RV Tips and Tricks

Healthy lifestyles for RVers

How to keep active while RVing

A happy senior couple standing with their clubs on a golf green.
The trick to staying fit is to find activities you enjoy and to do them regularly. — Photo courtesy Spotmatik/istock/thinkstock

One of the best things about RV living is having everything you need within easy reach. No need to run up and down stairs for whatever you forgot to bring down from the bedroom or up from the basement.

Left your book beside the bed? It’s probably no more than ten steps and one stair away from your sofa. TV remote still on the counter where you put it while making a cuppa in the kitchen? Well, you get the message.

Unfortunately, having everything within easy reach is not a recommendation you’ll find in your favourite exercise plan.

From the moment you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed, the number of steps you take inside your RV barely make it to one-tenth of the daily count recommended by health and fitness experts.

So, bearing in mind the often-repeated dangers of being overweight and unfit, what can RVers do improve their fitness and foil the doom-and-gloomers? The good news is RVers may be in a better position than many ‘ordinary’ folk to take action.

Fitness tips for snowbirds

By definition, snowbirds travel to warmer climes for the winter.

Having done that myself, I can say I haven’t seen any but the smallest RV parks in California, Arizona or Texas that lacked at least one pool. Some even have fitness rooms and usually include use of those amenities in the pad rental. RV parks in those states—notably in Mesa and Yuma, Arizona, or the Palm Springs and Indio areas of California—not only have four and five-star accommodations, they are often close neighbours to a choice of great golf courses. Add in the sunshine and new friendships and snowbirds have every incentive to spend their days outdoors and stay fit.

Staying active as a full-timer

Whatever sacrifices a full-time RVer may have made in terms of living space, they’ll have gained by way of available fitness-related amenities and activities. The list of possibilities goes well beyond the swimming pools and recreation rooms that can be found in the mid- to larger-sized RV parks in British Columbia and Alberta. In-park offerings range from hot tubs and saunas to par three mini-golf layouts, tennis courts and horseshoe pits.

Often nearby attractions offer the most interesting exercise opportunities. In addition to hiking or cycling endless networks of trails, we can walk the beaches, kayak, go bird- or whale-watching, or even tend a mini-garden or wander through some of the farmers’ markets described in recent RVWest editions.

When outdoor activities are unappealing because weather is cold and wet, neighbourhood municipal recreation centres are affordable options for anyone looking to use a wider variety of gym equipment.

Last but not least, if you find it difficult to get around, doing 20 or so repetitions of gentle exercises can go a long way to maintaining the muscle strength and positive mental outlook so important to us all as the years roll by.

The main point to remember is that most of us don’t need boot camps in order to get fit and stay fit. The trick is to find activities we enjoy and do them regularly—at least three or four times a week. And don't forget that getting a friend on board makes it so much easier to stay with the plan.

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