Seniors Keeping The Menu Light On the Road

By: Jody Smith

The lightness that comes from being footloose on a road trip can be sabotaged by the heaviness that comes from riotous eating on the road. You know what I'm talking about. Gone are the twenty-something days when you could eat like a horse and never gain an ounce. In some ways you will always be the same you but in other ways, carrying senior years changes the equation.

Sitting all day behind the wheel or as a passenger for hours at a time doesn't burn a lot of calories no matter how much head bobbing and foot tapping goes on in time to the music on the radio or your favorite song mix on a CD.

The kind of food you'll find on the road is a recipe for weight gain. It can be fun to pull into a restaurant or fast food joint, and your favorite junk food looks pretty alluring when you've stopped for gas or a bathroom break. But how long do you want to carry the consequences of this kind of caloric debauchery?

Better to get it under control before you end up with your own spare tire and I don't mean the one in your trunk. Your other trunk.

Be a grown up. If you're reading an article on seniors and travel, it's time, believe me. Bring healthy food with you. Fill your cooler with veggies, fruit and yogurt. Limit the amount of junk you lay out your money for. Fast food restaurants offer other items besides the calorie- and fat-laden favorites.

Keep from adding middle-aged spread while on your youth-inspired trip by getting some exercise when you can. Keep your hip flexors from getting tight, and protect yourself from back pain due to weak muscles. Maybe you normally would make your road trip a marathon where you try to break your old record of miles covered, or try to last longer behind the wheel than you ever did before without a bathroom break. But make yourself pull over every hour or so and stretch your legs.

Walking can be done anywhere -- well, almost anywhere -- so keep that in mind and work it in to your vacation schedule. If you normally do some resistance training, you can toss a few light weights in your car, or a resistance band to keep those guns toned. Even while you're driving you can do some muscle tightening. Contract your abdominal muscles, or practice your Kegels.

Plan your stopovers so that you have some opportunities to get physical. Locations that offer space for hiking or biking will let you work off some steam while you enjoy the local scenery. If you'd like something more organized, head for an area with a golf course or tennis courts. Does your hotel or motel have a swimming pool? Are you going to be near a gym? Take advantage of the proximity and enjoy the workout.

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for EmpowHER.com.

Sources:

Stay Healthy on Road Trips

http://www.babyboomers.com.au/travel-brochures-holidays/stay-healthy-on-road-trips.html

Staying Fit On A Road Trip

http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2011/07/14/boomer-health-tips-road-trip

Related Links:

Healthy Fast Food Choices

http://www.empowher.com/healthy-eating/content/healthy-fast-food-choices

Nutritional Supplements No Match for Broccoli, New Study Says

http://www.empowher.com/cancer/content/nutritional-supplements-no-match-broccoli-new-study-says

Easy Ways to Reduce Sugar Intake

http://www.empowher.com/weight-loss/content/easy-ways-reduce-sugar-intake

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