It's that time of year, when the days start getting longer and warmer. Flowers and trees respond to the signal of spring by putting on buds and leaves which will soon explode into a colorful palette across the landscape. Full-time RVers are beginning their trek toward the northern states, and part-timers are planning vacations. But, before heading out for new spring and summer adventures, it is necessary to ensure your rig is road-ready! Follow your manufacturer's instructions for de-winterizing your RV, or for its routine maintenance if you live in it full-time. Helpful information to prepare your rig for travel can also be found on Funroads, Good Sam Club, or Family Motor Coach Association.
While you're getting your RV into tip-top traveling condition, don't forget that you also need to be in tip-top condition to ensure your travels are relaxing and worry-free. It seems everyone is into health these days, and being healthy is one of the best ways to guarantee years of enjoyable RVing. Long days spent on the road, while sometimes necessary, can have negative consequences, especially for your blood! Inactivity, such as excessive sitting during long trips, has been linked to blood clots in the legs. These clots can then dislodge and follow the circulating blood up to your heart, brain, and (most commonly) lungs, causing a heart attack, TIA or stroke, or pulmonary embolism. While these extreme side effects are rare, they do occur, and you don't want to be a victim.
There are some things you can do to help prevent these complications of long-term travel. While driving, stop every two to three hours and take a short walk. This keeps your blood flowing, and strengthens calf muscles, which assist proper blood flow back to your heart.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day also helps. Water cleanses the cells in your body, helps prevent sluggish blood flow, which can increase the risk of clot formation, and helps keep your mind alert. An easy, helpful formula for determining how much water you should drink is to divide your weight by 2. The result is approximately the ideal number of ounces of water you should drink every day. As an example, if I weigh 140 pounds, I should drink approximately 70 ounces, or 8 - 9 cups, of water a day. If you're not used to drinking this much water, and are concerned about having to stop more frequently for restroom breaks, remember that those stops provide an excellent opportunity for taking a short walk to keep your blood circulating!
For more information about this topic, visit the National Blood Clot Alliance (also here), or the CDC. If you're on a fluid-restricted diet, please talk to your doctor before increasing your water intake, or consider consulting an ND (naturopathic doctor) or a lifestyle medicine physician for a more holistic approach to your health!
Wishing you happy and healthy RVing!!