Weight Loss & Diet

Get Physical Activity on Road Trips

Get Physical Activity on Road Trips
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

This Lark DPP mission has been all about staying active when away from home, such as on a vacation or business trip. As previous check-ins have mentioned, anything from using the hotel pool or fitness center to taking walking tours and doing squats while waiting in lines can boost your activity levels on the road. 

The most recent check-in brought up one more idea for getting active in a particularly challenging place: in the car. You are not likely to be able to get your heart rate up too much while in the car, but you can certainly move enough to do some good. As the check-in stated, stopping often and using other tricks can get your blood flowing quite a bit more than sitting motionless the whole trip.

Rest Stops

Rest stops let your car rest and give your muscles and heart a break from just sitting there. You can boost metabolism and break up harmful sedentary time by making sure to get up and get moving every time you come to a rest stop, even though it can be tempting to just keep sitting there.

Radio and TV

When is screen time good time? When you are using it in the car to inspire activity! Consider watching an exercise program for inspiration, or, if everyone is watching a movie or show, agree to do a certain series of movements during commercials or once every set time, such as every 20 or 30 minutes. The radio can also provide valuable inspiration and opportunity as you dance (safely and in your seat) to great songs.

Use Your Imagination

The ways to get moving are limitless. You might consider the following ideas.

  • Focusing on one muscle at a time, such as systematically moving your head around to exercise your neck, shrugging your shoulders, waving your arms, wiggling your hips, and working your way down to your toes.
  • Singing silly songs that involve moving, such as “Hokey Pokey,” or “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
  • Tying movements to events, such as everyone stomping their feet when someone spots a red car on the road.

Follow the Leader

Taking turns thinking up ways to get moving in the car can keep boredom from setting in and make it more fun. The designated leader can be in charge for an entire “movement break,” or you can each take a quick turn thinking up ways to move for everyone else to follow. When taking turns, it is also good to remember that the driver needs a break, too. Team driving can be more pleasant, safer, and healthier for everyone.

Using Lark DPP can help you stay active. First, it can increase accountability if you keep your phone on you as you move around and know that later you will check your activity totals and see your daily and weekly patterns. There is also the great coaching you can receive, including push notifications reminding you to get active and the occasional tip about how to get active in tight spots – like a car.