Are you sitting behind the wheel of your motorhome, cruising along mile after mile?
With all the comforts of home at arm’s reach, driving your RV cross country is somewhat similar to being a couch potato surfing channels on your widescreen TV — not exactly up to par when it comes to cardiovascular exercise.
Modern medicine recommends at least 30 minutes a day 3 times a week as a minimum amount of exercise to keep you healthy. They’re talking about exercise that raises your pulse rate — which indicates that it’s actually doing you some good. I’m as guilty as anyone about not following that guideline very closely.
With that in mind, what can you do as an RVer to maintain some level of physical activity that will help keep you healthy and, in turn, give you the ability to remain active for many years?
Here are some ideas…
#1 – Walk it off.
A 30-minute brisk walk around the campground, through a shopping mall, or while visiting an interesting stop along your journey will get your blood moving and help keep your metabolism up.
#2 – Take a spin.
Many RVers take bicycles along with them — often, foldable bikes.
Once you’ve parked the RV, you’ll need some form of transportation to get around. Pedaling over to the campground office, or the pool, even a ride to the supermarket down the road are all excellent opportunities to get a little exercise.
A number of years ago, cycling 10 miles a day helped me drop 30 lbs and get back in great shape within a couple months. Exercise beats dieting every time when it comes to weight loss. Besides, who wants to eat nothing but lettuce? I like good food too much to give it up.
#3 – Go for a hike.
I’ve hiked the trail around Devil’s Tower in Wyoming (an easy trail about a mile in length) and the paved trail around Mackinac Island in the northwest corner of Lake Huron. Both trails are beautiful easy hikes.
AllTrails is a great way to find hiking trails wherever you are!
#4 – Row, row, row your boat.
Boats can provide some enjoyable exercise.
Rowing an open boat, canoeing, or kayaking are all great ways to enjoy the water.
Inflatable boats are especially convenient for RVers who enjoy fishing and camping.
One of my favorite adventures was a canoe trip through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with portages, campfires, and backpacking. You may even run into a moose or a bear, as this is their turf.
Find canoeing, kayaking outfitters near you.
#5 – Workout inside your RV.
But what if getting intimate with nature isn’t really your thing? The mosquitoes can be quite bothersome. Maybe your sweltering through a hot southern summer and the idea of sun stroke doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time.
Good news: there is a way to take your exercise routine inside your RV!
Strapping your stationary exercise cycle or treadmill to the back bumper of your RV won’t be necessary. These days, you can get the same effect using computer technology. With a Wii video game and your onboard TV, you can simulate a number of activities that will give your 30-minute exercise routine a completely new spin.
For example, check out the Wii Fit Experiment:
The key to being faithful to any exercise routine is to find enjoyable activities that just happen to incorporate some movement.
In my opinion, doing exercise just for the sake of exercise is about as much fun as standing in place and doing jumping jacks. You won’t stick with that for very long.
But if you’re doing something that you enjoy doing, it will lose the “exercise” label and become an “activity” — much better.
If a health club or fitness facility is more your style, here are some RVers’ tips for joining a gym that has locations in every state (and practically every town).
I’ve been involved in RVing for over 50 years — including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs and motorhomes. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller… you’ve got a good idea of who I am. To date, I've shared my RV knowledge in over 300 articles here at The Fun Times Guide!