Staying in shape is important for more reasons than just your waistline — not that anyone wants to have to invest in a new pair of jeans every six months. (Hey, at least you’re saving some money with your Passport America membership, right?)
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, boisterous movements necessary for cardio or aerobic exercise in such a small space?
But working out in an RV is totally possible, so don’t go thinking you’ve just landed the best excuse 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, and trust me, your thighs will let you know they’re working. 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? They’re 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 to do correctly.
Looking to kick it up a notch? You can still 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 doing anything involving 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, even if they are nationwide franchises, and some do but have significant restrictions on how often you can use the perk. Be sure to check all the details of your contract before you sign!
Finally, don’t forget you’ve got a huge asset when it comes to staying active: you’re camping in beautiful natural areas, which are just begging to be hiked, biked, and explored! Filled with versatile challenges and the constant novelty of nature, the outdoors may just be the best gym for full time RVers.
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 cardiovascular 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 — the Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike pictured above, which comes complete with counterweighted pedals and adjustable foot straps, is only $129.99. 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 that on just a few months of membership to a gym you’re likely to quickly forget about or grow tired of!
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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