Staying fit on the road is tricky when one of the greatest joys of the wandering lifestyle is sampling regional delicacies. From the sweet, delicious German kuchen dessert of the Dakotas to fried chicken of the South, there’s no end to the ways you can fatten yourself up if you’re not careful.
Here’s how Jim and I try to keep our BMI at a reasonable level without depriving ourselves of local flavor.
Get moving with Fido
Full-timing with a canine co-pilot is one of the best ways to stay active. Even in the worst weather, dogs need walking, exercise and fresh air in order to thrive. We need it too of course, but skipping a daily workout is far easier for humans.
With a dog by your bed in the morning you can’t deny them the biggest joys of their day, romping in the great outdoors. As an extra bonus, a well-mannered dog is a great way to meet the neighbors in your RV park.
Carry portable fitness tools
When we sold our stick house we hated giving up our home gym. But as full-timers we discovered that basic, portable workout gear can do just as good of a job at strength training and cardio.
Our gym bag of tricks includes a set of resistance bands, yoga mats and our favorite Yoga app, Yoga Studio. Our preferred cardio workout is running or bicycling but we carry a jump rope for those inevitable times when we stay at places where going out on the road can kill you.
Explore towns by bike
You can get a far better sense of a new community when you explore it by bicycle instead of driving. For example, last month I was stunned to discover that the massive city of Tucson, AZ. is a wonderful place to ride. To the casual driver, Tucson appears to be nothing but highway and sprawl. But through the years Tucson’s bicycling advocates have worked hard to develop a bike-centric culture with safe bike paths that go everywhere.
When I stayed at the new Sentinel RV Park that’s conveniently located downtown, I was able to take bike paths from my RV doorstep to various Gem and Mineral Show events around town. It was a real treat to leave the truck at home.
Make dining out an occasional treat
Staying in and cooking most of your meals takes great restraint when you’re parked in the nation’s best foodie cities. But when you save your hard-earned dollars for those times when you don’t feel like cooking, dining out becomes an event that’s worth the wait.
We like to make the most of our dining experience and budget, so we never go to any new restaurants without checking reviews on Yelp. If you take about half of what people say as truth, you’ll find that Yelp members won’t steer you wrong.
When we first hit the road I used to panic if I didn’t get some kind of workout into my day. But the more we travel, the more I’ve learned to accept that on some driving days we’re just going to be sitting on our butts all afternoon like long-haul truckers. That’s OK though, because as soon as we stop and park for a while, I know that our new location will be ripe with opportunities for fresh air, fitness and fun in the great outdoors.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.
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