When you’re vacationing in an RV, living in a tiny house or staying in a hotel room, exercising can be challenging. As someone who’s been living in a small class C for more than a year and a half, I’ve gotten pretty creative at keeping fit. So, here are some helpful tips for staying in shape on the road.
1. Get outside
Getting outside is so important, not just for physical fitness, but also for emotional health and well-being. When you live in a small space, whether you do so temporarily or permanently, your options for exercise are limited – but only if you stay holed up where you sleep.
Instead, force yourself to get outside. If it’s sunny and the temperatures are moderate, getting outside is almost a no-brainer. Enjoy getting outdoors, whether for a walk around the parking lot, a hike, a run or a bike ride. (Check out this article on hiking gear for more tips).
If the weather is cold or rainy, get creative! Try some physical activity that will warm you up outside (skiing and snow-shoveling come to mind!) or find an indoor space to get moving, whether that means walking at your local mall or finding an indoor track or flea market.
2. Think compact
If getting outside is too much of a hurdle for you some days, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to build a compact exercise routine that will fit in your RV or hotel room.
Exercise videos are a great tool. You can purchase some DVDs and even download them to your phone, stream from your favorite service (Amazon Prime, Netflix or an exercise program like Beachbody or DailyBurn) or use Youtube. Some exercise studios offer subscriptions, so that you can exercise as much as you want using their online video. My favorite method, whether I own it or use a service, is to download the exercise videos to my phone. That way, even when I don’t have a cell phone signal or wifi, I can exercise – even from a state park or a wilderness area!
A healthy exercise routine needs to include some resistance, and for most of us, that means using weights or bands. Bands are definitely the lightest (and perhaps the cheapest) option, but you’ll find there are nooks and crannies in your RV that can hide weights too. (I hide mine under the bed and under the fridge!) I also keep a thick yoga/exercise mat in the closet and keep a jumprope on hand too.
Don’t want to worry about carrying gear with you? Don’t panic. As long as you can keep a bit of floor space clear, you can do pushups from anywhere!
3. Make the most of what you’ve got
Another tip for staying in shape on the road is to make the most of what you’ve got. Does your campsite have a picnic table? If it’s sturdy, you can lay on it for weight-lifting! Does your campground have space to walk a dog? Maybe you can run sprints!
Occasionally you’ll find yourself at a campground or hotel with a gym. Be sure to check it out and use it to mix up your workouts.
4. Consider a gym membership
Some people stay in shape on the road the same way they did at home – with a gym membership. Be sure to check out the available locations and compare them to your route, but if you’re planning to visit a lot of cities and suburbs, this could be a great approach for you.
Some of the options to investigate include 24 Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, Gold’s Gym or Anytime Fitness. Also, keep in mind that many gyms offer a free or inexpensive daypass if you’re just passing through.
5. Take advantage of the world outside your RV
There’s an entire world outside of your RV or bedroom. Why not take advantage of it? Take a ballroom or Brazilian dance class. Learn to ice skate. Try snowshoeing or rock climbing.
My best tip for staying in shape on the road is to figure out what works for you. Developing habits and a routine you can stick to is the best way to succeed at anything, especially when it comes to your own health.
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