Are you on the RV Fitness yo-yo? We are!
RV living comes with its own set of challenges. Trying to also keep a healthy lifestyle can sometimes go to the back burner, literally. There are lots of healthy RVers out there who really have it down with a focused discipline. Then there are the majority of us others just trying to find the right balance in a never-ending struggle between travel and staying healthy. Here are some tips we have learned in our long-term travel adventure as well as a couple tweaks to finding a positive balance.
In our first 2 years on the road, we did a lot of dabbling, trying to find the best way for us to stay fit. One thing we did well was to keep an open mind and adjust our workouts to our surroundings. We found early on that incorporating set daily walks and proper eating were the foundation of a routine that we could do literally anywhere our travels took us. We also try different activities as we continue to find things to stay healthy while full-timing and, most importantly, having fun.
Our Early Fitness Routine
In the beginning of our journey, when we were still fresh out of our sticks-and-bricks routines which included boot camp-like community gyms and workouts, we were motivated enough to start the winter season off right with a little cross-fit in our South Florida Key Largo spot and later included some T25 outside our RV. Piyo was our favorite workout for a while, which is a blend of Pilates and Yoga. It is a great way to start the morning and even more fun when you get some neighbors to join in the fun. Throw in some kettle-bell circuits, along with some pushups on the patio mat and you have enough to get you closer to a healthy routine.
Eating Healthy While Traveling
We learned the importance of eating healthy after we found ourselves drinking and eating out more and adding a few pounds while visiting all these new exciting places. This led to an investment in a few essential kitchen appliances like an induction burner, cast iron skillet, Nutribullet and an Instant Pot. Taking advantage of local fresh foods stands wherever we go is always a bonus. With handy appliances and more fresh ingredients, my husband Denny is able to craft quick and delicious healthier food. We have enjoyed it so much that we created a small Facebook group for RV Healthy Eating to be able to share and help inspire, which we later passed to more involved admins. Between cooking good meals and making smoothies as alternate breakfasts and afternoon snacks, we finally felt as though we had designed a lifestyle that would be our foundation. But, let me remind you that it’s a never-ending challenge!
Finding a Routine on the Road
We started incorporating daily walks and set reminders at 10am and 3pm to take a 15 min break from work. We use these reminders to get off our butts and walk. Sometimes, when the environment allows, the cats come along, too! It is a great way to clear our heads and talk for a few minutes then come back refreshed and ready to work. This routine is something we can always fall back on and the easiest one to pick back up after a week or so off, especially during work hours since we still work remotely in the corporate world. Longer hikes only come in after the day is done or on the weekends and that is okay with us.
Pickleball is a great workout and pastime whenever there are courts nearby. It is a great activity and rumor has it as the fastest growing sport in the US. We can get pretty competitive out there. We aren’t that good but just good enough to have intense games between ourselves and have fun. We have played with other RVers, too, and look forward to getting better at it in the future.
Kayaking and now SUP’ing (stand-up paddleboarding) are other ways to enjoy the outdoors while burning some calories. Time goes much faster while you’re adventuring, plus being out in the sun with the person you love and enjoying nature is priceless. Inflatable technology has come a long way so the footprint to carry gear like this along in your travels is pretty worthwhile.
However, our best purchase has to be our Rad power e-bikes, or Adventure Extenders as we like to call them. They have been the best way to spend an entire day exploring new places, sometimes up to 30 miles worth. Some might say it isn’t much of a workout, but after riding for a couple of hours and especially on hilly trails, believe me it can be a workout! Whether it is touring around cute small towns, biking in National Parks or any cool trail we may find, I like keeping track of the maps and places we have been using different apps. I think it also helps motivate when you keep record of them, plus its cool to look back on!
I love to run and being able to run on beaches and beautiful trails is just a bonus on top of everything else to stay active. I have completed a marathon and several half marathons in our 6 years of traveling, but the best ones are the ones shared with others. The Ragnar SoCal 2019 overnight trail run shared with 8 other RVers and friends, which ended up being a great overall experience.
Working out is More Fun with Friends
One thing we learned in our travels is that workouts are better and more fun when shared! Group hikes or doing some of the group outings at a meetup or Convergence is an excellent way to meet new people and start a new routine or learn a new healthy trip. Also meeting couples that are already on the fitness path or career helped us get motivated as well. It’s always fun to meetup with them and share a hike or a workout!
Enjoy and Have Fun!
Last but definitely not least, what is this RV adventure is about? For us, being outside, hiking, walking, exploring and enjoying nature, but most importantly– having FUN and making memories along the way! In the end, the small adjustments help make the difference. The daily walks, healthy meals, lots of water, biking, kayaking, and other activities are just what we do to have fun and, in the process, get a great work out and hopefully maintain a routine and balance while being kind to ourselves.
Happy Trails and Stay Healthy
Veronica Ibanes & Denny Winkowski
Denny and Veronica have been full-time RVing since 2013 with their 2 adventure cats (Mango & Kali). Both have been balancing 9-5 corporate jobs while also dabbling in outdoor adventures and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a dash of crazy fun! Find out more at www.rvoutlawz.com or follow them on Instagram: @RV_outlawz
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