Caravaning camping is an excellent way to spend any vacation or even long weekend. Grabbing a gang of friends, getting out the city, and comfortably enjoying the outdoors is the way to go. But as a health and fitness buff, it can be easy to put your body on the backburner. Junk food snacking during long car rides, all those hours sitting, hot dogs roasting over the fire for dinner — you might have to put in some extra workouts when you're back.
But caravan camping does not have to wreck your routine. Follow this checklist for simple, easy ways to stay fit and healthy on your next trip.
Pack healthy road snacks: Forget Cheetos or candy bars. Bring plenty of healthy snacks to stay eating right. Trail mix is a staple, and fruits like apples and bananas hold up well without refrigeration and are easy to eat while on the go. Health bars are OK, but have a lot of calories and protein that will be hard to burn off with limited activity.
Bring small exercise toys: Do quick activities in the car, like being a hand-gripper to squeeze and work your forearms. It'll also relieve stress, like cabin fever.
Do something physical during breaks: A quick set of jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, anything to get your blood flowing and burn off some quick calories. If you're really ambitious (and it's safe to do so), go for a jog along your route and ask your crew to pick you up a mile or two down the road.
Plan lots of activities for when you get there: When you actually arrive at the campsite, maximize your physical activities while you're there. Go for long hikes that will make you break a sweat and give your lower body a tough workout. Canoeing or rowing is excellent for upper body, particularly chest. Bring a frisbee or a football to toss up, and grab your friends for a game. Enjoy the outdoors by taking advantage of its opportunities for physical activity.
Go climb trees: For a total body workout with a little adventure that harkens back to childhood, find sturdy trees at your campsite and climb them. You might get a good view, your friends will get a kick out of it, and it will really work your core, arms, and lower body.
Prepare healthier meals: Camping staples like burgers and hot dogs just are not that good for you. Pasta is a better option, as is chicken (with a touch of barbecue sauce if you can't live without it). For vegetables, you can always bring some in a refrigerated container, but those may not keep for long. Don't worry about it; just be conscious not to sabotage the rest of your diet by eating junk food or fatty meats.
Don't drink too much: Caravaning camping often leads to letting off some steam with good friends. Drinks will be had, and more drinks, and more drinks. Alcohol is chock-full of empty calories, and will leave you feeling sluggish for the next day's activities. Have a beer or two or three, but leave it at that. You'll have fun telling your friends about their exploits from the night before too.