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5 Tips for Staying Healthy On a Road Trip

Updated: May 24, 2023

Whether you travel for work, vacation, or adventure, it can be tough on the body. Sitting for long periods of time can put huge stress on your neck and back and even slow your metabolism. In this post, you’ll learn 5 simple tips to keep your family happy and healthy while on the road.

This year my family and I hit the road for a six-month road trip around America to take advantage of the remote learning and working environment. We've been on the road for about two weeks now, and I've already experienced the difficulties of maintaining a workout and healthy diet.

To be honest, it's hard to build consistency while traveling. And by traveling, I'm not talking about a vacation, I am talking about a journey! Here’s a typical day on the road with my family:

Two boys, exploding with energy, wake up around 6 AM. After breakfast, we pack up the camper and hit the road to make a significant distance. We stop for a quick lunch, take many pee breaks, and make an occasional sightseeing stop. We hopefully get to our destination before dark, set up our site, cook dinner, and hopefully get the kids to bed. If all goes well, everyone will sleep through the night...which doesn’t always happen.

One night, we discovered a crack in the frames of a screen. About two thousand mosquitos got in our camper and I had the sublime joy of mosquito hunting from 3-4:30 AM.

I know this may have nothing to do with staying fit on the road. But it's been a part of my learning process, so I felt it was relevant to share it with you.

Family Adventures on a Road Trip
Me, my wife, and 2 boys!

How to Stay Healthy and Fit on a Road Trip

Long gone are the days we traveled by foot and horseback, a much healthier way to travel than a road trip or 6-hour flight. Our bodies need regular movement to stay healthy and in fighting shape. That’s why it’s so important to build healthy habits during your long drive across the country.

With that said, here are the 5 most important things you can do to stay healthy during long drives.

1. Stay in a Site for a Few Nights

Constantly traveling from place to place is exhausting. Commit to staying in a site for at least two nights so you have a full day to recover. Take in the area and schedule a workout or run. Before you start another long driving day, do some stretches to prepare and loosen your body.

2. Rotate Your Workouts

Vary your workouts from resistance training to cardio. Even try yoga to maintain a good balance. The goal is to get a proper workout six days a week. If you have to miss a day, no sweat, you can just pick it up again the next day.

3. Workout Before Lunch or Dinner

Don't wake up crazy early to get your workout in, especially if you'll be dead tired for the rest of the day. It will actually have a negative effect on your health because you won't get enough sleep. Any time after breakfast or mid-afternoon is ideal. One parent can wrangle both kids while the other gets a workout in.

4. Eat Healthy Food

Obviously, right? But on road trips, it's hard to eat healthy when fast food and restaurants are more convenient. Instead, bring bulk dry goods and hit up farmers' markets or co-ops. For longer car rides, bring a cooler with fruits, veggies, nuts, and jerky for the whole family to snack on.

5. Stay Hydrated!

This is a really easy one that will have a huge impact on your health. When driving long distances, we tend to limit our fluid intake to avoid pee stops. I totally get it...but stay hydrated! Stopping for a pee break relieves your bladder and gets you moving around. It will keep you full, awake, alert, happy, and a little more flexible. It's worth it.

There are loads of other simple tricks and planning strategies to stay in shape and eat healthy while on the road. But these 5 simple tips will get you off to a great start.

5-Minute Stretch Routine Before a Long Drive

Learn How to Live a Fit & Healthy Family Life on the Road

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