Putting health first in our day-to-day routine is easy; keeping your diet and exercise plan in mind while traveling is a lot harder. Between impulsive fast-food snacking and long hours spent sitting, road tripping presents challenges to keeping your health foremost in your mind. Whether you’re trying to keep up your good weight loss habits or dieting to increase your gains, healthy eating on the road is hard. With a little foresight and planning, long hours on the road seeking out adventure don’t have to mean the death of good habits.
Plan Your Route
It might be tempting to let wanderlust take you and just hit the road, but planning out your course gives you the opportunity to set up stops along the way to get out, get moving, and keep up your activity levels. Road tripping is fun for myriad reasons; one of those is seeing all of the neat in-between places you’d otherwise miss. Take the opportunity to get out of the car for the in-between places, walk around, and make some memories.
For road trippers in an RV, it’s easy to plan your route to give yourself plenty of time for exercise. A lot of national parks allow for RV parking and camping. National parks give you the opportunity to hike, swim, or any other outdoors athletic activity you enjoy.
Unhealthy food is the bane of any road trip. It’s easy to pop into a fast food joint or grab a soda and chips while stopped at a gas station. If staying healthy for you means counting calories or sticking to a specific diet, a day on the road can wreck a week’s worth of progress — if not more. Travel prepared. Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks so you won’t feel the call of the golden arches. Stay in hotels or AirBnBs that offer kitchens, which gives you the freedom to make your own food. You can even bring along prepared meals to cut down on time in the kitchen, giving you more time to explore or enjoy any of the activities planned.
Social media helps us keep in touch with our friends and family no matter where we are. It gives us the ability to share our adventures with others. Mobile apps offer powerful tools to help travelers make decisions about where they want to go, as well as how and why. You can apply those tools to help plan around fitness and health goals. You can even use those some apps to feed your experience back to other prospective travelers.
Diet apps can help you keep track of what you eat, while review apps like Yelp can help you decide if a restaurant offers fare that will help you keep in line with your diet (which can be especially important if you stick to a specific diet, such as vegetarianism). You can also use health apps to keep in touch with your support system — accountabilibuddies are an excellent way to keep you motivated and disciplined.
Use Your Downtime
If you’re stuck in a hotel room waiting for your travel partners to be ready, or you’re taking a little down time between activities, make the best of those moments. A little bit of exercise, even if it’s just a quick 10-minute workout or pulling over to stretch and get your blood flowing, can make a difference. Ten minutes is plenty of time to get your heart rate up or work your core. Like sneaking in a healthy meal between new culinary experiences, a quick workout keeps your eye on your body and can give you a guilt-free experience on the road.