Exercising Tips While On the Road
If you’re out on the road in your RV, chances are you’re on vacation with two things on your mind: rest and relaxation. To be fair, these are both worthy goals – you’re probably looking forward to a fun holiday full of good food, beautiful scenery, and quality time with your loved ones. What’s likely not on your mind is getting in at least half an hour of physical exercise every day. You may just get behind the wheel, subsist on fast food and snacks, and then feel too tired to get some exercise at the end (or beginning) of the day. But all of these things are connected – unhealthy road diet plus being sedentary equals no motivation for staying active. Soon you might find your energy flogging to the point that you can’t enjoy your road trip!
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to exercise while you’re on the road. When you’re away from a crowded gym, you’ve got the advantage of working out in nature, plus you can use your surroundings to your benefit. When you choose to exercise while you travel, you’ll be able to work out in a different environment every day!
Still think it’ll be too difficult to keep up with some physical movement while you’re out seeing the country? Let us use this blog post to convince you otherwise.
Equipment for your RVThe first thing you’ll want to do is determine what kind of exercise equipment you’ll need, and if you have the space for it. Fortunately, there are a number of vital pieces that come small enough to stow away in your RV’s storage, so don’t worry about trying to find room for a StairMaster. Here are a few items to start:
Exercise mat: Whether you’re working out on the floor of your vehicle or outside on the grass, you’re going to want to have something that’s lightly padded. Exercise mats come in all sizes, and they can be easily rolled up and stashed anywhere. They can provide just enough support while you stretch, plus they can protect your body from the hard ground. If you’ve got an exercise mat handy, you’re always ready for a workout.
Hand weights: No need for giant dumbbells – all you need to pack are a small set of hand weights that you can lift, but will still find challenging. In this video, the author demonstrates how to use hand weights and a chair to achieve a solid workout inside an RV. This blog post also recommends packing a few kettlebells as well – for swinging when you’re outdoors, of course. Try doing tabata exercises – do a set of 10 kettlebell swings, then 20 seconds of rest, and repeat. This should work both your arms and your hip flexors to give you a little more stability and help shake off any road rust.
Resistance bands: These humble bits of stretchiness are worth their weight in gold. Small enough to pack and store but powerful enough to give you a good workout, resistance bands work to strengthen the connective tissue in your body, making you more limber and less prone to injury. The Fit RV has a great abs workout you can accomplish with resistance bands, using a “sturdy pole” to help you work your abs, chest, and back. They also feature an arms workout that shows you how to use resistance bands for curls, triceps pushdowns, and more. And if the weather is bad outside, you can always stay in your RV and use the bands to perform simple side step exercises – Runner’s World has got some fantastic ones.
Fitness DVDs and apps: Unless your vehicle is from the VHS era, it’s likely that it has a DVD player installed. Why not bring along a series of fitness DVDs so you can keep up with a regular routine? Make a habit out of it by tackling a DVD workout at the same time every day while you’re on vacation (try doing it in the morning, before you hit the road for the day). Yoga and Pilates are also popular choices to help stretch and work on flexibility after a long day behind the wheel. If you’d rather go the digital route (and if you’ve got WiFi!), make up a playlist of YouTube videos featuring outdoor workouts. On that same note, technology is your friend when it comes to workout apps – there’s a whole world of them available for any smartphone or tablet, so make sure you’re equipped with a few that can operate without an Internet connection.
Use the Great Oudoors
One of the best parts of taking a road trip is getting to see all parts of the country – including the forests, beaches, and mountain trails that attract all sorts of fitness-loving travelers. You can definitely join their ranks by making the outdoors your new mobile gym.
As this blog post recommends, start small – you don’t want to attempt climbing a mountain on your first day of working out. Instead, pack your running shoes and begin your routine slowly by setting a goal of thirty minutes of exercise per day. This exercise can be anything from a 30-minute walk to a jog to a variety of Pilates stretches and yoga positions. As you start building up strength and stamina, challenge yourself to tackle bigger goals, like full-on beach sprints or steeper hill hikes. As long as you can identify an activity that you enjoy doing, you won’t feel like it’s a drag to make the time to exercise – and doing it outside can be a literal breath of fresh air.
When you’re RVing, you’re also likely parking overnight at campgrounds that come equipped with playgrounds, beaches, bike rentals, and flat areas that are perfect for long walks. It’s easy to get in a ton of exercise through family-friendly activities and games like capture-the-flag, badminton, swimming, or even just throwing a football around. When exercise doesn’t feel like a traditional workout it can be more fun and less of an obligation.
Lastly, enjoy yourself! According to studies, being outside in nature can improve your mental health and overall sense of well-being. If you combine that with the endorphin rush and mood-boosting benefits of a workout, you’ve got a powerful argument for taking the exercise outdoors. It could be just the thing to help get you through the next long stretch of driving.
Stay Fit on the Road
Although it can be tempting to let exercise fall by the wayside when you’re road-tripping, there can also be no better time to discover new and innovative ways to get in a good workout. By using resources you have at hand – choice pieces of exercise equipment; technology and apps; the great outdoors itself – you’ll find that it’s hard to get bored when your workout space is stretched across the country. As a bonus, you’ll be refreshed and energized for your entire trip, and ready to log even more miles as your RV hits the road.