James and I still hold full-time jobs. Since we only get so many days off a year, we like to pack as much as we can into every RV trip. Which means we end up having some long…VERY long…driving days. It would be a dream to slowly wind our way like the full-timers do, making leisurely stops to see roadside America along the way. But our vacation days are limited. It’s pretty common for us to drive as much as 12 hours a day; ouch! Much of roadside America goes by in a blur.
Even though James and I have a lot of fun rolling along during our marathon drives, driving for long periods of time without taking breaks can wreak havoc on the body. I don’t know about you, but at the end of a long drive, I can feel totally sapped. It takes all my energy to open the door and assist James in doing the hookups.
Okay, okay, in truth, I just stand there and watch James do the hookups. But even that feels like work.
It makes sense, when you think about it. There are actual physiological changes your body goes through on those long driving days; for both the driver and the passenger. For instance, your inactive lower body muscles send a signal to your brain to slow your metabolism. Your blood circulation slows as well, which leads to all sorts of ill-effects: foggy brain, raised blood sugar levels, fluid pooling in the lower legs, and inflammation, amongst many other joyful things. Google “sitting disease” and you can get all the gory details. So that post-drive sluggishness isn’t just me! It’s an actual “thing.”
To counterbalance it, James and I have a two hour rule. For every two hours we’ve been driving, we have to stop the RV and be active for 15 minutes. During some of those stops, we will simply walk or jog the entire 15 minutes. But, that gets a little boring; plus it neglects our upper bodies. To keep things interesting, we like to come up with “rest stop recharge” workouts. The video link above demonstrates one of them. Yes, you might get quite a few funny looks from fellow rest stop visitors; but it’s worth it. You’ll feel more energized, alert, and ready to hit the road.
Hope you enjoy the video! Just ignore James’ whining…