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Staying Fit on the Road

| Updated Nov 27, 2015

I've written before how the RV Lifestyle can be detrimental to your health, thanks to Sitting Disease and living each day like you are on vacation.

And I've shared our solution, joining a nationwide health club that has locations in every state and every even medium sized town. That's Anytime Fitness, in our case, and the photo to the left is of our Roadtrek parked out front of the Albany, GA location on the Day after Thanksgiving, a day that had Jennifer and I trying to burn off all those calories consumed in the big turkey dinner the day before.

IMG_3599We have received a fair amount of email from folks over the past few months asking more about our travel routines. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about staying informed on the news while on the road. In future posts, I'll tackle cooking and eating on the road, working from the road, connecting with friends and family on the road and a bunch of similar topics.

But today let me devote this one to fitness.

I don't need to do a sales pitch for exercise. We all know, no matter our age and condition, that we need to move more, work on balance, strength and do some sort of vigorous cardio regimen to get our hearts beating strong. Obviously, there are some with unique conditions that limit all this for some and no one should star an exercise program without the okay of our doctor.

But the vast majority of us, I am sure, have had our doctors in fact urge us to stay active.

So Jennifer and I try to do that, just as if we were home. Come to think of it, we are home. Wherever our Roadtrek is happens to be home. This past year, we have traveled 40,000 miles to 27 states and been away from our sticks and bricks home in Michigan more than we're there.

One reason we like Anytime Fitness for our gym is consistency. Each location has pretty much the exact same equipment, all pretty much new, all well maintained. So our days start by leaving the campground or our boondocking spot and heading to the gym. In some places, it's been a 45 minute drive. Most times, though, it's only a few miles.

We even tend to pick our overnight spots based on its proximity to a gym.

See, the thing about fitness – and least for Jennifer and me – is it's a non-negotiable. A must do. A priority. We start the day that way, every day, for a minimum of 45 minutes,  six days a week. For as long as we physically can. I don't want to get preachy but, really, you should do the same. Don't believe me? Read the book Younger Next Year. If that doesn't convince you, well, you're headed to an early grave, certainly earlier than if you exercised. That's a guarantee.

A second reason we like Anytime Fitness is practical. They all have really nice, individual rest rooms with very nice showers. Yes, we can and do shower in our Class B Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL. But those are alway hurried showers, conserving water or not prematurely filling the grey tank. At Anytime Fitness, we can shower as long as we want. Priceless.

As far as what we do in the gym, we each gravitate to our favorite cardio. Jennifer likes the treadmill. I prefer spinning bikes. We both use the elliptical. And we do strength training with weights and machines.

workoutFor motivation, I have on my iPhone a playlist comprised of over 300 workout songs. I usually do the spinning and the elliptical with music so I can crank out enough speed to start sweating. I have a different playlist for lifting weights. Sometimes, I'll listen to podcasts while working out, too.

I have the Apple Watch and it lets me monitor my hear rate, something important to know so you can get the most out of a workout. Again, that Younger Next Year book will explain how. There are all sorts of other heart monitors and fitness trackers you can wear or carry, if you're not an Apple Watch fan

One more thing. I use the Lose It app on my smartphone to write down every bte of food I take in each day and every minute of exercise. The app lets you set your weight goal and then it tells you how many calories you can consume every day to reach it. It works on all mobile platforms and it synchronizes with lots of fitness devices, like the Apple Watch.

So there you go, Hope that answers the question. The key is, making fitness a habit. For us, a gym is where we get the best workout. But we also like to hike, bike, kayak and explore as we travel across North America. All that is bonus.

For we know, that the fitter we are the longer we will be able to keep enjoying the RV lifestyle.


Mike Wendland

Published on 2015-11-27

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

4 Responses to “Staying Fit on the Road”

July 02, 2017at9:01 pm, SuperTroll said:

What about supplementing a gym membership with some portable equipment? The gym would be much better, but sometimes I expect to be in state and national parks that aren’t close to a city. I’m thinking of taking some small lightweight equipment for those times and also doing some jogging/biking on the trails for cardio.

August 23, 2016at3:27 pm, Bill Widmer said:

Nice tips, thanks Mike!

One trick I’ve found to help you stay fit on the road is bringing a kettle bell with you. You can work almost every muscle group with them, and they’re really easy to store without taking up too much space. I personally love lifting weights, so it’s worked great for me so far!

December 14, 2015at12:56 pm, David Stovall said:

My wife has been a longtime Anytime Fitness member and she finally got me to join last month after reading your article. My curiosity is if it is a 24 hour facility could you not just park in their lot, work out, take a shower, and stay? I was tempted to find out last week but then realized my 30 day grace period for using the entry fob other than at my home gym was not up yet. 🙁 It was unattended after hours so I relegated myself to the Walmart down the block.

November 27, 2015at1:33 pm, Ellen said:

Great suggestion — we’ll look into Anytime Fitness. Lots of choices on the road for anyone who’s not into “going to the gym.” I know I’d rather being doing something somewhere other than a box of contraptions (though I will work out in a gym when weather doesn’t cooperate). As full-time RVers, we’re usually in great weather. That means plenty of opportunities to walk (some say the very best exercise, especially for aging joints), hike, bicycle. We even hunt down tennis courts where we play pickleball. We’ll swim where there’s a pool. We even keep an eye out for jungle gyms in parks — yep, those set-ups for kids. We use them for chin-ups (aka pull ups). Some communities (Yuma AZ is one) have excellent fitness trails. In Yuma we walk a bit, jog a bit, and use the various pieces of fitness apparatus along the way to do push-ups and other exercises. And the price for all of this is just right: free 🙂 Somehow 30-60 minutes doing any of these things goes a lot faster for me than being in gym.

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