Melissa McNallan in Embassy Suites in East Peoria

My Top 5 Fit Tips for Road Trips

May 15, 2018 Comments Off on My Top 5 Fit Tips for Road Trips

Road trip season is almost here. Whether you’re taking a day trip, or making a long haul these tips can help you stay on track with your fitness goals.

Since Chris and I started dating two and a half years ago, road trips have been a regular part of my life. So, I’ve learned and developed ways to keep the pounds away during road trips. In addition to visiting family who live three hours from us, we’ve road-tripped to Chicago, New York City, Atlanta, Pocahontas, Iowa; and, to cabins in Minnesota’s vast Up North. We’re planning to drive to St. Louis, Missouri; soon to visit my daughter and granddaughter in their new home. Taking his kids somewhere out west is on this summer’s wish list too.

Melissa McNallan and Chris Peterson about to Roadtrip with 5 Kids

On our way to pick up Chris’s 5 kids for a road trip to Chicago & NYC.


Here are my top 5 Fit Tips for Road Trips:

  1. Sing while you drive. Some might whistle while they work, I sing while I drive. It makes my brain happy and my mouth busy, which keeps boredom eating at bay. Put together a playlist before you go. My Spotify library has musicals in it: Hamilton, Rent, Rock of Ages. My fiance puts earbuds in when it gets to be too much. Then, we’re both happy. When he’s driving and listening to music I find irritating, I put my earbuds in. Isn’t technology grand?
  2. Do ab exercises while driving. I learned this tip from one of my Ballet Fit instructors. She used to live in L.A. where it was the thing to do during long daily commutes. After cueing us to squeeze and release our pelvic and abdominal muscles, she often mentions that we can do the same thing in the car. Here are some stomach exercise ideas that can be done while driving (with care): Unique Exercises to Flatten Your Stomach while you Drive.
  3. Get the Asana Rebel app on your phone. It has quick flows that can be done in under 5 minutes. Doing yoga in your hotel room before heading out the door is a mindful way to fire up your day. You could even do a flow or two at a rest stop. It feels so good for the body after hours of sitting.
  4. Skip the complimentary breakfast. If they offer fruit or lean proteins, go for it. I’ve never seen calorie counts posted at a complimentary breakfast, so I skip it unless it’s amazing. For example, we love the complimentary breakfasts at Embassy Suites. Their made to order omelets are phenomenal. Since they’re made to order, I load up on the veggies and skip the cheese. Also, if you have to stop for a meal while on the road, choose places like Panera, Starbucks, Chipotle, and Subway. They post their calorie counts, so it’s easier to make health-conscious choices.
    One lovely exception we made on our drive home to Rochester, Minnesota from Atlanta was in Effingham, Illinois. There’s a place called firefly grill that serves up sustainable, farm to table style fare. The service and surroundings are exceptional. If you’re going to indulge, indulge at a place worth remembering.

    Sign outside Firefly Grill

    Sign outside Firefly Grill

  5. Portion and pack snacks. I don’t know what it is about gas stations, but it seems impossible to get a small, portion-appropriate bag of popcorn or chips. Most bags seem to have three servings in them. Plus, finding healthy, low-cal versions is a challenge.  I know, it’s not like chips are good for a person, but sometimes a-hankering for them happens.

Every hotel I’ve been in the past three years has had a fitness center. I almost always make it to the gym for at least 30 minutes before getting ready for breakfast. Equipment variety and quality vary, so it’s good to be flexible about your workout.

At a hotel in St. Charles, MO.