When traveling, one of the biggest vulnerabilities that you subject yourself to is your personal health. You’re in a packed car, in close quarters with other people. You’re in public bathrooms and restaurants. You’re constantly being exposed to changing temperatures and climates, and you’re travelling to different parts of the country that your body’s immune system is not used to. Coming down with a sickness can ruin your trip, and take away from the fun you’re supposed to be having. Consider implementing these tips to help keep you healthy and alert the next time you explore the country from behind the wheel.
Health Tips For Your Road Trip
- Pack Snacks Ahead of Time – A road trip does not have to be an excuse for greasy fast food. You can pack your in-car snacks beforehand with healthy foods such as trail mix and fresh fruit. You can also use a cooler and pack string cheese and yogurt. Ice can be refilled in the cooler at various rest stops along the way.
- Stay Hydrated – It’s tempting to choose sugary, caffeinated drinks to help stay alert on the road, but in the long run they’ll just bring you down and make you crash even harder. Staying hydrated with water will help sustain energy levels and ward off sickness. Dehydration can knock you out of commission quickly.
- Stretch Frequently – Staying cramped up in the car is an easy way to throw your alignment out of whack. You should take stops at least every couple hours to get out of the car, move around, and stretch. Depending on where you’re road tripping, you may be able to find a local hiking trail that will yield amazing views while keeping you active.
- Wear Sunscreen – You’re in a car, so you don’t need to protect yourself from the sun, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Windshields are not UV proof, which means you can still get burnt just by sitting in the car. Plus, you should be rolling the windows down anyway! Also be sure to have a good pair of sunglasses that will protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Plan Your Hotel Stays Beforehand – A dirty hotel is a quick way to get sick and expose yourself to a variety of health risks, including mold and bed bugs. Research hotels beforehand so that you can see reviews before you book, preventing an unpleasant surprise. The Hotels Escape reservation site will make booking a breeze. It’s important to get a good’s night rest, as you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the next day’s adventure. Even though it may be tempting to keep driving on an open road, adequate sleep will allow your body to recover and keep you healthy on your trip.
Advice From A Health Coach
Alexis Gross, an integrative health and lifestyle coach, shared her advice for staying healthy with US News. Her biggest advice is communicating with others on the trip. She says, “Enlist support first. If you really want to make something doable, it’s really hard when there are other people saying, ‘Oh, just eat that burger. Whatever, just get friends; I’m getting fries.’ You can’t control what other people do, but you can talk to your friends ahead of time.” She also recommends doing research beforehand, so that you can plot out restaurants and gyms that are accessible on your trip. Obviously, you’ll have to be a bit flexible, but having a rough plan will maximize your chances of maintaining your personal health while on the road. If there are no gyms in your area, try squeezing in a workout on your own. Bring sneakers, resistance bands, and a yoga mat to perform a bodyweight workout.