The MOVE by BJC Blog

Road Trip Fitness

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

As the holiday season approaches, we all have the mindset to relax, travel, and enjoy the lovely festivities. Although the holidays are an exciting time to kick-back, it is especially important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regime during this season. Traveling and vacations during this time can make it seem 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. As everyone gears up for the holidays, here are a few ideas on how you can plan accordingly and stay on track while traveling this holiday season.

As a frequent road tripper, I have developed a routine over the years that helps me in stay on track when traveling from St. Louis, Mo. to Killeen, Tx. during the holidays. The number one thing you can do is to plan ahead and ensure that everything you need to stay on track is available throughout the trip.

A few days prior to your trip, it is a great idea to pack meals that can be easily transported. By doing so, you can avoid the pitfalls of unhealthy snacking and impulse eating. In addition, if you are familiar with the route, you can plan scheduled stops at establishments that offer more nutritious options. I always find myself packing fresh or even frozen fruit, beef jerky, and home-made protein balls. These stops can also be used as physical refresher providing movement opportunities.

A few ways to ensure you stay active and alert during long trips is by incorporating short bouts of training. The choice of physical activity will vary from person to person. Some may enjoy gentle meditation, light stretching/yoga, calisthenics (bodyweight) exercises, or even a mixed training routine with minimal equipment. No matter your preference, it is important to make it your own and ensure that you are actively staying on track.

Over the years, I have perfected a ratio of 5hrs-to-15mins split. For every 5 hours of travel, I make sure I stop for a 15 minute refresher. I start with a light mobility workout which 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. Shoulder complex

Please feel free to use the above template, remembering this is my personal outline, allowing for adjustments based on your individual needs. Take some time to customize the workout so it works best for you.

- D. A. Ivy