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7 Ways to Have a Healthy Road Trip

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7 Ways to Have a Healthy Road Trip

By Emily Main, 

Gearing up for the long holiday weekend? You certainly won’t be alone. Despite the down economy and increasing unemployment, people don’t seem to be ditching their vacations, according to a recent survey from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. Nearly 50 percent of people polled said that the economy would have no impact on their travel plans this year, and 15 percent said they’d be even more likely than usual to travel this year.

If you’re facing a few hours of highway time, here are some ways to stay healthy, plus a few last-minute destination ideas:

1. Prepack your car.

Unless you’re just throwing an overnight bag in the backseat and hitting the road for a short two-day trip, you’ll save your back some ache if you pack the night before you leave. Fluids pool in your spinal disks while you sleep, and that makes your lower back tight and sensitive to irritation when you first wake up.

Who gets sick more while traveling—men or women?

2. Prepack your food.

Packing a picnic lunch will help you pinch pennies and calories alike. Plus, you’ll be more likely to eat foods that fight fatigue, increase your attention span, and keep you alert. Sandwiches on whole wheat bread will prevent you from feeling draggy, and peppermints are healthier stimulants than caffeine, which can lead to energy crashes. If you’re forced to grab some fast food, stay away from fried, fatty menu items and stick with salads (dressing on the side) and yogurt parfaits—add blueberries to that yogurt and you have an attention-, energy-, and memory-boosting breakfast.

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Read more: 4th of July, Family, General Health, Health, Holidays, Holidays & Gifts, Life, Mental Wellness, Other Holidays, , , , , , , , , ,

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Rodale is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.


+ add your own
4:03PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012


7:58AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

One more thing......

Leave the kids with your mother and enjoy a free kid holiday............................

4:14PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

noted with thanks

2:52AM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

These are not just 7 tips these are most beneficent

10:38PM PDT on Jul 20, 2011

Thank you. Good basics suggestions.

7:34AM PDT on Jul 20, 2011

good ideas

3:44PM PDT on Jul 11, 2011


12:28PM PDT on Jul 8, 2011

Being someone who used to pack everything she needed for a trip in a single duffel bag, I passed those lessons on to my kids. However, with the economy in the sad shape it's in, these days the closest we get to a vacation is when my husband has a day off from work. Community festivals are as close as we get to one-you can make a day of it, and it's free besides! This month's "excursion" will be to the Agricultural Expo in our town at the end of the month (it's our county's version of a county fair). It's a terrific event, and the kids love it!

12:50PM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

The first four tips were very helpful. I wasn't aware of the fluid build-up during sleep. No wonder it's so much harder to pack in the morning.

The last three really had nothing to do with the "road trip" as I know it. They may be good tips for a vacation in general, but how does "hit the rails" help me when traveling to a destination by car (which is how I think of a road trip)?

Maybe a different title would be more descriptive of the actual article. Oh well. As the great Willie Nelson likes to sing,

"I can't wait to get on the road again".

12:00PM PDT on Jul 7, 2011

Thank you!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

@Naomi D. - I love that Baha'i saying. I've never heard that before so thank you for sharing!

these are great ideas - the little girl will be raising awareness and have a totally unique costume.…

I'm so glad these beautiful pups were rescued.


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