Taking a long road trip vacation makes it easy to forget that, no matter where we go and what we choose to leave behind, we always have a responsibility to ourselves. That responsibility is to maintain our health, not only to enjoy ourselves on our road trip, but to make sure that when we get back, we’ll be refreshed by the choices we made on our vacation, not bogged down.
Staying healthy while vacationing anywhere, not just in a camper or RV, is about maintaining muscle mass, engaging in regular, moderate cardiovascular exercise, and keeping up with proper nutritional habits.
Muscle, the Protective Organ
Slipping and falling is a possibility for any person, but few realize that having adequate muscle to protect both their organs, and to provide stability, both prevents the possibility of falling and reduces the likelihood that a fall will cause lasting injury. Muscle tissue is the single most important protective organ we have as humans, and making sure we protect it, and nurture its growth, is vital.
Building and maintaining muscle is not as difficult as all those different muscle magazines make it out to be, and the medicinal dose for muscle growth-as outlined by Dr. Doug McDuff in his book “Body by Science” requires that you perform one high intensity exercise session every 5-14 days. Your workout regimen should include a full body weight lifting session, performed with maximum weight to failure, and should take no more than 15-20 minutes. It is recommended that you use Time Under Load calculations to determine how much weight you should be using, with the Time Under Load being a total of 90 seconds where you are either pushing, pulling, or lowering the weight.
This prescription for muscle maintenance is perfect for travelers, as visiting a gym once every week can be easily scheduled.
Engaging in moderate cardiovascular exercise is as simple as walking, and does not have to be difficult or stressful whatsoever. The body simply needs movement to aid in circulatory and lymph system health, and a standard amount of 30-45 minutes a day is recommended.
Don’t believe the myth that cardiovascular exercise needs to be difficult, cause excess sweating, or lead to any difficulty holding a conversation, and moderate exercise should be considered a way to relieve stress, not a chore.
Nutritional habits that are recommended are those that can be easily followed, as taking your vacation on the road is not about following a checklist or memorizing a meal plan. Instead, make sure you have proper vitamin supplements, a good omega 3 fish oil supplement, and that you spend at least 10 minutes outside of your camper in the sun each day to obtain your vitamin D.