You’ve got to love road trips. It’s just you and your friends, no rules, and a lot of unplanned adventure awaiting you depending on where you end up. However, three things are synonymous with road trips — leg cramps, sunburns, and lots of unhealthy food. After all, it’s supposed to be a spontaneous adventure.
But who said you couldn’t enjoy a healthy road trip? Wouldn’t it be nice to get back home after a fun road trip without body aches and a sluggish feeling because you’ve not been eating well? You can do it. Here are five healthy tips that will make your next road trip better than any other you’ve had. Let’s dive right in.
- Pack Healthy Snacks
One of the things you have to plan for before you begin your road trip is the food. You can stop at the supermarket en-route and grab a few snacks here and there. However, chances are you’ll only get junk food at those fueling station stores.
A better alternative would be to carry healthy snacks. Fill your ice cooler with ice and pack ready-to-eat healthy snacks. Some excellent options include:
- Greek yogurt
- Homemade granola bars
- String cheese
- Preservative-free meat jerky
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If you don’t have enough room in your car because of the friends tagging along, it may be the perfect time to learn how to use a roof rack. Roof racks provide additional storage space, and they’re relatively straightforward to use.
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
For most people, beer, soda, and sweetened coffee are a must-have on road trips. However, if you’re looking to make healthier choices, you’ll want to steer clear of these drinks. They’re not only loaded with sugars but also cause a lot of dehydration. On your next road trip, bring some good old H2O. Have everyone bring a reusable water bottle and fill up your water reserve as needed on your stops. You can store ice in an ice cooler to keep your drinks cold.
If you plan to spend the night in lodgings, ensure they have freezers beforehand. This way, you can chill your water overnight and have cold water throughout your trip.
- Prioritize Comfort
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Your car may be the most comfortable vehicle in the world. But if you’re sitting for hours, it’s inevitable to have muscle stiffness and pain. However, this is avoidable if you pay attention to your comfort during the trip. The following tips will help.
- Adjust your seat: To ensure you’re not slouching, adjust your seat to about 100 degrees and ensure the lumbar part of your back has ample support. You can use a pillow or rolled towel for this.
- Watch your driving posture: If you’re the driver, you need to ensure your seat is in the right position and that you’re not stretching too far to reach the steering wheel.
- Take frequent breaks: It’s advisable to take a break every 30 minutes after a drive to stretch. This is particularly important if you suffer from chronic back pain.
- Change drivers: If you’re going on a group road trip, change drivers at every stop. This way, everyone gets to relax from driving and enjoy the trip.
- Plan for Your Splurges
It’s not a road trip without your favorite snack or drink. If you want to indulge in some of your favorite snacks and drinks, the trick is to plan for them. For instance, don’t take alcohol when you’re planning to drive. Doing so is not only dangerous but also dehydrates you and affects your functioning, which may interfere with your ability to be present and enjoy yourself.
Instead, schedule the splurges and indulge in moderation, making sure to balance them with healthy foods. For instance, one beer when you get to the motel won’t do any harm if you’ve been drinking water all day.
- Avoid Stress
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Road trips are supposed to be fun and engaging. However, some things can happen and ruin your mood. You need to know how to handle such occurrences and focus on what’s important — having fun. Some of the things you can do to relieve stress include:
- Breathing exercises: If you’re frustrated with traffic or something else, try some breathing techniques to control your emotions.
- Play games: Distracting yourself with fun games will make you forget about your stress for the trip duration.
- Plan ahead: Take less busy roads to avoid running into traffic. It’s also a good idea to ensure your car is in tip-top condition before your trip.
- Bring a fun group: Your company will go a long way in ensuring you have fun and limit stress. Therefore, ensure the people that tag along are fun to be around.
Proper planning before a road trip is crucial. As you can see, simple decisions like bringing healthy snacks and watching your posture can improve your experience. Therefore, don’t hop into the car and start your trip without proper planning next time. Your body will thank you. And don’t forget the sunscreen.