4 Ways to Burn More Calories on a Road Trip

Learn three ways you can stay fit and burn more calories even if you’re stuck in a car or on a road trip.

Ben Greenfield,
August 2, 2016
Episode #297

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Last week, while driving from Butte Montana to Spokane Washington, a 280-mile road trip, me and my friend shot an entertaining video on my Snapchat channel that you can watch here.

The workout, which we called the “50/50/50,” went like this: every 50 miles, stop and do 50 burpees and 50 kettlebell swings. In this case, we simply traded off as we arrived at each stop, meaning that at one stop, one person would start with the burpees and then do the swings and then at the next stop, vice versa. Of course, we could have chosen any two exercises, including exercises that didn't necessarily require equipment like a kettlebell: for example, jumping jacks, push-ups, bodyweight squats, lunges jumps, you name it.

Three hundred-thirty repetitions later, we arrived home, extremely satisfied at having gotten an amazing workout during what otherwise would have been a quite sedentary road trip. And of course, there are plenty of places you can do bodyweight exercises, including gas stations, rest stops, and even gravel pullouts on the side of the road. We found that we can squeeze these exercises in just about anywhere. And if you don’t want to keep a kettle bell in your car (perhaps you're one of those people who likes to save every little bit of weight so that you aren't spending any extra gas money), a suspension trainer similar to something like a TRX is something you can also throw into the mix to give you an option for things like pull-ups, rows, balance exercises, etc.

I’m going to give you three more ways you can stay fit and burn more calories even if you’re stuck in a car or on a road trip.

1. Work Your Grip

As I described in this recent Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast episode, I keep a hand gripping device called a “Captains of Crush” along with a “Hand Expander Band” in the glovebox of my car. When I am traveling, I will grab this hand grip strengthener and do 10 squeezes for the right hand and then 10 squeezes for the left hand. I'll then take the elastic and expander band and complete 10 hand openers for the right hand and 10 hand openers for the left hand. I'll go back and forth three times through. Surprisingly, you tend to actually contract other muscles of your body, such as your core, your butt, your shoulders, and your back when you are working your hands. So this is a way to not only get a stronger grip, which comes in quite handy if you're doing things like lifting weights for doing pull-ups for racing obstacle races, but it's also a way to burn just a few extra calories by engaging extra muscle groups as you sit in your car. You can keep these in a briefcase, purse or bookbag and use them on an airplane too.


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