Road trip! Those two words can either lift your spirits in anticipation of your upcoming adventure or give you a sinking feeling of dread. With a few easy strategies in place though, any road trip can be both fun and healthy. Yep, staying healthy on long road trips is easier than you may think if you remember the following;
1 – “Garbage in garbage out”, “You are what you eat”. We’ve all heard these euphemisms before and while cliché, they are also true. So to have a healthy enjoyable trip by car, remember to eat healthy. This can mean avoiding roadside fast food and rest stop vending machines and brown bagging it instead.
- Pack lots of high energy healthy foods like dried fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, cheese and vitamin infused water.
2 – Take measure to ensure that you remain comfortable. Prolonged sitting, especially in the same position can both lead to muscular aches and pains while also increasing your risk for developing blood clots in the legs.
- Take rest stops of 10 minutes duration every 2 hours and walk around while at the rest stop.
- Periodically adjust your seat while taking care to keep your seat back at an approximately 100 degree angle. Keeping the seat at a 100 degree angle helps to relieve stress on the neck, shoulders and lower back.
- Use your cruise control. This allows you to rest your feet flatly on the floor which relieves stress on the lower back and calves.
3 – Take care to ensure that the car is kept at a comfortable level. A car that is too warm can make the driver feel sleepy while a car that is too cold can compromise reaction time. Some experts advise an average car cabin temperature of between 71 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
4 – Make sure that your car is healthy. An unhealthy car can quickly make for unhealthy occupants. So make sure that your tires are in good condition, that your oil has been changed and that your lights are in proper working condition.
5 – Keep your mind stimulated and engaged. The road can be hypnotizing and if you’re not careful you can easily fall asleep at the wheel. So play some upbeat music, listen to an audio book or play word games with your passengers.
6 – Wear loose and comfortable clothes that promote optimal blood circulation.
7 – Protect your skin and eyes from the sun be applying an SPF 30 or greater sun screen to your exposed skin and by wearing sunglasses.