Summer weather, a bunch of friends, the open road and four wheels are all you need for a great road trip. There’s something initiatic in road trips; so much so that they are for many a must-have experience that you need to have at least once in your lifetime. However, spending long hours behind the wheel or in cramped car seats eating salty and greasy snacks and drinking fizzy and sugary drinks can break havoc in your regular diet or fitness plan. Staying fit while on the road is important as it gives you the energy you need to stay alert while driving and explore your destination, not to mention that it allows you to indulge in the local cuisine totally guilt-free. As experts in car rental damage insurance services, we promote safe traveling on the road; that’s why we’ve compiled this foolproof guide to road trip fitness!
Table of Contents
Get Ready to Work Out!
You won’t be working out unless you have the right workout gear at hand. Forget about trying to fit a bulky treadmill in the bucket of your car: simplicity works best! Pack T-shirts, shorts and a pair of sneakers are mostly all you need! Plan shorter workouts as you won’t have as much time as you do at home and be open to scheduling two shorter workout periods throughout the day.
Bring small exercise equipment as well to add variety and movements to your fitness routine. Resistance bands, a yoga mat and a couple of weights can be handy. You can then rely on your smartphone to find interesting bodyweight workouts, yoga routines and workout sessions you can easily adapt to your whereabouts and follow.
Commit yourself to work out daily. Whether you do some stretches and pull-ups at a local playground, a hotel room or by the side of the road, tell yourself that you’ll do your best not to miss a workout. If you happen to miss a workout because sometimes life happens, never miss two in a road as that makes it easy to skip physical activity altogether.
Road trips are adventurous and there are plenty of things you can’t plan ahead of time. That said, why don’t you make exercise the constant in your trip? In order to make this easier, create a routine and stick to it. This is especially important if you are used to meditating or doing yoga daily and can’t seem to fit it into your holiday schedule with children around or a bunch of chatty friends nearby. You can rely on meditation or yoga apps that help you stick to your practice, destress and be more focused throughout the day.
Smart Snacking & Other Healthy Eating Tips
Fill a cooler with ice and load it with healthy and easy-to-eat snacks. Unsalted nuts, string cheese, low-fat yogurt, carrot sticks, apples, whole cereals, celery sticks, bananas, and other fruits are juicy, tasty and healthy alternatives to other kinds of snacks that are not that good to your body
If you are spending some days at a hotel or staying overnight somewhere, the local grocery can be your best friend. Although eating out is part of the fun of traveling, if your hotel room has a microwave or a mini fridge, you can easily put together a tasty and homemade meal or nutritious breakfast without breaking the bank or adding unnecessary calories to your diet. A couple of tuna or salmon cans, hummus or salad bar veggies are great ideas that you can find almost everywhere!
As regards drinks, water should be your first option always. Soda and fizzy drinks are packed with sugar and tons of calories. Avoid creamy and caffeinated drinks as well as they can easily make you feel dehydrated.
Staying Fit While In the Car
If your road trip will keep you on the road for more than a day, sitting comfortably is essential and not only for the driver. Adjust the seat, bring seat supports and pillows to make the car seat more comfortable and ergonomic. Sit tall, suck in the abs and squeeze the glutes to keep muscles working and take breaks to roll your shoulders and stretch your neck.
Staying Fit At Rest Stops
Pit stops are not just for stretching your legs. They offer great moments to do some exercise while on the road (and keep up with your fitness routine, remember?). Here are just a few activities to inspire you!:
- Triceps Dips The best way to use a picnic table or bench! Do one to three sets of repetitions per set and your arms will be toned!
- Jump the Rope: Increase your heart rate in a fun and childish way by skipping the rope. Your friends and children can join too for more fun!
- Marching with High Knees: If you do it in a grassy area, your heart rate will build up fast!
- Pushups: One of the best exercises to train several muscles in your upper body at once. You’ll soon be strong enough to do them without the help of your knees touching the ground!
Take Advantage of Your Surroundings and Spice Up Your Fitness Routine
One of the most fascinating things of road trips is that the scenery changes every few miles and that your surroundings are the best challenge for those looking to stay fit. Ditch traditional local gyms and spice up your exercise routine taking advantage of what your surroundings have to offer. Remember that exercising comes in all shapes and colors so having an open mind is essential!
Swim in the lake, try cross-country skiing if you dare, explore urban settings with a running tour of the city, join free walking tours, climb up as many stairs as you can, look for hiking trails or rent a bike to move around your destination. Children playgrounds offer a myriad of opportunities to move your body in a fun way! Don’t miss them out!
If you’re staying in a hotel for a couple of days and the hotel happens to have a gym or swimming pool, make sure to visit it!!!