Finding Your Workout Motivation
When we made the decision to travel full time I was not aware how difficult it would be to maintain my workout routine until the pounds started creeping back on. Having been a fitness director for a small boutique studio my life was fitness.
Now I’m living in an RV and the availability of equipment at my disposal was non-existent and I had to find new ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are some campgrounds that have swimming pools and clubhouses with gym equipment but it lacks the variety and quality for a good workout.
I’m not a fan of public pools and unless you're staying at a fancy RV resort that doesn’t allow kids, pool swimming can be impossible. Most pools are not designed for swimming laps and finding the unicorn (a pool with no bodies) is nearly impossible.
I also found it difficult to motivate myself. My fitness career involved a lot of social interaction and I found myself craving that atmosphere of like minded people.
Group Fitness Classes
Here are some great options I found and have experienced myself:
Orange Theory Fitness
Orange Theory is a workout designed to use your heart rate to achieve an “after burn” effect which in turn will allow your body to burn calories all day long. These workouts can be intense and I say that because it is a lot of cardio work.
The equipment in the studio that you’d be using is a treadmill, water rowing machine and a weight room floor, which consist of many different options. You will switch from one piece of equipment to another throughout the 60 min workout.
How much time spent on the equipment depends on the workout for the day. Some days are more cardio than others. They have ESP days which are (energy, strength and power), then you have days that are more strength based so treadmill work will include inclines. Now I want to make sure that I cover all my bases so if you have injuries or concerns the trainer will work with you on options.
F45 a workout that was created in Australia and has became popular in the States around 2018. The workouts are structured in a group setting with one to multiple “pod” workstations that are set up with different types of equipment from weight, spin bike, rower, sledgehammers, ect…..
The workouts range from strength days, with more time spent using equipment for heavier weight workouts, to other cardio days, with shorter time intervals based on heart rate increases. They also have a few days of hybrid which is a mix of both strength and cardio.
The workouts are 45 min long and you have one or two trainers helping you with form and motivation. Along with the trainers you are watching a TV screen that is showing you the exact exercise for that
Now I love spin and finding classes can be a challenge as most spin studios are privately owned and the scheduled classes can either be super early or late evening. Spin is a great all body workout focused on cardio and sometimes light weights added while on the bike. The instructor, who sits in the front of the class facing you, will guide you on how the resistance should feel but ultimately it’s up to you to follow at your own pace.
There are some spin studios that offer other classes within the studio such as; yoga, pilates, boot camp, and kettlebell. Classes range from 30 min to one hour long with the warm up and cool down included.
A lot of studios use a pedal that is designed for clipping into with your shoe. This is not the case for all so I would recommend calling the studio ahead of time to ask if you can spin with your sneakers. I do recommend that you try the shoes at some point and some studios have rental shoes for this purpose.
Building Your Own On The Road Gym
Here’s the section that will most likely be the option for you as a full time RV’er. If you are that camper who takes that 30 min walk with your dog or significant other great! I also travel with my own equipment when the places I like to workout at aren’t available.
If you are that person that needs guidance on what type of exercises to do there are a lot of apps that you can purchase for a monthly fee. Here is a list of a few popular ones that I like: PS VIP, Peloton at home fitness and Apple fitness.
Now when it comes to equipment and what to use while on the road the questions are how much and do I have the room for it. Here is what I travel with:
Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells
Adjustable dumbbells are a great addition to my workout and they are about 10 different weights in one. They are more bulky, especially if you have a set of two. I chose these because I do like to lift heavy on some days and light on opposite days. These weights are as light as 5lbs and go up to 52lbs. I do have a set and when traveling they sit on the floorboard behind the driver's seat of the truck.
As an option pick a smaller size set of weights for women 3-5lbs and men 8-10lbs. You don’t need heavy weights to get a great workout. With smaller weights it’s all about doing more repetitions, for example you might do 10-20 repetitions per set and complete 8-10 sets. Typically with heavy weights you would do 8-12 repetitions per set and do up to 6 sets. This is all dependent on your fitness plan and individual goals.
Kettlebells are great for squats and other exercises based on the lower body. Again I bought this as a space saving item. The kettlebell is adjustable from 10-40lbs and great for the light to heavy workouts based on individual fitness. I would say unless you have used kettlebells in your workouts before don’t buy them.
Resistance bands are a great way to stay toned and or build muscle while taking up little space and being cost effective. Each band has a different resistance, for example the blue one will be equivalent to 15lb weight and the red equivalent to a 40lb weight.
You can use these resistance bands to target any area of the body. They are a great replacement for dumbbell weights. The set comes with a bag and a few accessories.