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September 3, 2013

How to Stay Healthy on a Road Trip.

I am on the tail end of a six-week, 5000-mile road trip.

While I love taking road trips, it can be difficult to stay healthy while traveling and away from your normal routine.

Here are Eight Tips I Discovered to Stay Healthy on the Road:

1. Use a Refillable Water Bottle.

You can fill up at any restroom. CamelBak makes a great bottle that has a charcoal filter so no matter where you get water, it tastes great.

2. Carry a Cooler.

This has made the biggest difference for me in eating healthy on the road. There are a ton of great travel coolers of all sizes out there. When you first leave home pack your cooler with items that you can eat easily—things like hard-boiled eggs, sandwiches, celery, hummus and nut mix. A reusable utensil is great to have. Take advantage when you travel through big cities by stopping at Whole Foods. You can eat a hot meal there and re-stock your cooler with to-go items and pre-packed meals.

3. Make Healthy Choices.

Sometimes while traveling, the urge to eat at a restaurant appears. When you do stop , choose wisely. Places like Cracker Barrel are abundant on the road and it is possible to eat healthy at places like that. Focus on proteins, vegetables and salads. Ask for oil/vinegar for your dressing instead of typical dressings, which are calorie-heavy. Even places like Dennys do not have to be unhealthy—consider options like omelets.

4. Take 20.

Rest stops are not just for rest. Take a few minutes to do some stretching and move your joints. When staying in motels you can get more exercise by using a jump rope or resistance bands. You don’t even need equipment to workout. Do a routine that includes planks, lunges, pushups, burpees, squats, and sit-ups or do a yoga routine. There’s some great workouts online as well. If you’re staying at a place with a pool or gym, use them! If you’re staying long-term somewhere, see if your hometown gym has a branch there or ask a gym their day/week-rates.

5. Sing Out Loud.

Traveling on the road is a nice time to listen to favorite albums/songs and explore new ones. And it is one of the places that feel comfortable singing out loud. It gives your lungs a workout and it’s hard to have road rage while you’re belting out the words to one of your favorite songs.

6. Treat Yourself.

If you see something fun on the side of the road, take time to check it out. A funky store, a stand of fruit, a local museum. Enjoy the flavors on the road. This goes for food too. You have to keep the balance.

I’m an ice cream feign and a treat from a local creamery (or nation-wide chain Dairy Queen) is one of my longstanding road trip treats. Life is too short not to have some fun!

7. Stay Connected.

Often, when people are out of sight, they can be out of mind. As unexpected stress appeared during my road trip, I found comfort in phone calls and texts with friends. Those phone calls kept me grounded.  Don’t let your travels disconnect you with your friends and family.

8. Schedule Rejuvenation.

Once your trip is over, take some time to decompress, rejuvenate, and recharge. Have a day to catch up on sleep, book a massage, or spend some time in meditation. This helps integrate all that you have experienced on your trip while re-entering your life.

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Ed: Sara Crolick

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