When on the road on vacation, it’s so easy to dismiss our normal healthy routine. But when you’re camping it can be a lot easier, as you tend to be outdoors exercising and getting fresh air. Still, with all of the temptations of getting away from the daily grind, the need to relax, and especially all of the food options, it’s easy to let your health routine slip.
We’re here to help. Health and travel do not have to be mutually exclusive. Here are some great tips for staying fit and healthy on the road.
Take a Break from Driving Every Two Hours
On long road trips, it’s good to break it up by stopping every so often. We recommend it at least every two hours. This not only helps you stretch your legs, but gets you out of “the zone” of staring at a road for long periods of time. Set an alarm to remind yourself to either stop at a rest stop, a gas station to fill up, or stop for a (healthy) meal. Make it a point to walk around a little to get the blood flowing.
Plan Meals Ahead
This is fairly easy to do when you are RV camping, as you have a little kitchen in your traveling home. Make a list of meals, gather recipes, and then go on a big shopping trip. Whatever items you forgot to bring or couldn’t find you’ll likely be able to pick up on the road or at your destination. Of course, choose meals that are not only healthy, but delicious. It will enable you to eat like a king (or queen) on your camping trip and not “roughing it” at all. And hey, you’ll save money over going to restaurants, to boot!
Here’s a great article by Eating Well about planning a menu for your next camping trip.
Don’t Be Tempted to Eat While Driving
Let’s face it – it can be tempting to mindlessly snack behind the wheel in your RV during those long stretches. Not only is this a little dangerous (your concentration is not fully on the road when you have food in front of you), but when you’re in that “driving zone” you tend to not pay attention to how much you’re eating, and suddenly that bag of chips is gone. Instead, use those breaks mentioned above to have a snack or a small meal.
Get in Your 10,000 Steps
They may seem a challenge to do on a day-to-day basis, but when you are on an RV camping trip and out in nature, it is much easier. In fact, 10,000 steps would be the bare minimum. All it takes is a two-hour hike and you’ve done it. Plan for that and more – push yourself (but also listen to your body, take breaks and stop when it tells you to). Exploring the Texas Hill Country makes it extremely easy to get plenty of exercise every day. Just remember to stay hydrated, always!
Bring Gear with You
Whether it’s a road bike, kayak, or lighter gear such as a yoga mat or small weights is a great step to help you stay active on those “not so active” days during your camping trip. Pro tip: leave your workout clothes laid out in a spot where you’ll see them, to remind yourself to use your gear whenever you can. The guilt of walking past them will be too much and you’ll want to put them on and get in at least a quick session! Your body will thank you.
Nowadays, with all of the exercise tracking apps available, it’s amazingly easy to keep track of your activity. Begin each day with a personal goal, and make it a challenge to fulfill it. Challenge your travel buddies. See who can get 10,000 steps first or the most miles around the campground. Make being active a fun task!
Mix Sightseeing with Being Active
Many spectacular sights can be seen from the comfort of your RV. But make it a point to leave the RV parked and walk or bike to see the beautiful attractions on your to-do list. Dare to do the unusual and try activities you’ve never tried before, whether that’s kayaking, skiing, snorkeling, rock climbing, etc. It will give you a new perspective and a genuine appreciation for the outdoors.
Get Plenty of Sleep and Drink Lots of Water
You’re on vacation! Make sure you get your 8 hours in nightly, and always carry a refillable water bottle with you, wherever you may roam. When you’re rested you make better choices – it’s a fact. Also, part of staying healthy is staying hydrated – and it carries the added bonus of making you feel less hungry so you’re less apt to grab an unhealthy snack or meal.