It seems that RV fitness is really taking off. I have seen some folks around here doing various fitness activities around the campground, using picnic tables as fitness equipment, biking, and walking laps. To be honest, it is just too darn hot for me to haul myself outside and sweat on purpose.
We have a membership to Planet Fitness and I do get in my cardio there. PF is great for RVers because they have gyms all over the country and they have extremely affordable membership packages. I pay $20 a month and I can use my membership anywhere in the country. All you have to do it tell them when you check in. Of course there’s always the DIY cardio like biking, running, jumping rope, and walking.
Since cardio seems to be pretty well all tied up here, I wanted to focus on working out in small spaces, in other words, in your RV. I do a lot of my weight bearing work in our travel trailer. That way I am not running to the gym every day. Plus, I can work out for a while, write for a while, work out some more. It is great when I am up against a deadline because it allows me to do my work and I can still find time to work out. Exercise is such an important part of staying healthy, you shouldn’t feel that you have to forego it just because you are on the road or living in an RV.
The only real limitation I have in my RV is that I am 6 feet tall which means if I want to stretch my arms over my head I am pretty much out of luck. I do have ways to get around this little problem, though. For instance, if I want to do French curls I just sit on my ottoman or get on my knees. Problem solved. Here are a few exercises for small spaces.
Ghost jumping – rope, that is. One suggestion I found, and I’m sure they had the best of intentions, was to “ghost jump” if you don’t have room to actually jump rope. Yeah, I tried it. My dog thought we were having an earthquake and got in his kennel – for three hours. It might work for you though so go ahead and give it a whirl.
Two very important things before you get started: 1. You should check with your doctor before you begin any exercise program and get the all clear, and 2. Watch some videos on a workout site or YouTube or an exercise DVD to make sure you have proper form. Improper form can lead to injuries and we don’t want that.
Lower body workouts – There are actually a lot of exercises you can do in a tiny space. Squats, lunges, and leg raises are all great for toning up the thighs and backside. Calf raises strengthen the ankles and tone the calves.
Upper body workouts – Pushups are the great go-to for upper body, but if you have dumb bells (or a couple of cans of peas – or something) you can also do curls, French curls, chest flies, and rows. It isn’t too difficult to find some great upper body exercises for small spaces. Find a few you like and create your own routine.
Core or abs – A strong core is more than just looking great in a swimsuit. It helps with balance and overall health. Planks and crunches are great, standard core strengthening exercises. I’ve seen a lot about how terrific kettle bells are for a whole body workout, but I have this horrific image in my mind of that thing flying out of my hands and breaking something. Plus, I don’t need that extra weight in the trailer, my books add enough as it is.
Stretches – Stretching is important because it helps you stay flexible which is important for maintaining mobility, especially as you age. You can do them in small spaces too. I love dance stretches like those in this ballet stretch video. What I really like about this video is the last stretch – for the feet. Most people concentrate on stretching their bodies but rarely stretch their feet. Feet are important! Doing stretches like this help prevent painful conditions like plantar fasciitis and it can help relieve foot pain as well. A couple more really good sites with stretches:
It seems that small space workouts and RV fitness are kind of a thing now. There are several sites with some great info. How do you stay fit in your RV? I’d love to hear all about it (I may even incorporate a few moves into my own regimen).
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