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Car travel made easy

car travelWith the festive and holiday season upon us, many of us pack up and spend hours travelling by car. Whilst it is a great opportunity for endless conversations, it can come with its challenges. 

Travelling is an important part of a well-lived life, but how we travel determines how you arrive at your destination. Getting caught up in the excitement of visiting new places can mean we forget about factors that assault our health. During the trip we might be queasy in the tummy, unable to find healthy food options, be jammed in a car seat for hours and our digestion might play up. Appropriate preparation and mindfulness will give your body the support it needs to cope. Here is how:

Travel sickness

  • Sit in the front seat or, better yet, drive (if you have a license!). Motion sickness rarely affects the driver.
  • Ensure a good flow of fresh air and avoid unpleasant smells like smoke or cooked food.
  • Look straight ahead at the road and don’t read. 
  • Avoid large meals before travelling; a full stomach makes it worse.
  • 30 minutes before you travel and then every hour, take a standardised ginger extract from your health food shop, or drink ginger tea.
  • Have a travel sickness kit handy which might just be a small bucket and wipes to clean up.

Be prepared

  • Pack an esky with your favourite muffins, sandwiches or light salad. Sitting in the car does not burn much energy so don’t trick yourself into thinking the long car trip deserves a big meal at the service station. A big meal is much more likely to make you feel tired and compromises your concentration behind the wheel.
  • If you are destined for the fast-food stop, eat wisely. Chose a small burger instead of a the jumbo combo, chose a salad instead of the fried chips, chose water or milk instead of a soft drink.
  • Have little snack boxes containing cut up fruit, veggie sticks or trail mix. It can be as simple as putting a few spoons of peanut butter into a jar and adding celery sticks (see photo).celery sticks
  • Keep up regular water intake.
  • Have entertainment for the younger passengers in your car. Audio books from the library are great or down load something of interest to the whole family.

Walk the extra step

You have just parked your car for a break. The chances are you are just about to sit down again to enjoy a drink or some food. Humans have been designed to move around. Do you yourself a favour and walk some extra steps. Your body and especially your circulation will appreciate it. Play ball, walk to the other end of the car park or engage in some gentle stretching or deep breathing.

Digestion

Travelling often means irregular meal times, different foods and change of exercise routines which then interferes with normal digestion and bowel movement. To promote regular toilet visits ensure you keep up your water and fibre intake through fruit and vegetables. Taking extra psyllium husk in water or Swedish Bitters works well.

Travelling long distances puts demands on our wellbeing. Using the above tips, and being mindful on the road, will get you to your destination safely and in great shape. Happy travels!

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