This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.
It’s the season of road trips. School is out, summer approaches, adventure beckons. It’s the perfect time to load up the car and head off down that highway. I just recently completed my first road trip for the year, to beautiful Blue Ridge, Georgia in the mountains.
As Greg and I prepped for a 700 mile drive across five states to reach our destination, I did more than pack clothes and fill my daily medication holder with supplements. I also prepared for a long ride in the car, with the desire to make it as supportive of my health as possible.
The trip was a success, in terms of the enjoyment I experienced exploring a new to me place and doing well riding for hours in the car.
Try these simple health tips for road trips on your next long distance adventure.
Wear Comfy Clothing
As with flying, when riding for miles and hours confined in a car, it’s important to wear loose fitting, comfy clothing. This isn’t the time for constricting clothes that can cause discomfort by interfering with blood flow. Lightweight, flowing pants or shorts, a loose fitting shirt and sneakers are perfect.
If you have trouble with restless legs or muscle cramps in calves while riding long distances, try compression socks. There are cute ones available, if that lessens the perception of wearing compression socks. They help with circulation, and prevent swelling, which can keep legs more comfortable as you travel. I bought these before my last international flight and they helped so much!
Protect Eyes with Sunglasses
Eyes are exposed to sunlight and glare while riding in the car. Protect them with sunglasses. Polarized with UV protection is a good choice. Amber, grey, brown or grey are the best lens colors, to reduce brightness while not distorting colors. Blue and yellow lenses cause color distortion.
Additionally, reducing glare with sunglasses increases visibility while driving, keeping you and other drivers safer.
Along with wearing comfy clothes and protective sunglasses, wear a seatbelt. It just makes sense for everyone in the car to wear a seatbelt while traveling. The cross body and around the hips belts keep the body from being thrown around the car in an accident, or worse, ejected through the windshield. Seatbelts also prevent injury or even death from a rapidly inflating air bag.
The bottom line is, seatbelts save lives and prevent getting stopped for a violation. Ensure you arrive safely to your destination by buckling up.
To feel your best while traveling, stay hydrated by drinking enough water. I know. Most people on a long car trip do the opposite, fearful that drinking water makes them have to stop too often for bathroom breaks. First of all, that’s the next tip: stop every couple of hours to stretch and move. And secondly, drinking enough water while on road trips helps the body to function better meaning you feel better.
Adequate hydration regulates body temperature, keeps those joints that are often bent while riding in the car lubricated, delivers nutrients to cells and keeps all your organs functioning properly.
You’ll feel less tired when you arrive at your destination and less thirsty as well.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
Sun exposure happens while riding in the car, especially on the face and arms. Use an SPF 50 sunscreen. It’s more about protecting the skin than preventing sunburn. A good rule of thumb is, when outdoors, use sunscreen.
Pack Healthy Snacks
One of the fun activities while road tripping is munching on snacks. Instead of bags of potato chips, cookies or candy bars, take along healthy choices to fuel your body.
Good suggestions include fruit such as apple slices, bananas, grapes and oranges, cut up veggies, nuts, unsalted airpopped popcorn and low sugar treats such as Munk Pack bars.
As a bonus, I packed groceries for our trip since we knew we would arrive late to our accommodations. The cabin offered a full kitchen and groceries on hand meant I could easily cook healthy meals there. However, more than once on the drive we broke into our box of groceries for a light meal.
Take Breaks to Stretch and Walk
While it might seem like it takes too much time away from the journey to stop every couple of hours, getting out of the car even for a few minutes is good for the body.
Stretching, walking and moving gets blood circulating, eases tight, stiff muscles and keeps you alert, especially when you are the driver. It’s a great time to take that bathroom break as well, after drinking your water. Stretch out the spine, roll shoulders, walk around the car or into a convenience store or restaurant. Loosen up those muscles and you’ll ride better when you return to the car.
Put the Phone Down
If you are the driver, this is a must. Keep attention on the road and traffic and off of the phone. A driver is 23 times more likely to have an accident while sending text messages than if he or she is driving only.
You can still use your phone’s GPS for driving directions by starting the app and then placing the phone in a holder or the console. Listen to music or podcasts but don’t text or try to use the map while driving. Designate a passenger in the car as the message sender, map adjustor, music selector and keep eyes alert and attention focused.
Do You Have Other Tips?
Are you headed out on a road trip this summer? What is your destination?
I hope these health tips for road trips are helpful. Do you have other tips that you find useful? Add them to the comments.
Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.