When I was younger, I used to drive my parents crazy (like most kids) with the "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" litany. But as I've gotten older, I've learned the value in stopping along the way - not just to take in the interesting sites but also to stay alert and in shape.
Here are a few tips for staying in peak condition during those long road trips:
Stop at least every 2 hours for a minimum of 15 minutes. Now, 15 minutes is more than just a quick run to the rest room. Make sure you take the time to get out of the car, walk around, stretch, breathe deeply. If you have a pedometer or fitness tracker, use this time to get more steps! If there's nowhere to walk around, do some jumping jacks or running on the spot to wake up your muscles. You want to feel energized for the next leg of your trip.
Try to stick to healthy snacks. For me, a road trip is often just the excuse I need to eat the junkiest food there is and lots of it. Not the best strategy if you want to fit into your capri pants at the end of your trip. A treat here and there is great but try include some healthy options where you can - like nuts, fruit and the occasional salad. Pack a cooler of healthy options to help you make good food choices on the go.
Stay hydrated. It might be tempting to dehydrate yourself when you're not sure where the next rest stop is. But that won't do you any favours by the end of the trip when you're a dried out husk. Keep plenty of water in the car.
Try some yoga moves. Since I sit at a desk for much of the day, I've found yoga to be a great way to stay loose and ache-free - yoga can be valuable on the road too! This series of videos by Lillah Schwartz offers yoga poses for long car rides. Her first video is about arms and side stretches; check it out below:
She has three others including Shoulders and Chest, Twist and Hamstrings, and Standing Lunge (my fave!). Sure, you might look a little goofy at the rest stop or in the gas station parking lot doing yoga - but your muscles and joints will thank you for it!
When you're on a long road trip, any tips you'd like to share to stay fit? Leave them in the comments!
- Rose R.