In a few weeks, I’ll begin the longest road trip of my life. The journey I’m taking on the South Island will begin in Westport and end in Christchurch. I’m still not sure what route I’ll be taking, I don’t know if I’ll be renting a campervan or a car, and I only have a rough estimation of the budget. To me, the unknown of this trip is sort of what draws me to it, so I’m not too worried about the above. However, if there’s one thing that’s been getting me a bit anxious, it's the uncertainty of how I’ll continue my diet/fitness routines on the road.
At the beginning of March, I committed myself to lose 20 lbs over the next 3 months. It’s an aggressive target but an achievable one if I can cut carbs, increase my protein and fiber intake, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and get proper rest. In the comfort of my own home, while still a challenge, I’ve managed to stay accountable to this routine, but how can I keep this up on the road for nearly a month? Skipping the diet/exercise would be the easy answer, but summer’s fast approaching, and I plan on hitting up a few beaches along the trip! I’ve done some research and come up with 5 rules that I’ll be following on the road, so I thought I’d share them with you too.
Plan and pack a series of smart meals and snacks
In terms of snacks, you can’t go wrong with nuts, seeds, granola bars, fruits, vegetables, hummus, healthy jerky, etc. You’ll also want to prepare some meals in advance to bring along with you on the road (in a cooler if needed). Peanut butter sandwiches, deli meat sandwiches, avocado-egg salad sandwiches, etc. Essentially sandwiches are great meals while you’re on the road. If you’re like me and want to keep your carb count down, try bringing boiled eggs, salads, tuna, and roasted edamame. Alternatively, if you have space, you can buy a portable grill and a propane tank to cook your meals on the road.
Quick at-home exercises that you can do anywhere
A series of short, but high-intensity workouts can go a long way to helping you achieve your fitness goals. The best part is that there are several workouts online that don’t require you to have any equipment or a lot of space, you can literally do them in your hotel rooms or campgrounds. The key is to be consistent, try to get these workouts at least 3 times a week.
Plenty of stretching and sleep
While on the road you need to stop regularly to stretch. Especially if you’re driving extensive hours, stopping a few times a day to stretch can help you to avoid cramping, the tightening of your muscles, and help improve your posture. With a resistance band, you can turn the stretches into mini workouts. Also, if you have a travel buddy make sure to regularly alternate driving duties. If you both get tired on the road, pull over and sleep! Even if you’re on the highway and there isn’t a pit stop in sight, pull over to the edge of the road and take some rest. There’s no point in hopping yourself up on Caffeine, it’s counterproductive to your health goals and more importantly, it’s unsafe.
Try to plan stops in places where you can regularly restock
Seems like a no-brainer right? Often times when planning a road trip we can get caught up in planning the most scenic route. We want to see all the beauty that nature has to offer, but it’s important to intermingle your scenic routes with a few pit stops in towns or cities where you can restock on essentials.
Last resort food
If life was perfect you and I would be able to follow these rules with ease, meet our fitness goals, and live long healthy lives. Planning meals or cooking on the road may be great practices for eating healthy, but doing this day in and day out may not be realistic for everyone. That’s okay, nobody’s perfect, I certainly am not, so in fully knowing so, here are some healthy fast food options that you to indulge in from time to time. I would advise partaking in these options no more than twice a week.
Following these tips will take discipline, but will ultimately be so worth it. Here’s to a healthy summer road-tripping!