Many of us have a “while on vacation, anything goes” mentality. But in truth, working out while traveling can help you feel more grounded and ready to enjoy your adventures. In fact, if you do it right, working out itself can be part of the adventure — and an enjoyable one, at that!
You may think it might be difficult to exercise while traveling, but there are plenty of amazing resources to help keep you fit and strong on the road, even with limited space… to say nothing of the fact that, when you’re traveling in an RV, the entire great outdoors becomes your gym.
In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about staying fit while you’re flitting about the country.
How to Exercise and Work Out Daily While Traveling in an RV
If you’re someone who keeps to a daily gym habit, or maybe has other go-to fitness pursuits that seem to require staying in one place, it can seem like a big reason to reconsider your RVing dreams. How will you be able to maintain your fitness if you won’t have access to your usual equipment?
But RVing is a fantastic adventure that makes it easy to stay active — in fact, perhaps even more active than you are in your everyday life. From hiking and biking to at-home workouts you can do on YouTube (or just with a few pieces of strategically purchased, easily-stored gym equipment), exercise while traveling in an RV is a great way to maintain your everyday routine and feel more at home on the road — not to mention keeping up your strength and stamina for all the cool stuff you’re going to want to do while you’re out there!
If you’re the type who really prefers gym access, you should know that certain gym franchises make space in their policy for travel fitness enthusiasts. For instance, Anytime Fitness allows its members reciprocal access at any of its hundreds of gyms, which are spread not just across the country but across the globe, after 30 days of active membership at your home gym. These are comprehensive fitness centers that offer cardio and strength equipment, including machines and free weights. Other gyms may offer similar reciprocity, so if you have a current membership, it’s worth asking with your location to see if they have something to offer you.
However, in our opinion, spending your vacation time slogging it out in the gym might not be the best use of those precious off hours. There are plenty of other ways to get your heartrate up and your relaxation on while you’re on the road!
Outdoor Exercises for Traveling in an RV
It’s easy to stay active when you remember that the entire outdoor world becomes your gym when you’re camping. Here are a few of our favorite ways to get moving outdoors.
Hiking is one of the best ways to get familiar with the countryside while also getting some steps in — and climbing some hills, to boot! Better yet, there are trails available for every fitness level, so you never have to feel like hiking is too hard (or too easy, for that matter).
It’s important to always ensure you’ve got enough water, snacks, and sunscreen to carry you, however, and there’s also some trail etiquette that can help you stay safe along the way.
We’ve written a decent amount of content about hiking to help you figure out the best way to go about getting outside. Here are some RVshare posts on the topic to get you started on your adventure.
- The Ultimate Guide to Hiking for Beginners
- Night Hiking: How to Hike Safely in the Dark
- Wildlife Safety Tips & Tricks for the Great Outdoors
Running is easily one of the most popular fitness pursuits, in part because of its pure simplicity: all you have to do is get out there and put one foot in front of the other.
Want to see the world at a slightly faster speed than you can on foot? Even the fastest runners can’t keep up with bicycles — which work a whole different set of muscles, anyway.
Along with giving you the chance to go faster and get a slightly different kind of workout, biking is also a lot more versatile. There are bicycles built specifically for speedy road riding and bikes that are meant specifically for going up and down hills in the mountains. There are hybrid bikes that can do all of the above — and all of them are fairly easy to bring along, thanks to bike racks that allow you to strap them to the back of your vehicle.
Kayaking and Canoeing
If you often camp near bodies of water, getting out there on them and paddling around can be a great workout — and one that’ll leave you with bulging biceps, to boot. Kayaking and canoeing are simultaneously relaxing and strenuous enough to get your heart rate up, and there are a variety of ways to go about it, too.
For instance, you might take a canoe out on a still, glassy pond — or strap into a whitewater canoe for a rough-and-tumble adventure. There’s also stand-up paddleboarding to consider, as well as other types of water adventures… including plain old swimming!
Other Outdoor Exercises
Along with the adventures listed above, you can also get outside and do regular calisthenics, like jumping jacks, air-squats, running in place, and more. You might even string together a whole training circuit from your campsite: run to the tree and back, do five burpees and some situps, and start again!
Indoor Exercises for Traveling in an RV
Rainy days or a crowded campground don’t mean you have to be stuck without any kind of exercise option. There are plenty of ways to get some motion in even if you’re dealing with limited space.
For instance, there are some great streaming exercise programs out there that can guide you through a workout that doesn’t take any more room than a yoga mat. Some of our favorites include the YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene, and the body-neutral weekly routines crafted by Bethany C. Meyers at the be.come project.
Even if you simply do some planks and situps, any movement at all is better than none, and you don’t need a whole lot of room to get your sweat on. The seven-minute workout, for instance, doesn’t take much space, and is still a great way to get your heart rate up and build strength and stamina. There’s even an easy app for it you can download onto your phone!
Also, keep in mind that sometimes we don’t consider certain types of movement exercise… but for your body, they totally still count. If you’re traveling with kids you frequently run around with, or unpacking and repacking lots of equipment for your vacation, all of those things definitely feel like a workout for your body. Be sure to give yourself the credit you deserve!
Travel Exercise Equipment
Although you don’t necessarily need any extra equipment to get your on-the-road workout on, some people do feel more comfortable if they have a travel exercise fitness kit available. Fortunately, there are some really simple pieces of equipment that can pack a big punch without taking up too much room in your rig (or costing an arm and a leg, either!).
For example, one of our favorite pieces of travel exercise or workout equipment are plain old resistance bands, which fold down to nearly nothing and can make classic movements like push-ups a lot more challenging. You can also find workouts built specifically with resistsance bands in mind — and it may surprise you how challenging they can be!
Another great option for your mobile RV or trailer gym is a yoga ball, which can be used for so much more than yoga. For instance, there are plenty of amazing abdominal workouts that rely on these guys, and plenty of other creative movements that can help you strengthen your arms, legs, and more. Some people even use them instead of chairs to add a little bit of balance and strength requirements to their seating arrangements — and if you really need to, you can deflate the ball for storage.
There are other pieces of mobile fitness equipment you can easily add to your RV, such as foldable cardio bikes, small step machines, and even a small set of dumbbells. You might be surprised by how many different types of movement you can pull off with a minimal amount of equipment… or even without any equipment at all.
At the end of the day, it’s all about finding ways to move every day, even if it doesn’t necessarily look like your normal gym routine. Keeping your body in motion can help strengthen your cardiovascular system, muscles, and also help your mind. Exercise has been shown to decrease the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and keeping yourself strong can ensure you’ll be ready to tackle whichever adventures come up for a long time to come.
Psst: Still need the RV itself? From large Class A motorhomes to tiny pop-up campers and everything in between, RVshare gives you the opportunity to experience the authentic #RVlife in a rig that’s actually owned and loved by real people. (Not to mention you might save a boatload on the prices you’d usually see at the big, franchised rental dealerships.)
To see what rigs are available in your area, just navigate to our RV rental homepage and input your prospective travel dates and pickup location. You can also use our filters to narrow down your search for the perfect rig for you.
Happy camping — and sweating!
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