It’s a new year, and that can only mean one thing: New Year’s resolutions!
If your resolutions include getting more exercise, you’re not alone. According to Time Magazine, a recent survey shows that exercise goals account for half of the resolutions made each year.
But it’s one thing to get fit when you’ve got access to a full gym. Finding room to exercise in an RV adds another level to the fitness challenge.
Fortunately, you can exercise and stay fit, even when you’re spending a lot of time on the open road. We’ve put together RV-friendly exercises to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions in 2021 and beyond.
Gravity + Bodyweight = RV Exercise
It’s easy to associate working out with bulky weight sets, massive treadmills, huge exercise bikes and the like. Obviously, none of that is doing to fit into your RV or your RV lifestyle. The same with gym memberships; while they’re certainly convenient, they aren’t always a practical option when you’re taking long RV trips or living in your RV full time.
But here’s the truth: you don’t need all that stuff, or even a gym membership, to stay fit. In fact, all you really need is your own body. So-called bodyweight exercises allow you to utilize two things that are always with you: gravity and your own body weight.
Simple moves you can do anywhere include:
- Squats: With feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees until thighs are almost parallel with the floor; push back up to standing using your heels while tightening your glutes
- Leg extenders: Lie on your side with legs extended straight; lift upper leg to 45 degrees and lower slowly 15 times, then repeat on other side
- Skate hops: Squat slightly, then jump to the left as far as you can, keeping your right foot up; now jump back to the right, keeping left foot up
- Donkey whip: Starting on all fours, straighten and extend your left leg behind you, then slowly swing it toward the left; repeat on the other side
- Jog in place: With feet hip-width apart, run in place by bringing your knees as high as you can while pumping your arms; try to land lightly on the balls of your feet
Yoga in Small Spaces
Yoga can help you feel fit, flexible and strong, all while helping to reduce stress and keeping you feeling centered. Best of all, it’s a great RV exercise option because all you need is a mat, a screen, and an Internet connection.
You can find thousands of yoga videos online, in a range of price points, from free, to donate what you can, to monthly subscriptions. The Cut curated a list of high-quality options to use as a starting place, including:
- Yoga with Adrienne (great for beginners)
- Do Yoga With Me (good for intermediate-level practice)
- Fightmaster Yoga (for those who seek a serious workout)
- Yome (for a wide, yet organized, selection of classes)
Home (on the Road) Gym
Though you won’t have room for a full complement of gym equipment, you probably do have space for a few small things that can really help you feel the burn. A small set of dumbbells take up minimal space and can boost strength training. The good news is that, when used properly, lighter weights can be just as effective as their larger, heavier relatives.
A set of resistance bands can take strength training to a new level, too. Not only are resistance bands packable, they’re versatile and low-cost, too. When used for simple exercises, these bands can work every muscle group, increase flexibility, and improve your balance.
Another practical option? An inflatable stability ball. Use this handy exercise companion to work your legs, arms, core and back. Simply deflate the ball and store it when you’re not working out. Choose a ball that comes with it’s own pump to make the process even easier.
Explore the Outdoors
One of the greatest joys of RV life is seeing and experiencing new places. Why not get your exercise in while exploring your latest destination?
Hiking, biking, and paddling are just a few options that allow you to both explore and get in a great workout. When you’re planning your route, look for campgrounds that have access to opportunities to get out there and explore nature on a bike or in a kayak (choose an inflatable model that doesn’t take up a lot of space).
if you simply don’t have room to pop a bike rack on the back of the camper, then pack your hiking boots and look for destinations that offer scenic trails. As a general rule, stopping every two hours while you’re on the road is a good idea anyway, so try to get some steps in whenever you take a driving break. Mixing up sightseeing with working out makes both activities more fun!