Win a national park adventure trip & take a step on nature's path.
Camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities are a great way to get in touch with nature. But when you're not prepared, you can end up with unhealthy foods and routines that ultimately detract from such a rejuvenating experience. Fortunately, just a little planning can go a long way toward enjoying a healthy, happy outdoor adventure. Use these tips to keep your mind, body, and soul feeling great while you enjoy the great outdoors.
Choose Smart Snacks
Snacks are a big part of camping and hiking. They keep you fueled up during the day without requiring meal prep, which is understandably more time-consuming when you're nowhere near a kitchen. To stay healthy, you'll need to pick healthy snacks that will give you lots of energy, such as:
- Trail mix
- Pre-cut veggies
- Granola/granola bars
- Whole wheat muffins/breads
- Natural nut butters
Plan Healthy Meals
When it's time for a full meal, the camping and hiking go-tos are notoriously unhealthy. Hamburgers and hot dogs on white bread buns don't exactly make healthy, energy-sustaining meals. Fortunately, there are several easy ways you can improve your outdoor meals. Try some of these tips for healthier eating on your adventure:
- Enjoy the "traditional" camping fare with a healthy twist by swapping out regular hot dogs and hamburgers for veggie substitutes.
- Freeze healthy meals ahead of time. It cuts out the time you'd spend on meal prep on the trip. Instead, you can just heat and serve your favorite healthy meals from home, like a hearty potato stew or homemade falafel.
- Prepare healthy salads before the trip. These are easy to mix up beforehand. When you're ready to eat, just add dressing and, if you prefer, some healthy protein (tempeh is a versatile, nutritious, easy-to-transport option for camping).
- Bring lots of frozen veggies along (like peas, spinach and corn!). They'll help keep things cold in the cooler, and when you're ready to eat, they warm up quickly and add lots of healthy nutrients to any meal.
Simply planning an outdoor trip can make you feel healthier and more active. But unless you actually do physical activities while you're there, you can be just as immobile as when you spend the weekend on the couch watching TV. Plan a few specific activities to make sure you're making the most of your health-conscious getaway. Here are a few ideas:
- Rock climbing
- Gathering/chopping wood for a campfire
- Playing capture the flag, hide and seek, or tag
When you're outside all day, it's especially important to stay hydrated. You'll need it more than ever to keep you feeling energized because of the extra exercise and sun exposure. Instead of packing tons of ice, freeze some of your water before the trip; as it naturally thaws, you'll have a cold, refreshing drink on hand at all times.
Use these tips to make the most of your outdoor adventures. With these strategies, you'll easily be able to stick to your healthy eating and exercise routines.