Failing health is everyone’s number one concern – as well it should be. Without our health, we are nothing. We can’t work, we can’t play. We’re stuck in bed and can only dream of getting out and about.
For us as we rode our bikes around the world, maintaining our health was our top priority. We demanded a lot of these bodies of ours, and had to take certain precautions to make sure they could respond.
Honestly, while on the road we were the healthiest we had ever been. We went ten months with no sickness at all – not a tummy ache nor runny nose. Nothing. When we crossed the border into Guatemala, both kids got sick with some kind of stomach bug and we realized anew how fortunate we had been for those ten months.
What we did to maintain our health through the demands of our journey
1) We ate a lot.
In a hard day’s cycling, we could each burn upwards of 5000 calories. If we weren’t eating enough, we quickly felt the effects and our energy level started to plummet.
2) We ate good food.
We tried really hard to limit our intake of soda, chips, and ice cream. As tempting as it was to indulge in those treats, we found that too much junk food caused us to be sluggish. We tried to eat good meals with plenty of fruits and veggies, meat, beans, and eggs. For snacks, I tried to carry granola bars and fresh fruit with me at all times. There were times when we ran out of our healthy food and had to resort to whatever we could buy in the small stores we passed, but I tried hard to avoid that.
3) We got plenty of sleep.
Our bodies needed time to regenerate, and we quickly felt the effects of too little sleep. This one wasn’t something we needed to consciously work on – we fell asleep early when we were tired and made no effort to fight it.
Mostly, I’m convinced that simply being active in the out-of-doors is the best way to maintain health. I feel more alive – more vibrant – when we are outside all day than I ever do when we happen to have a place inside. And, in addition, I think my body is more able to fight off all the nasties when I’m out there.