Updated: Jun 30
Staying healthy while living the van life isn’t always cut and dried, since there are so many factors that go into the lifestyle. Having access to certain amenities and the option to make stops as often as you need to can certainly help you make healthy choices for your body and mind, but when those things are hard to come by it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. Fortunately, there are lots of small things you can do to keep yourself feeling good on the road, from drinking enough water to scheduling your meals at just the right time to get restful sleep. You can also stay informed by using helpful resources like the ones available at TheRollingStowes, where you’ll find tips on how to navigate van life safely.
Here are just a few tips on how to stay healthy while you’re traveling:
Keep your mental health strong
Focusing on your mental health can be tricky when you’re on the road, especially if you’re traveling alone. Feelings of isolation can quickly lead to depression or anxiety, which can take a toll on your entire well-being. Consider trying online therapy sessions that can help you boost your mental wellness no matter where you are. Not only are these sessions confidential and less of a commitment than in-person services, you’ll have a wider pool of professionals to choose from and will save money at the same time. Look at therapist costs to find out more, and keep in mind that you’ll also save on travel costs by not having to locate a counselor’s physical office.
Boost your air quality
Taking good care of your mental health is just one step in keeping yourself feeling good. It’s also crucial to make sure your environment is safe, especially when it comes to air quality. Spending a lot of time inside your van means you need to keep things clean and neat to prevent a buildup of dust or pet dander, and it’s also imperative to retain good airflow by opening at least one window up front and one in the back. This is especially important if you’re using a standalone heating or air conditioning system in the vehicle since these can create a buildup of moisture that might lead to dangerous mold. Traveling in areas that are affected by wildfires can also affect air quality.
Stick to a routine
Another great reason to enjoy as much fresh air as possible is because it can help you sleep better at night, as can sticking to a schedule as closely as you can. While this can be tricky to do on the road, setting mealtimes and bedtime can help you keep anxiety at bay, eat healthier, and get a better quality of sleep when you’re ready to rest. If you know you’ll be driving for long stretches to reach a particular destination, prepare a few healthy meals ahead of time and store them in your refrigerator or cooler in order to prevent stops for fast food. Vegan or vegetarian? Make sure you’re getting enough of the right vitamins and nutrients in every meal.
When it comes to staying physically healthy, eating well is a key aspect, but it’s just as important to get in some activity every day when you’re sedentary for long stretches of time. It might be challenging to set a time for movement, especially if you’re trying to reach a particular spot by a certain time, but consider it a necessary part of your schedule. Look up the location of parks or walking trails on your route, or head to the nearest beach and go for a swim. Beaches are also great places to get in a quick shower, which is an added bonus.
Living the van life can be extremely joyful and liberating, but it’s crucial to ensure that you’re as healthy as possible in order to make the most of it. Taking the time to focus on yourself each day will help you prevent any issues so you can continue to enjoy your time on the road.
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Darin and I have been neck deep in a remodel and have not been traveling much, more on that later. We are honored to have a guest writer provide these healthy tips. Meet Julia, she created Befriend Your Doc to share tips she has developed to help patients be their own advocate in seeking medical care, dealing with insurance companies, and contributing to their own health and well-being.