- It’s time to enjoy a well-deserved summer road trip.
- “The idea is to maintain routine and healthy habits as much as possible on the road, just as you do at home.”
- Stay hydrated and take breaks.
Healthy habits for your summer road trip. You have spent the last couple of years staying fit and healthy despite spending more time at home during the pandemic. Now you’re packing up the car for a well-deserved road trip which means lots of opportunities for fast food, convenience stores and hours sitting with unhealthy snacks close at hand.
Can you keep up what you’ve achieved? Yes you can, experts say — if you plan: «The idea is to keep your routine and healthy habits as much as possible on the road, just like you do at home,» said Dr. Ian Neeland, a preventive cardiologist and assistant professor at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Preventive cardiologist Dr. Puja Mehta encourages maintaining healthy habits on the road
«It’s all in the planning,» said Puja Mehta, associate professor at the Emory Women’s Heart Center at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. «It can be a lot of fun and relieve a lot of stress along the way.» So as you review your budget and consult maps and travel guides, here are some health-related factors to consider.
Stay hydrated and take breaks. “Travel with bottled water and a cooler instead of stopping for sodas,” Mehta said. Include breaks. When you’re sitting in the car for many hours at a time, blood doesn’t circulate as well through the body, Neeland said. “It’s a good idea to stop every two or three hours, just to get up, stretch, walk, and get the blood flowing.” Filed As: Healthy Habits on Your Summer Road Trip
What else makes for a healthy road trip?
The sun doesn’t just shine on the beach. «It’s going through the car window,» Mehta says. «Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses while driving.» «The sun can burn your arms and face,» Neeland added. «It’s also important to protect the eyes from too much UV exposure.»
Where are your medications? Just remembering to pack them is not enough. Travel disrupts daily routines, so «don’t forget to take them at the right times,» Neeland said. And don’t keep them in the trunk, Mehta advised. «A lot of drugs are temperature sensitive,» she said. “Leaving them in a hot car… probably not a good idea. They can lose their effectiveness.” Filed As: Healthy Habits on Your Summer Road Trip
Medical conditions don’t stay at home
“If you develop symptoms or complications, it’s important not to say, ‘I’ll wait until I get to where we’re going to treat this,’” Neeland said. “If something is serious, it is important to attend to it immediately. Park, call for help or find the nearest emergency room.”
Health and safety go hand in hand. Don’t drive if you’re sleepy. Change drivers and stop at night, Neeland said. Stick to your routine of getting plenty of rest by getting at least seven hours of sleep a night. Kids need more, depending on their age. Filed Under: Healthy Habits on Your Summer Road Trip
Use your cell phone to map out grocery stores
Those fast food emporiums and gas station convenience stores may be right off the highway, but they’re probably full of unhealthy temptations. “There are a lot of chips, cookies and candy,” Neeland said. «It is very difficult to find fresh fruit and vegetables in a self-service store.»
Just like at home, Mehta said, supermarkets balance those temptations with healthy options: fruits, vegetables, nuts and something for everyone. “When you travel with the family, everyone craves something different,” she said. “In a supermarket, you can at least try to choose the healthier options.” Filed As: Healthy Habits on Your Summer Road Trip