Four Tips for Staying Healthy on a Road Trip

When you take to the road, take these healthy suggestions with you.

The open road offers a wealth of surprises. When you and your family spend time together on a vacation, you naturally just want to focus on relaxing and having a great time. Use these tips to keep those surprises fun and travel-related, not health-related.

Eat healthy
When traversing the country, convenience food is an easy and sometimes unhealthy answer to hunger pangs. However, you don't have to turn to fast food drive-thrus or rest stop vending machines. Keep your stomach happy and your energy levels up with these tips:

  • Pack healthy snacks. Have nutritional alternatives available in the car to avoid buying junk food at gas stations. Consider taking trail mix, apples or whole grain crackers.
  • Brown bag it. Skip the restaurants all together by packing a healthy lunch in a cooler. You can take salads, fruit, healthy chicken wraps, etc. Don't forget the water!

Get rest
When the destination is in sight, you may be tempted to forego sleep to get there faster. This could be a fatal decision. Operating a vehicle while deprived of sleep is likened to drunk driving and has been linked to car crashes. The best course of action is to:

  • Take turns driving with another person in the car
  • Schedule breaks.
  • Listen to your body. If you are tired, pull over and sleep.

Get out and stretch
Being confined to the car for a long period of time can cause muscle stiffness and aches. Schedule breaks to get out and stretch. Doing so also allows you to see more of the area in which you are traveling.

Don't stress
Avoid stress on the road by being prepared. Prior to leaving, make a list of everything you will need for the journey and pack accordingly. Also, have a plan for the trip but remain flexible for unforeseen changes. Remaining stress-free will reduce tension in the car and in your muscles.

Oak Hill Hospital wishes you safe and healthy summer travel and vacation season. To have your health questions answered or to request a physician referral, call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-88-741-5120.

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