Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Road Trips or Car Trips - Heaven or Hell?

ROAD TRIPS - Doesn't everything fun just scream "Road Trip!" ?

I love car trips, but after a while they can get boring, and boring can be B-A-D for my hips...because then I want to eat FUN food - the kind that gives your mouth some interesting textures and flavors to deal with...we all have our faves, so I won't get your mouth watering over mine.

What to do? Most holidays have a trip in there somewhere.

Bring plenty of water, but plan that you may have to buy some while out. Make those stretching breaks and stretch them out a bit.

Take a stretch when you stop at the gas station. Cross your ankle over your knee (like a guy crossing his legs), then either bend forward or lift the other leg up to your chest. I like doing this with the steering wheel helping to hold the leg up to my chest. This is a great "opener" for the opposite hip. Do both sides, breathing and relaxing your muscles, particularly those that are trying to tighten. In yoga, this is called "breathing into (that muscle/joint)" and after a while, it feels just like that's what you're doing. You'll feel the muscles relax and the joint will limber up. Great for car trips that make you stiff.

Dance in the car - can be done driving or riding, but is easier if you control the music you hear ;) Arms are a little difficult, but you can contract your buttocks in traffic - at lights, or just by bouncing on your seat a bit. It's a different form of drumming your fingers. Think of it as being enthused by your music. Just don't lose your grip on reality or the wheel, and keep an eye on all your mirrors and the traffic around you. Choreograph the music in your head.

Buy new music for the trip - this is always good for making me feel less bored.

Vary the music. Use the radio when you go thru a town which has a wider choice of stations.

Try driving to country music when out in the countryside - the beat is interesting, the lyrics at times unbelievable and funny, and the talent is there, too. Or try any music you don't normally listen to - for 1/2 hour or so at a time to break up the monotony of the same-old same-old.

Stop for a real meal instead of drive-thru - treat yourself to a to-go salad at Applebees or another sit-down place that you find- either sit and eat it, or take it on the road - but make sure you're doing something you don't normally do on road trips.

Sometimes traditions are good for road trips, too. If you've got some that work for you in keeping the "bad foods" at bay when boredom sets in, post them here in comments. I usually do a lot of driving alone, so I can control the music and that helps me a lot. For others, having a crowd along may help. What kind of things have worked for you?

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