Exercise and the RV life
|Power Blocks, adjustable 5-50lbs.|
This is topic that I have wanted to write about but have hesitated to do so. Why? Well because sometimes we are very disciplined and sometimes we aren’t and I never want anyone to think since this is the way we do it that everyone else should do the same. However, I do want to share a few things we have found that have helped us along the way. So here goes.
A couple years before we set out on the RV life John and I worked out with a personal trainer for over a year. Sometimes it was 2-3 times a week and later once a week.If you have the money and opportunity to this I highly recommend it. Learning correct form from a trainer is priceless. However, few of us have the money to keep that up indefinitely, so at some point we have to venture out on our own. The first 6 months out on the road and several of the months ahead of leaving we didn’t do a very good job of keeping up with our training and consequently we both gained weight and lost muscle. At the first of this year we knew this had to change.
When we set out on this journey we did try to prepare with some very basic equipment. We purchased PowerBlocks which are weights that adjust from 5 to 50 lbs, a stability ball, some exercise tubes and a couple yoga mats. So we had the tools just not the drive at the time. Around Christmas John started looking for books to help us actually map out our workouts and he stumbled upon a book You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren. Mark was Special Forces and now trains some of our Special Forces and his philosophy is to work out using only body weight and the tools you have around you. Living in n RV where space is at a premium this really appealed to John. Mark also contends that resistance (weight) workouts and maintaining strong muscles is more important that aerobic workouts. I won’t go into all the reasons, for that you need to read his book. One of the really great things about his book is he outlines a 10 week program for a beginner, intermediate and master class. There are also photos and explanations of all the exercises and how to modify them from easy to difficult.
John has now finished the Basic workouts and is starting the intermediate ones. I am finishing up week 7. We both have definitely seen our strength increase significantly. We did have to modify some things as Mark tends to use door handles and door frames for a couple things so we use conventional weights in the same muscle groups for those. We would highly recommend his program to any RVer who is looking for a workout program.
I have started running again also. I have always loved to run but have been sporadic about it over the last few years. What did surprise me is that I was able to run about 20 minutes the first time out and now I’m at 24 minutes which is about 2+ miles for me (I am sloooow). When we were in Tucson I ran some but never got over 1-1/2 miles. So I was very surprised to make it 2 miles but it made me believe Mark’s chapter about aerobic fitness in the book. Running is certainly not for everyone but I think we all can find something we enjoy doing whether it is walking, hiking, biking, anything that gets us moving.
Our goal is not to be model thin or elite athletes just to be healthy enough to live long full lives. We were older parents and our boys like us will probably wait awhile to have their kids so our goal is to still be around and be healthy enough to enjoy our grandkids.
There is a little more to our story of trying to stay fit and I will tackle it (that dreaded diet part) in another post.
So anyone else out there trying to stay fit and have another idea or program? We are always open to input on this subject.