Road trips are typically associated with a sense of fun and adventure, but if you’re serious about your health and fitness routine, road trips may give you a sense of anxiety.
While a road trip does take you out of your normal fitness routine, planning ahead is the most important thing you can do! Planning ahead allows you to make the best decisions possible while you’re out on the road.
Prepare Your Meals
Planning ahead is the most important thing you can do! As long as you have a general idea of what to expect and a general plan for meals and workouts, you should be able to enjoy your time while making the best decisions available to you.
Cook at home and put together enough meal prep for the trip. No time to cook? There may be a meal prep service in your area you can check out.
Know the Menu of Your Restaurants
If you already know what restaurant you’ll be eating at while you’re out, look up their online menu in advance. A safe option is grilled chicken with a side of steamed vegetables, and maybe some potatoes.
Many restaurants will allow you to order two sides of vegetables or substitute the starchy carb for vegetables. If you are already eating more snack foods than usual it may be a good option for you.
Food Delivery Service App for BackUp
Whether you plan to use a food delivery service app (like Uber eats) or not, it’s a good idea to look up what your options will be at various stops along the way.
That way if there are any sudden changes in plans, you’ll already have an idea of what might order.
Carefully Consider Calories in Deserts
If you know you’ll be trying a new food or dessert, look up the calorie content ahead of time. This is not to give you further anxiety or dissuade you from indulging, but just for your awareness. For example, you might be surprised at how many calories are in cookie dough.
Stay Close to Your Normal Routine
Avoid burning extra calories or eat substantially less before the trip. In conjunction with the anxiety you already feel, this may cause you to eat substantially more during the trip.
Free Day Pass at Gyms on the Road
Keep your energy balance as close to routine as possible. Is there a gym on your route? Many gyms offer a free day pass, check and see if you can sign up ahead of time if possible and have that ready.
Bring Portable Workout Equipment
Your hotel may have a gym. If so, it would be a good idea to call ahead and ask what equipment it has. Is there equipment you can bring along with you?
If you normally workout with light dumbbells or other portable equipment, you could even find a safe, open space along your route somewhere to take your workout outdoors.
Find Trails for Your Cardio
If the road trip falls on a rest day or cardio day, there are ways to find a good running or hiking route.
AllTrails is a good app for finding hikes, including short nature walks that are kid and pet-friendly. If you run, chances are you don’t need to be told that you can run just about anywhere!
Plan Outdoor Recreation Activities
In addition to your regular workouts, consider planning outdoor activities along the route. Internet searches can give you lots of ideas, such as mini golf, small outdoor amusement parks, and petting zoos, and you may even find an indoor trampoline gym or something similar.
Does your family or group of friends normally play a sport together? Bring along a volleyball, tennis rackets, roller blades, or other fun stuff to break up the trip and get everyone moving around in a fun way.
Watch Your Food & Beverage Intake
Drink a lot of water, limit snacking, and take breaks every few hours. Avoid being sedentary for too long. Stepping outside for fresh air and to walk around allows your body to maintain good circulation, and is good for your mental health as well.
This is especially important if you have any medical conditions or if you are snacking on salty food. Of course, another piece of advice is to limit snacking. Avoid foods that you know make you feel sluggish or otherwise unwell.
Planning ahead and preparing healthier snack options (like pickled carrots or veggie chips) allows you a little peace of mind if you just feel you have to snack.
Be Flexible and Have Fun
Plan ahead and do as much as you can to set yourself up for success, yes – but don’t be so hard on yourself that you end up sabotaging the trip.
Expect delays and unforeseen circumstances, from delayed traffic to arriving at your gym and finding that it’s closed.
When you plan for one possibility and something goes wrong, it will be easier to make choices you’re not completely happy with. Planning for multiple possibilities allows you to make the best decisions no matter what happens.
Finally, have fun! Road trips are supposed to be fun, after all. Your well-being is important to you and those you’re traveling with.
Austin is the author of loveatfirstfit.com and a personal trainer with extensive knowledge in nutrition. Austin is passionate about helping others to find a suitable healthy lifestyle and feel good about themselves. Austin’s goal is to help people push their limits and achieve their physical performance.