The MOVE by BJC Blog

Road Trip Fitness

Road Trip Fitness

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

As the winter months end and summer season approaches, we all have the mindset to relax, travel, and enjoy the beautiful weather and beaches. Although the summer months are an exciting time to kick back and take it easy, it is especially important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime during this season. Traveling and vacations can make it feel impossible to stay on track with your fitness goals. However, that does not have to be the case. It is particularly important to minimize prolonged periods of non-activity, as this can lead to weight gain, muscle loss, or a decline in overall health/well-being. In addition, it is far more difficult to restart/continue a program after a prolonged period of non-activity. Here are a few ideas on how you can stay fit while traveling this summer season.

As a frequent road tripper, I have developed a routine over the years that helps me stay on track when traveling from St. Louis, Mo. to Killeen, Tx. The #1 thing you can do is plan – this helps ensure that everything you need is available throughout the trip. This may vary from person to person and trip to trip, but the concept is the same.

A few days prior to your trip, pack healthy meals and snacks that can be easily transported. By doing so, you avoid the pitfalls of unhealthy snacking, impulse eating and gas station junk food. I always find myself packing fresh or even frozen fruit, beef jerky, and homemade protein balls. If you are familiar with the route, plan scheduled stops at establishments that offer more nutritious options. Use these stops as physical refresher providing movement opportunities, walk the parking lot, add a few stretches in and get back on the road.

One way to ensure you stay active and alert during long trips is to incorporate short bouts of training. The choice of physical activity will vary from person to person. Some may enjoy gentle meditation, light stretching/yoga, calisthenics (body weight) exercises, or even a mixed training routine with minimal equipment. No matter the preference, it is important to make it your own to ensure you’ll stay on track. Remember that your vacation workouts don’t need to look the same as they do when you’re at home.

Over the years, I have perfected a ratio of 5 hours:15 minutes. For every 5 hours of travel, I make sure I stop for a 15-minute refresher. I use a light mobility workout that includes the following:

  1. Shoulder rolls/shrugs
  2. Arms swings/circles
  3. Trunk twist
  4. Obliques dips
  5. Body-weight squats
  6. Lunges
  7. Calf raises/toe lifts
  8. Hamstring & quad stretches

Please feel free to use the above template, remembering that this is my personal routine and you may need to adjust based on your individual needs. Take some time to customize until you become more adapted to what works best for you. If you’re not sure what that is, schedule a personal training session at Move by BJC.

- D. Ivy