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Your Healthy Road Trip Day Planner

Focused on Health -

By Rachel Winters

Driving with family through your state or across the country offers an affordable, fun-filled way to escape for a day,road trip weekend or longer.

Here’s how you can make your summer road trip a healthy one:

1. Schedule the day. Driving to each location on your itinerary during the sun’s peak hours will allow you to bike, climb, raft or kayak during the early morning and late afternoon when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are less powerful. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer.

Remember, even if you avoid the midday sun, you should always wear an SPF 30 or higher and reapply it often.

2. Stop for exercise breaks. It’s important to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day to help reduce your chances of developing cancer.

You can get this amount of activity in 10-minute increments by taking a brisk walk during restroom or gas breaks. Or get the family moving by kicking around a soccer ball or throwing a Frisbee for a few minutes. 

3. Make healthy food stops. Diet plays a huge role in reducing a person’s chances for father and son with berries cancer.

Stop for local produce. Eating scrumptious, seasonal fruits and vegetables is part of a year-round cancer-prevention diet. Produce stands are a great place to re-stock your cooler with healthy treats.

Go berry picking. It’s the perfect time to visit a nearby berry farm because these mouth-watering treats reach their peak in summer months. Brightly colored fruits like strawberries and blueberries are jam-packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants.

You can eat them raw, toss them into a salad or cook them down into a sweet topping for low-fat yogurt.

4. Cook your own meals. For some extra health perks, rent an RV for your road trip. Most RVs come fully installed with their own kitchenette. This makes it easier to prepare healthy meals for your family.

You may even whip up something with the fresh produce you picked during your recent healthy food stop.

Even if you don’t have a mobile kitchen during your trip, be sure to load-up a cooler full of low-fat snacks and meals high in fruits and vegetables. 

father and son hiking5. Take a hike! Don’t forget to visit national parks or nearby woods on your road trip. It's the perfect opportunity to enjoy nature and take long walks or hikes.

Brisk nature walks or hikes are an amazing way to exercise. Plus, if you hike in a heavily wooded area, trees will help protect you from the sun.

Another great benefit is the sense of relaxation and calm you get from nature walks. Reduced stress plays a big part in maintaining a healthy immune system, which can help the body better defend itself from diseases like cancer.

Remember, summer vacation is not an excuse to take a vacation from making healthy choices!

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center