This blog post was updated on January 3, 2020.
Road trips aren’t always the best idea for achieving beach bodies. With finger licking road food and hours on end of just sitting stationary in a car, it can be a challenge to stay healthy on a road trip. While all of those barbecue joints and wide open roads might be appealing at the time, when you get home, you know instantly the extent of the damage when jeans are a little tighter and energy levels are low. After spending 10 days in the car cruising through Texas this past week, I devised some ways to avoid the road trip weight gain and overall unhealthy feeling of traveling by car. If you are headed out on the open road, pack these tips with you for staying healthy.
Book hotels with pools and fitness rooms: There is nothing better after a long day in the car than slipping into a pool for a swim. If you don’t think it matters what sort of amenities your hotel has on the open road, you might want to consider checking boxes for fitness rooms and pools. After sitting all day in a car, I often don’t have the energy to roam around town. I usually want to keep closer to my hotel to avoid passing out from exhaustion. I always go for a swim when I get in just to move around a bit and burn off that road food I consumed earlier in the day.
Stop at fruit and vegetable stands: With most of the U.S in a state of drought, farmers could use the help of road trippers. Drivers traveling across the country can benefit from local produce that doesn’t equate to extra pounds. When traveling across the United States, you will frequently find farmers and vendors set up along the side of the road selling their fruits and vegetables. Some areas are better known for their orchards so it is always a good idea to read up on the local agriculture for where you are traveling. These produce stands make for healthier stops than gas station counters chalk full of cheese puffs and potato chips.
Binge on water, not alcohol: After a long day in the car, a nice ice-cold beer can sound like heaven in a bottle. However, if you are taking a long road trip, those nightly beers can quickly add up. Throughout the day in the car, load up on water rather than sodas. Water can help keep you full longer and just make you feel healthier throughout the day. While the occasional drink after a long day in the car won’t hurt, try to keep those alcoholic drinks to a minimum to keep off the extra weight.
Schedule stops at built in exercise attractions: When I know I am going on a road trip, I try to research places I want to stop where exercise is built into the process of getting there, like a state park you have to hike around or the highest tower in town you can climb. If you have these attractions scheduled into your itinerary you are getting out and moving more than you would if you just see things you can drive right by in the car.
Consider grocery stores over gas stations for road meals: The gas station food selection is often the road tripper’s reality. It is quick and accessible. But if you take an extra five minutes, you can pop in grocery stores instead for a wider selection of healthier food options. Many grocery stores also have deli sections where you can grab a sandwich on the go rather than a hamburger or rotating hotdog.
What are your tips for staying healthy on a road trip?
Photo: Suzy Guese
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