on end? Try these manageable tips to keep you and your traveling companions happy and healthy:
1. Get a good night’s sleep. Part of being on vacation is the luxury of not having a set schedule. This is the perfect time to let your circadian rhythm readjust and give yourself permission to go to bed early or sleep in. By allowing yourself proper rest, you’ll avoid driving drowsy, which helps prevent car accidents and maintains your alertness on the road.
2. Map out healthy restaurants and farmers markets along your route. If you know your route in advance or have access to a good WiFi connection, take some time to search out healthy restaurants or local farmers markets along the way. There are several websites out there that make it super easy to find locally grown and organic options. With the sustainable food movement continuing to spread, spend some time talking with local vendors, as they’ll have insider tips that you might not be able to find online.
3. Pack a cooler. Buy extra goodies at the farmers market so you can stock up on healthy snacks like ripe peaches, hand roasted nuts, or local yogurt. Then, during your next stop at the gas station, stock up on ice for the cooler instead of typical salty and sugary road trip fare.
4. Stop and explore. Sitting in the car can lead to lower backaches and stiff legs, so it’s important to get out of the car and move your body restoring blood flow. Half the fun of road tripping is stopping to explore a new area. Bring your sneakers and go for a hike, or find a beautiful park and practice some yoga moves.
5. Be a water baby. Whether you book a hotel, motel, or a house rental along your road trip route, try and seek out one with a pool or nearby lake to take a dip. Summer is the perfect time to cool off in outdoor waters and has the added benefit of helping stiff, weak muscles recover. If you’re lucky enough to find a heated pool or Jacuzzi, the warm water helps to aid digestion and promote relaxation, which was the point of your road trip in the first place! - Linden Schaffer
This article was written for and originally published on wellness website MindBodyGreen.