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HOW TO HAVE A HEALTHIER ROADTRIP

Johnie Gal | Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

A long road trip is one of my favorite things—cue Julie Andrews!—and I take plenty of them: I spend almost half of the year living out of a renovated Sprinter van traveling the country in search of surf and summits and working out of my coffice (that’s coffee shop office). Just last year I hit California, Colorado, Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and almost the entire East Coast, ending with a kayaking trip up in Maine.

It sounds like the dream, right? It was, until I started to feel horrible. I’m talking mood swings, digestive issues, headaches, and skin problems galore. I wanted to be mountain biking and rock climbing, but I felt so gross all I wanted to do was nap. The culprit? Life on the road—all those gas station snacks, long hours in the driver’s seat, and unpredictable sleeping schedules were catching up with me, so I came up with a few ways to have a healthier road trip. Here’s my best advice for a healthier road trip:

  • Bring your own stash of healthy, protein-packed snacks to keep you full on long drives. I love Designer Whey’s Peanut Butter Crunch bars for driving and French Vanilla shakes for a post-hike snack. If you’re craving some candy, go for a low-fat and low-sugar option like the traditional Twizzlers or chew on some gum.
  • Put suntan lotion on your arms and hands—I try to do this everyday, but when you’re driving it’s especially important since the sun reaches right through you car’s windows to damage skin!
  • Invest in a portable shower (or at least some face wipes). Showers can be few and far between during a road trip, and on especially hot days, it’s refreshing to rinse off with a solar-heated foot-pump shower (I like this one from NEMO). At the very least, wipe off the grim of the day with some reusable face wipes before bed.
  • Buy some earplugs and get used to wearing them—if you have to snooze at a rest stop, you can block out highway noise and fall asleep faster.
  • Plan more bathroom breaks so you can drink more water. Stay hydrated with lots of cold water while you’re in the car. I fill up three Nalgene water bottles in the beginning of the day and try to finish all of them!
  • Keep your mind entertained and engaged while you’re driving—tired driving is super dangerous! Combat long stints behind the wheel with a ton of playlists, as well as engaging podcasts (I recommend ‘Invisibilia’ and ‘Serial’), and audiobooks. Did you know you can rent a book-on-tape from one Cracker Barrel restaurant and return it at a different one?
  • Make yourself as comfortable as possible: adjust the seats, invest in seat supports, sit up tall, and stretch your neck, fingers, shoulders and back whenever you can. I make a point to keep myself moving in my seat so I don’t get sore and stiff.

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