Keeping active and fit can improve your health, quality of life, ability to actually do the things that are important to you, and even your mood. Plus, exercise is a great stress reliever in its own right. Yes, really!
But when you’re wandering the world in an RV, it can be difficult to fit in a workout… literally. How can you get in the big movements necessary for cardio or aerobic exercise in such a small space?
But working out in an RV is totally possible, so you don’t need to quit your regular regimen. If you want to stay healthy while you travel, it’s more imperative than ever to create and stick to a healthy routine.
From finding great videos to investing in a gym membership that’ll follow you along your travels, and even building your own mini home gym, here’s how to get your exercise while you’re living in an RV.
How to Exercise in a Small Space
Think there aren’t any effective exercises that are designed for small spaces? Think again!
There are lots of ways to exercise in a small space that’ll definitely leave you feeling the burn.
Grab a set of resistance bands to try out classic moves like clam shells, front squats, and lateral band walks — none of them require more than a few feet of space but you’ll get a great workout. Resistance bands can also be used to help you build up the strength to perform unassisted push-ups… or to make them harder if you’re already a pro.
Here are dozens of other exercises you can do with nothing more than a few feet of space and a resistance band. Best of all? The bands are teeny tiny, which means they’re easy to store even in the smallest of campers!
Another great tool to have in your mobile fitness arsenal is a stability ball, which can be used for all sorts of ab work and a ton of other movements, too. When it’s not in use, you can easily deflate it, especially when you purchase one that has a pump included, making it easy to blow back up again.
Exercise in RV
Even without buying anything, there are plenty of bodyweight movements you can use to fit in a workout in the comfort of your camper. For example, lunges are both simple and challenging and require very little room.
Looking to kick it up a notch? You can get in your cardio with mountain climbers or even a few rounds of wall sits, especially if you can hold them for a minute or longer. Just make sure to keep in mind that things in your RV can move around if you’re jumping. It’s built on wheels instead of a sturdy foundation, after all!
You could also look into finding a gym membership with a franchised gym that has multiple locations and allows for reciprocal access to satellite branches. Not every gym offers this, and some do have significant restrictions on how often you can use this perk. Be sure to check all the details of your contract before you sign!
Exercise TV Workouts
Another option is to look into exercise videos designed for at-home workouts, which make it easy to get moving no matter what kind of motion you prefer. You can find aerobic exercise videos to get your heart pumping or chill out with yoga exercise videos. (Psst: here are some great yoga moves to ease your aches and pains after a long day of driving!)
There are plenty of great workout DVDs out there, of course, but you can increasingly find workouts available for free on sites like YouTube. Try out a relaxing session of Yoga with Adriene, who has a couple of sequences that are perfect for RVers, like her refreshing travel practice or her yoga routine built specifically for teeny tiny spaces — like a dorm room.
Mini Home Gym
Finally, if you’re really looking to commit to your goals while on the road, or if you live in your RV full-time and don’t want to sacrifice your current level of fitness, you could consider investing in a small, but significant, piece of exercise equipment, such as a compact foldable exercise bike.
Sure, it’ll take up a little bit of room in your RV’s limited footprint, but these bikes are easily foldable and stowable and will fit nicely in your under-coach storage compartment. And they’re not as expensive as you might imagine. It’s an investment that’ll last you for years to come, and it allows you to easily get your sweat sesh in while you’re catching up with your favorite movies or TV shows. Besides, you could easily spend the same amount on just a few months of membership to a gym you’re likely to quickly forget about or grow tired of!
Outdoor Exercises for Traveling in an RV
It’s easy to stay active when you remember that the entire outdoor world becomes your gym when you’re camping. Here are a few of our favorite ways to get moving outdoors.
Hiking is one of the best ways to get familiar with the countryside while also getting some steps in — and climbing some hills, to boot! Better yet, there are trails available for every fitness level, so you never have to feel like hiking is too hard (or too easy, for that matter).
It’s important to always ensure you’ve got enough water, snacks, and sunscreen for your outing. Also be sure to stay on trails and let someone know where you’re going for safety.
Running is easily one of the most popular fitness pursuits, in part because of its pure simplicity: all you have to do is get out there and put one foot in front of the other. Well, that’s almost all you have to do. To ensure your safety (and your continued ability to go on runs), it’s important to outfit yourself with the right shoes and maintain proper form so as to avoid hurting yourself. It’s really easy to overdo it as a beginner and go too far too fast, which can lead to common issues like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and other foot and leg issues.
Want to see the world at a slightly faster speed than you can on foot? Even the fastest runners can’t keep up with bicycles — which work a whole different set of muscles, anyway.
Along with giving you the chance to go faster and get a slightly different kind of workout, biking is also a lot more versatile. There are bicycles built specifically for speedy road riding and bikes that are meant specifically for tackling dirt tracks in the mountains. There are hybrid bikes that can do all of the above — and all of them are fairly easy to bring along, thanks to bike racks that allow you to strap them to the back of your vehicle.
Kayaking and Canoeing
If you often camp near bodies of water, getting out there and paddling around can be a great workout — and one that’ll leave you with some biceps to boot. Kayaking and canoeing are simultaneously relaxing and strenuous enough to get your heart rate up. Take a canoe out on a still, glassy pond — or strap into a whitewater canoe for a rough-and-tumble adventure. There’s also stand-up paddleboarding to consider, as well as other types of water adventures… including plain old swimming!
Other Outdoor Exercises
Along with the adventures listed above, you can get outside and do regular calisthenics, like jumping jacks, air-squats, running in place, and more. You might even string together a whole training circuit from your campsite: run to the tree and back, do five burpees and some situps, and start again!
No matter how you do it, make sure to keep moving while you’re taking on the world in your RV, whether you’re a full-timer or just making a quick getaway. You’ll thank yourself when you’re strong and healthy enough to keep on adventuring for years to come.
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