Hit the Road Like a FitRVer
Staying Fit on the Road Is an Absolute Must
I turned fifty last month! It is so strange writing that number—fifty. I guess I’m still getting used to it. I spent 2020 not only worrying about the Coronavirus but also bracing myself for the Big Day, sure that fifty would finally be the first time a birthday got me down. Apparently, fifty is such a big birthday, it gets its own term—quinquagenarian. I can’t even pronounce that, so how can I be one?!
I am happy to report that when the day came and went, fifty-year-old-Stef didn’t feel any different from forty-something Stef. In fact, turning fifty had a surprising effect. I felt good! Like, really good! It certainly helped that I’m in better shape now than I was in my twenties.
OK, sure, fifty did come with more gray hairs and drooping skin than I had at forty. But overall, fifty wasn’t the dramatic, life-changing moment I worried it might be. You know what I credit for this? Our FitRVing lifestyle.
What is FitRVing?
FitRVing is basically just a commitment to a more fitness-focused RV lifestyle. But don’t let that “fit” word scare you off, because I’m not talking push-ups and carrot sticks and how long-can-you-hold-a-plank challenges (please, can we be done with plank challenges?!).
FitRVing is more realistic and achievable than that. With just a few changes to our current habits, we can have better control over our aging, and we can even add years to our lives. Do an extra twelve-to-fourteen years of RVing sound good to you?
A study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation in 2018 found that if you are practicing healthy habits at age fifty, you will live twelve-to-fourteen years longer than if not. More than an extra decade, folks! That’s what FitRVing is all about; taking those healthy habits and adapting them to life on the road.
As a “quinquagenarian,” I have a ten-year plan. A huge part of that plan is to continue rocking my FitRVing lifestyle so that when I turn sixty, I’ll feel just as good as I do now. Can I do it?! Abso-freaking-lutely.
I know it won’t be a walk in the park (pun intended) since there are days I’d rather lounge in the RV watching Netflix instead of being active. Motivation ebbs and flows, and I’m at peace with that. Pushing through the ebbs is worth it because that will give me many more years to enjoy the RV lifestyle!
As for you, fellow RVers, no matter what your age or current habits, you can do it, too. We can’t go back and make a new beginning, but the healthy habits formed now can help write a new ending … twelve-to-fourteen years later.
FitRVing Your Way Through 2021
Utilizing five main habits, you too can become a FitRVer. Here are the five habits you’ll need to develop.
Habit 1: Plan Active Trips
As a FitRVer, the destination becomes the secondary consideration when trip planning, coming after you’ve chosen the activities you’d like to do. This way, you’re guaranteed that the trip will be activity-focused and FUN!
Habit 2: Be Smart About Your Long Driving Days
Physiologically speaking, we humans aren’t a sedentary species. Our bodies can handle sitting only temporarily before a cascade of negative effects sets in. But as RVers, driving is part of the deal, so we’ve got to be smart about it. Stop often, keep the drives short, and make sure to adjust your seat so you have good driving posture. Once you land, take a walk or do some exercises to clear your head and get re-energized.
Habit 3: Make Healthy Eating Part of the Adventure
An RV trip is a perfect time to step outside your meal-prep comfort zone. James and I love hunting for local markets or farms to find foods unique to the area. We have our RV’s galley, after all, so why not use it to get creative by pre-paring healthy meals using ingredients we find locally.
Habit 4: Pack Travel-Friendly Fitness and Active Gear and Use it Often
You’ve already got the best piece of exercise equipment—your own body! But packing some fitness gear can shake things up and keep your workouts interesting. And if you’ve followed habit number 1, you’ll also have bikes, kayaks, snowshoes, hiking gear, or other things along those lines stashed in the RV so you’ll have lots of options for staying active while on your adventures.
Habit 5: Roll With the Punches
As RVers, so much is out of our control—loud campground neighbors, traffic jams, bad weather, etc. Lots of things can cause us stress. Trouble is, chronic stress lowers our immune response and increases our risk of disease. Stress-inducing moments are an inevitable part of traveling and the RV life. The key is how we deal with those moments