Travel Friendly Fitness Gear
Break a Sweat No Matter Where You Are
So you’ve got yourself an RV and you’re ready to hit the road. Maybe you have a long weekend away planned, or perhaps you’ve packed your bags to head South for the Winter. No matter the length of your travel plans, you shouldn’t let them upend a healthy fitness habit.
Daily exercise has proven beneficial for both mind and body. Regular exercise builds and retains muscle mass, releases feel-good endorphins, reduces the risk for disease, and keeps the brain healthy. We all know we should stay active, no matter our age, so don’t let your travel plans be a convenient excuse to be idle.
How to Exercise When Traveling
Make a concrete plan to stay fit on your next excursion. Daily movement is particularly important on long days spent sitting or driving in the car. A brisk walk and some mobility exercises are all the body needs to get the blood pumping and feel the benefits of activity.
Staying fit while on the road doesn’t have to be boring. When traveling with an RV your exercise routine can actually be entertaining, breaking up the banality of jogging around the same old block or repeating monotonous reps at a hotel gym. Bring along some of these light and packable pieces of fitness gear. Let your equipment motivate you to get outside in the fresh air to sweat.
If you think of schoolchildren and playgrounds when you think of skipping rope, think again. Jumping rope is an incredibly effective cardio activity. A Harvard study concluded that 10 minutes of jumping rope provided the same cardiovascular benefit as jogging for 30 minutes.
Jumping rope requires full-body engagement of the legs, abdominals, arms, and shoulders. Coordination and rhythm play a part in the benefits of jump rope, making it a mental exercise as well. A slim jump rope takes up about as much space as a belt, so it’s an easily packable item on any RV trip. Find a flat, firm surface for jumping rope with no nearby obstructions and you’ve got yourself the perfect portable cardio activity.
Most of us opt for RV travel to satiate a desire to explore, not sit at a campground and stare at other RV’s. To make the most out of your trips, invest in a compact folding bicycle so you can really discover your destination.
Cycling is easy on the joints while generating blood flow and getting the heart rate up. If you find yourself RVing near a city or town, look up the nearest paved biking trails to get a lay of the land and breath some fresh air.
There’s something so peaceful about being out on the water. Whether in a boat, canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, water exploration is a fantastic workout. Paddlesports exercise the arms, shoulders, and back, building muscle that protects the joints and improves posture. Stand up paddleboards add an extra element of balance and stability, strengthening the core, unlike any other exercise.
Today, watercraft are designed to be portable. Kayaks and paddleboards come in inflatable versions, making them more portable than their hardtop counterparts. For ultimate portability, consider a pack raft, which weighs in at around 8 pounds and folds up to fit in a backpack. Origami style kayaks and canoes are another portable option that make fitting this recreational gear in your RV’s storage easy.
Water Filled Weights
When it comes to loading your RV, weight is important. In fact, most RV’ers are surprised at just how quickly they reach their gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Since every pound counts, bringing along a set of free weights may not be the best idea.
If weight training is part of your fitness routine, consider travel friendly weights, like water weights or sandbag kettlebells. Water weights, true to their name, gather their weight from water. When you’re finished working out, simply empty the weights of water for lighter travel. Sandbag kettlebells are another popular option for packable weight training. Once filled with sand or tight gravel, these kettlebells are durable and stand up to rigorous military-style workouts.
A strong core is one of the foundations of a fit body. Keep your midsection strong with an ab wheel. This handy contraption breaks down and fits into a box the size of a toaster.
Use the Ab Wheel on a yoga mat or rug to protect your knees. If using the ab wheel is too difficult to start, build up strength with daily plank holds on your hands or elbows.
Elastic Bands and Resistance Bands
We all know maintaining muscle mass is important as we age. But you don’t have to pump iron to see muscle toning benefits. In fact, a study by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning revealed that resistance training with elastic bands provides similar strength gains to conventional weight training.
Whatsmore, TheraBand exercises allow for a greater range of motion, helping develop both strength and flexibility.
Elastic bands, like large rubber bands, come in a variety of resistances. Pick up a set to accommodate all sorts of exercises. Fold this fitness gear up flat and take it with you almost anywhere.
Travel Yoga Mat
Yoga mats aren’t just for yoga anymore. A durable yoga mat creates a personal exercise space wherever you need it.
Roll out a yoga mat just about anywhere: on a hike, at the campsite, by the beach, on the dock…Be creative and look for serene locations at your travel destinations that will put you in a focused state of mind. Whether you’re practicing sun salutations or working on a push-up challenge, yoga mats make it possible to stay fit wherever you choose.
Though not a traditional piece of fitness gear, modern-day smartphones may be one of the most packable pieces of gear we can take with us. Today, there are hundreds of apps providing free and paid versions of workouts.
Try barre in the park, or Zumba at the beach. Practice Tabata reps in the shade of trees, or HIIT workouts on a hilltop. With a smartphone, you can take your trainer with you on your travels.
For an extra boost to your fitness regimen, sync your phone with smart devices like heart rate monitors or step counters. Use smart tech to keep you motivated to stay fit on your travels.
Don’t let your travels derail your daily fitness practice. Use your change of scenery to make exercise interesting. Many forms of outdoor exercise require no equipment at all, like hiking and swimming. Add items from this travel-friendly fitness gear list to your next trip for a fun and fit excursion.