How To Stay Fit While Traveling Full-Time
Figuring out how to stay fit after going full-time can be challenging. If you’re like most full-timers, when you sold the house and downsized for your new lifestyle, you probably gave up your gym membership and sold all the fitness equipment in your home. Fitness wasn’t your top priority at that time, but now that you’ve been on the road for a while, you may begin to notice that the frequent dinners out and lack of regular exercise are starting to show up around your waistline.
There’s an upside and a downside to traveling to new locations. The downside is you’re not familiar with the resource and what is available in any new place in which you happen to be camping. The upside is you have a chance to explore and discover all kinds of new and interesting places and activities, but you need to be a little adventurous and willing to embrace uncertainty.
Drop-in fitness centers
If you’re staying for a while outside a major urban area, you may be able to find drop-in fitness centers for a total body workout using familiar equipment. Many urban areas have regular walking tours that will help you get a workout and also inform you of the city’s unique history and culture.
Engage in popular sports for fitness
Some folks continue to enjoy golfing after going full-time. Golf clubs are not that voluminous and they can be packed in the back of a truck or RV basement. A brisk walk while playing 18 holes of golf is good for your stamina, even if it’s not a cardio workout. If golf is not your game, many RV parks have pickleball, tennis, or basketball courts, and most will loan you the equipment if you don’t have your own.
Then there’s always the opportunity to discover new places by hiking in or near your campsite and you can make those excursions as rigorous and challenging as needed. Many full-timers stay in shape by outfitting their RVs with a bike rack to add cycling as another regular fitness and adventure option.
Get a total body workout inside
In addition to the many outdoor activities available to RVers, like cycling, hiking, paddleboarding, kayaking, and pickleball, you can also access a wide variety of indoor fitness tools to help you lose inches, build stamina, and improve strength and flexibility.
If you have access to the internet, there are hundreds of fitness instructors and programs that you can purchase and download onto a phone, computer, or tablet. YouTube has free workouts for all ages and skill levels on how to stay fit. Many fitness trainers like April (Fit Life with April) also regularly post free fitness exercises that you can easily incorporate into your routine.
Download workouts or buy exercise DVDs
If you don’t have access to the internet, there are literally hundreds of downloadable fitness routines that you could store in your computer or buy a set of workout DVDs to watch on your big-screen TV.
Even the new Mirror fitness technology could be incorporated into your full-time RV lifestyle if that appeals to you. The Mirror weighs 70 pounds and requires an internet connection, so it’s not for everyone, but some RVs are large enough to accommodate the Mirror and if you’re more of a glamper than a boondocker, then this option might appeal to you.
Create a fitness routine
My personal solution is to have some rudimentary exercise equipment in my RV and to engage in a 20-minute fitness routine (of my own creation) that I know from prior experience, to keep all my major muscles groups strong and flexible. I also use an iWatch to monitor my heart rate and time my workout.
More important than the type of equipment, or the type of indoor or outdoor activity, or the fitness instructor you prefer, is your mental commitment to staying in shape. It’s easy in an RV to blow off your fitness. You’re living the high life, traveling, experiencing new adventures, meeting new people, and seeing all kinds of new sights. Life is good, you’re enjoying the discovery of new micro-breweries and unique little eateries.
You’ve worked hard to get to this place in your life, and you may have the mindset that it’s all about having fun now, but the reality is that staying in shape has long-term benefits other than just helping you look better. Figuring out how to stay fit will actually let you enjoy this amazing full-time RV experience more fully and for a longer period of time.
Having strong flexible muscles is as important to being able to fully live the RV life, as having the right kind of RV that fits your particular needs, and making the mental commitment to stay in shape is as important as doing regular maintenance on your RV.
Make sure your pets get exercise too
Figuring out how to stay fit may actually be easier for full-time RVers than people who are still living the day-to-day work routine because there are so many more exciting options and we have more discretionary time.
The biggest challenge is making the commitment. Once you overcome that huddle, the rest will become part of your rich full-time RV lifestyle and many of the fitness activities will create wonderful memories.
So, the next time you’re in San Francisco, go ahead and join a walking tour of Chinatown, or if you’re in the Adirondacks, rent a bicycle and go on a mountain biking adventure. Walk to the top of the Astoria Column in Astoria, Oregon, or take the 5-mile hike through the Redwoods.
More fitness tips for RVers
Youtubers Keep Your Daydream shared some great tips on how to stay fit on the road:
Do It Yourself RV has also shared several articles on how to stay fit while traveling. Check them out here:
- The Best Portable Gear For Your Traveling Gym
- How To Get A Great Workout Without Leaving Your RV
- How To Get A Workout While Traveling With No Equipment