I am not a huge fan of driving long distance. Especially when I’m on my own, I tend to scoff at the “Enjoy the Journey” mentality. But nonetheless I’ve clocked in A LOT of summer driving hours heading to and from vacay destinations this summer …oh, and on my move to California (more on that later…) so I had to make a conscious decision not to be miserable during these trips.
How, you ask? I go for a run. Sometimes I get a little anxious before these drives, like I know a lot of us do. Running as I now do religiously before hitting the road curbs this antsy anxiety and ensures I’ll have a far better trip than I would have otherwise. And this totally makes sense for 3 reasons.
Run to Beat Road Trip Anxiety
Here are the reasons why you should consider a 15-30 minute jog/brisk walk before your next road trip, even if you hate running.
#1 – It Wakes You Up
I’m the last girl who’s gonna tell you to nix that well-deserved road trip latte, but if we’re all honest…warm drinks with milk are kind of counterintuitive if you need to stay focused for 5+ hours. Even if I feel tired after a run, I at least feel alert, and this is pretty comforting when I hit the road.
#2 – It Forces You to Hydrate
Don’t misinterpret – don’t drink gallons before you hit the road, but do stay properly hydrated. I know you know that hydration helps with alertness, but do you prioritize it during the morning frenzy of preparation? I sure don’t. But if I go for a run, it forces me to hydrate. I’ve stopped worrying about drinking too many liquids before driving – I would much rather stop every hour or so than power through, because that act in itself can be revitalizing.
#3 – It Relieves Stress
Even if you don’t love running, you can’t deny the sense of accomplishment and the feel-good effect it has. That usually helps carry me through a road trip, especially if I hit traffic, or start feeling antsy. I get nervous if I sit for too long, which can only add to my road trip anxiety. So knowing I got a quick workout in before hand helps me keep a more positive perspective on the unavoidable time spent sitting.
Pre-Trip Running Tips
If you are leaving from a hotel or staying at an air bnb in an unfamiliar area, consider driving to a populated park, or run down a fairly busy street with sidewalks (if I’m in a small town, I’ll usually just run up and down its main street).
If you aren’t alone, motivate your travel partner to come with you and share the feel goods!
Structure your workout
Either decide on a quick loop ahead of time, or take note of the time you left and set a time to turn around. That extra structure will help you power past the “why am I doing this?” feeling and get an effective session in.
Safe and Happy Travels, Lucky Readers!
Psst! If music isn’t enough to help you through your road trip anxiety, why not distract yourself with a light yet fantastical book on tape? Try “The Thousandth Floor” on for size
Or start planning your next gourmet pit stop while you listen to this fun podcast called Food Stuff.
What do you do to beat road trip anxiety??
Share your best tips in the comments below!