Our 7 Best Tips To Stay Healthy and Fit While RVing
How to Stay in Shape when on the Road
I’ve been traveling full-time for five years now, and my biggest challenge when starting was keeping fit on the road.
And from experience, staying in shape is usually a daily battle for many RVers, especially with the amenities at our disposal. Many people wish to keep fit while camping, but they don’t know how to.
Fortunately, staying healthy and fit while RVing is easier than you think; I became a lot fitter than before I was traveling.
And in the guide below, I’ll share the tips and tricks I use to stay healthy and maintain mental sanity when moving around.
Plan for It
The first step to staying fit on the road is planning for it; it’s the only way, in my experience. Plan what days you’ll be out and adjust your schedule accordingly.
For example, if you’re only going out for a few days, you could work out hard the day before leaving and the days after you get back to compensate.
You must also know your quick food stop locations and plan your trip around the foods you want to eat. Know the nutrition facts of a couple of go-to meals when you need a quick bite. If it’s unhealthy and you must eat, consider sharing it with someone or eating half.
Consider a Gym Membership
Another important tip I use to keep fit while traveling is signing up for a gym membership.
Of course, the big challenge for RVers is they’re always on the move and can’t always access their home gyms. The good thing is, there’re several big chain gyms with locations throughout the US.
I’m currently signed up for Planet Fitness and have a Planet Fitness Black Card, which I can use at any franchise location. I’m always on the move, so this option is very convenient for me. It’s also cheap, $20 a month, and you can access all their gyms nationwide.
24 Hour Fitness is also another awesome alternative. It’s located in most major cities in the US, especially on the west coast. And as its name suggests, it’s a true 24-hour club, so you can always walk in whenever you feel like
The main thing to consider when selecting a gym is ensuring they’ve a nationwide presence so you can always access their facilities wherever the adventures take you.
Also, consider the prices and facilities provided. For example, I’m a big fan of Planet Fitness because they’ve more locations and provide you with a towel, so I don’t have to deal with added laundry.
Furthermore, I’ve stayed in my RV in their parking lot overnight, and they had no issues. And the best part is they’ve other extra amenities like a pool, arena, gymnasium, and washroom facilities. It’s a nice way to get an occasional hot shower while on the road.
If you can’t access a gym, consider walking. It’s one of the best exercises you can do to keep fit, especially if you’ve physical issues preventing you from doing other kinds of exercises.
On the advice of my physical therapist, I suggest you stop after a couple of hours on driving days and take a walk. It doesn’t have to be long, but it’ll get things shifted, and you’ll feel much better.
California and other states usually have sidewalk loops for walks; many also have informative signs to jog your brain.
I also suggest that you wear a pedometer and track your progress. I like using an app called RunKeeper. It’s available on both the Apple store and Google Play, and it’s handy for tracking your speed, distance, and time. I use it while walking, running, and biking.
Furthermore, it can also draw a map of the location you’ve been, keeps track of everything, and sends it to your email.
A big problem with RVers is that they generally love to eat and socialize, so gaining weight is typical, especially during rallies.
Now, if you know anything about staying healthy and keeping fit, you know that eating right is 75% of the battle.
Much like how to practice healthy eating at home, you should have some healthy eating habits on the road. Some of the nutritional habits that I usually incorporate in my RV trips include:
- Have at least one sensible/typical meal, especially if you plan to be out all day.
- I try to drink those eight glasses of water every day
- Forget fast foods and fizzy drinks. Instead, replace them with more fruits and veggies
- For the most part, eat the same as you would at home
- Have enough base meals frozen. Think of soups and smoothie mixes for the long stretches when you may not have access to fresh a healthy foods available
- When ordering food from food-stop locations, get more salad and veggies as a side dish. It has more nutritious value and may help you eat less of the main course.
- Drink responsibly. Of course, don’t need to be uptight, but be sensible about alcohol consumption. Remember, alcohol is a calorie bomb.
- Try skipping breakfast or another meal on some days if you feel full and have a lot to eat.
- Carry non-perishable and healthy snack items rather than eating them out there.
- Carry some healthy snacks on hand. I usually grab some fruits or nuts and eat them between meals so I’m not starving by the time I sit down.
However, it’s also important that you don’t beat yourself up much about it. Remember RVing is all about having fun and exploring new dishes.
In my opinion, provided you don’t binge-eat, you won’t gain that much. Try the new foods you want to, but don’t just eat anything for the sake of it.
Workout while RVing: Pack your Favorite Exercise Gear
It’s easy to perform different exercises while RVing to keep you fit and healthy.
One of my favorite gear for RV workouts is a resistance band kit, those with flexible straps used for physical therapy.
I’m a big fan of resistance bands because they’ve versatile applications, and there’re endless possibilities of the exercises you can do with them from strength building to basic physical therapy. And the good thing with bands with attachments is that you can use them anywhere, including on trees, fences, and RV doors.
A portable mini bike is also great exercise gear. It’s small enough to store in your RV and has plenty of use, especially if you want to work on your upper body.
I also have a gymnastic ring with long straps. It’s great for calisthenics, and I can set it up on nearly everything. It also provides endless opportunities for the number of exercises you can do while RVing, including pullups, dips, ring push-ups, and all sorts of gymnastic movements. The rings are great in campgrounds where there’re tree branches you could use.
Kettlebells and dumbbell workouts also provide many exercise options and don’t take much of your space.
Other exercises to consider while RVing include:
- Mountain biking
The key thing to consider when selecting a workout when RVing is finding something you enjoy. I could give you tips on different exercises that work well for your travel, but if you don’t enjoy them, chances are you won’t do them.
Another thing to remember when selecting your workout gear is the overall RV weight capacity. The ideal gear should be ultra-light and preferably save on cabin space.
Get Creative: Use your RV for Exercise
Working out is still possible, even if you don’t have your workout gear. See, you don’t need tools to keep fit while RVing.
There’re endless possibilities for working out, even without gear. For example, you could use the RV itself for exercising. I usually use the RV door steps for planks and the RV ladder for climbs.
Regarding weight, I use anything I can for free resistance weight training, such as jugs of water, pet food, and propane tanks.
The other thing I like doing is incorporating exercises into my everyday tasks. For example, I love performing squats when showering or throwing lunges when walking.
Do they help? I’m unsure, but they make me feel better and more active! People think I’m a dork, but I stopped caring what people think about me.
Don’t Forget your Adventure Gear
You’ll automatically be much more active by just going out, sightseeing, and doing your favorite outdoor activities versus sitting at the RV desk or couch.
And the biggest benefit of RVing is easy to access to outdoor activities, so it may help if you throw them in to help you stay fit.
Bring your bike, snowshoes, swimming costumes, kayaks, hiking poles, or anything else along that line that will make you stay fit. And the good thing is you can strap most of these adventure gear on your RV’s roof or at the back, so they won’t eat real estate in your RV.
Of course, how to create a workout routine and what to carry ultimately depends on where you plan to RV and your trip. For example, hiking poles should be a priority if you’re boondocking in a hilly area.
Other Healthy RV Living Tips
Here’re some other tips to help you stay on track with your fitness goals:
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A good night’s sleep in an RV can be challenging for several reasons. Mostly, it’s because of your noisy campground neighbors. Not having a good night’s rest can affect your health.
There’re several measures you could take to promote sleep. I don’t struggle with sleep, but I usually recommend to other RVers that they invest in earplugs, sleeping masks, and a white noise machine.
Maintain Air Quality
It’s also important that you allow the free flow of air. Vacuum regularly, and leave your windows open so your air is free from contaminants.
Find Clean Water
Investing in a water filtration system is also important, especially if you’re RVing in an area with traces of heavy metals and pollutants.
Unless you are out in the wild for a few months, you’re less likely to throw your body into whack. You’re unlikely to lose your muscles or add weight for minor changes in your habit.
So, don’t pressure yourself too much about working out while RVing. If you’re out on a short trip, consider it a rest week, enjoy where you’re, and get back on track once you get home.
Sometimes, mental fitness, meeting new people, new cultures, other ways of thinking, and trying new foods are also important to be well-rounded.
RV living and traveling, in general, throws you off your normal schedule and habits. However, with our easy-to-follow tips, you shouldn’t be concerned about staying on the road.
However, I’ve also found out that if you’ve a healthy habit already at home, it’ll be much easier to carry over while traveling.