How We Roll

Shape Up!

So how do you keep in shape (or shape up) when you live on the road in a motor home?

That was our daydream bubble bursting.  None of that just happens. We discovered we have to work at it if we want to be outdoorsy. Rats!
I actually thought about that before we left though and collected some small work-out tools; hand weights, a set of bands, a jump rope, a yoga mat, and an exercise ball. The ball takes up the most space, but it sits in the passenger seat when we’re parked and on top of the bed when we’re traveling. The rest of the stuff fits under the bed.

And Adam gave me some regular routines that I like to do, including warm-ups and moving stretches. He taught me to do a certain number of exercises in a circuit and repeat the circuit twice or three times. And he taught me a lot of exercises I can do without special equipment. The thing is, when I was working with him, I just did what he told me. I didn’t have to think. Alas, now I do.

Life is so different on the road that it’s easy to let a regular routine slide, especially when we are traveling between destinations. And when we are stationary for awhile, getting a regular routine going again takes effort.  Nike would say, “Just Do It.” Maybe I will. Or maybe I’ll get a personal trainer to travel with us. Adam?

We own disks for playing disc golf, which can be good exercise and fun too. But, so far, of the 4 long-term locations we’ve inhabited, we’ve only seen a disc golf course near one. And we never got around to playing it. That might change when we’re near family in Washington State though. A couple of our kids there play disc golf regularly.

We are thinking about purchasing a couple of kayaks. There have been bodies of water near us where we could picture ourselves kayaking. (Keyword is “picture” since we haven’t ever done much kayaking.) We would have to get a car roof rack to carry them… and paddles (which are sold separately)…and life jackets. This could be a semi-major investment.  And of course that would make it a semi-major commitment. Can we commit? Time will tell.

But we still need to do regular workouts if we want to be in shape. It was much easier for me when I had a schedule and worked with a personal trainer (Adam) two evenings a week. That way, workouts were on the calendar, and I didn’t (usually) blow them off. Especially since the workout room was right in our apartment building and Adam came to me!

Can we work working out into our lifestyle? Well…

Walking has the same issues as biking. We risk getting killed on the rural highways that are near many of the campgrounds we stay at. But we are better at walking that anything else so far. Boo and I both got pedometers and our goal is to walk 10,000 steps per day. That is roughly 5 miles. We’ve been getting closer to that goal lately; if we don’t get the whole 10,000, we are usually in the 7-9,000 range. Woo Hoo!

Hiking gives us more steps but requires finding hiking trails near our campground and it doesn’t happen much if we have to drive a long way to get there. When visiting a national park in Florida, we discovered that (as seniors!) we could purchase lifetime passes to national parks for only $10. And they are good at any national parks in the country. So now we look for nearby national parks that have trails.

We had a swimming pool at our campground in Florida. We even developed a set of exercises to do in the pool: swimming laps, walking across the shallow end as fast as possible, doing leg raises from a corner in the deep end, treading water with arms only.  But the next campground (in Texas) didn’t have a pool. It was near a shallow river, but we never swam in it. We found that we really missed swimming though. Now, we consider having a pool a semi-requirement for our long-term campgrounds. And we do have one here in California. Yay!

We have some great bikes, but it isn’t always easy to ride bikes from the campgrounds you’re parked in; often they are located near highways with no shoulders, much less actual bike lanes. So we got a bike rack for the car. And we have biked more since we got it because now we can drive to places that are good for biking without risk of bodily injury. 

The truth is most people we have seen at campgrounds do not work out.  Some walk their dogs or ride bikes but I have never seen anyone with weights or other exercise equipment. Many motor-home dwellers are retired and workouts are just not part of their routines. Others are on vacation—they are at the campground to play, not work out. 
Our daydream was that our new “outdoor” lifestyle would naturally keep us fit. We pictured our trim and tanned selves riding bikes, hiking on trails, swimming, kayaking, always smiling and waving to passers by...