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Okay. I know. I tell you all the time that you don’t really need any equipment in the RV to stay fit. You’ve already got the best piece of exercise equipment…your own body!
So this post sort of goes against that message; flip-flopping on my fitness advice.
But sometimes, a fitness tool or two can shakes things up. It can make your workouts more interesting and might even give you that kick in the bootie you need to get up and get exercising.
Because, I get it, exercise can be such a mind game, ESPECIALLY when we’re out traveling. And when the mind starts playing the lazy game or the make-excuses game, it helps to have an arsenal ready to beat yourself at your own game.
Here’s what we carry in our RV “Lance”:
- Resistance Bands.
I just can’t say enough good stuff about traveling with a resistance bands kit.
The exercise possibilities are endless with bands, especially if your kit comes with an anchor mount— a nylon strap that allows you to attach your bands to a sturdy object, like a pole or railing like you see in the first pic above. Our favorite resistance bands kits are by Bodylastics. Their bands actually have a safety feature in case they were to break. There’s a cord that runs through each band that would stop it from snapping back and hurting you. I had a band of another brand snap on a client once. Of course, it had to hit her eye. It instantly swelled and wasn’t pretty. Bands do break, gang. But with Bodylastics, you don’t have to worry. They also come in a nice storage bag, and you get a giant poster filled with pictures of exercise suggestions!
I have no affiliation to Bodylastics, I just truly prefer that brand. And if you need some ideas for exercises you can do with resistance bands, I’ve got a bunch right here; so either hit the “Workouts” tab or use the search bar to find them.
The TRX took the fitness world by storm over a decade ago, and is still one of my most favorite fitness toys of all time.
It’s a strappy yellow and black thing with two handles that you suspend anywhere sturdy: a tree, your RV, a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, whatever you can find. Using your own bodyweight, there are 100’s of exercises you can do with it, all are strongly focused around your core. Fun story: when I met Russ Garfin and Chad Reece from Winnebago for the first time, I had attached a TRX to the back door hinge of a Travato and made them do some exercises with me! They had a great time, and years later still talk about that experience! You can see a glimpse of their first time TRXing in THIS VIDEO right at 5 minutes in. Love it when I get others hooked!
- Yoga Mat.
James and I got our blue Hugger Mugger mats years ago, and they go everywhere with us.
I’d say they have tagged along for at least 30,000 miles of RV adventures. While I’m not sure how many states I’ve unrolled mine on (a lot), I am sure these mats are our most used piece of RV fitness equipment. I use my mat regularly for yoga, but I also use it for much more than yoga alone— it comes in handy for any strength training floor work we want to do, too (like planks or pushups). Being in such a small RV, our workouts happen outside. Since I’m not a big fan of lying in dirt, gravel, or damp grass, the mats make it possible for us to workout anywhere. I’ve even used it on the edge of the Grand Canyon!
- Jump Rope.
Even if you’re not currently conditioned to handle jumping, there are loads of ways to use a jump-rope for a workout without doing a single jump. I’ll be putting up a workout video on no-jumping jump-rope workouts soon so stay tuned, but one easy way to use a jump rope is to do “step-overs.” Walk, turn the rope, and step over it. It’s a great way to work your coordination and balance…two often neglected fitness components. There are tons of ways to work your upper body and do stretches with a jump rope, too, no jumping required. But honestly for me, the allure of a jump rope is the “play” factor. I used to run a little after-school jump club back in my teaching days, so I love occasionally pulling out a rope and playing around with it doing tricks. So, jump ropes are pretty versatile and can make a workout a lot of fun no matter what your fitness level is. Plus, they’re cheap.
- Massage Roller.
This might blow your mind, so get prepared. You ready? Here it is.
Your workouts aren’t where you build strength and get fitter. Exercise actually breaks your body down and makes it weaker.
Goes against everything you think exercise should do, right? But it’s true. It’s your recovery time where the real strength-building magic happens.
Self-massage, and the various implements to do it, should be a regular part of your recovery regime to help your body repair itself most effectively.
Plus! They’re especially handy for RVers. Long drives and sitting too long are tough on our circulatory systems. Since massage rollers boost circulation, using one regularly in the RV will help counteract any negative effects sitting might cause. James and I also keep a little foot roller on the floor of the passenger’s seat of our RV, along with the roller in the picture, and we make a point to roll out our legs and feet as we roll along the road. Ha! Rolling as we roll!
So there it is: all our favorite RVing fitness tools we travel with in the RV. They take little space, transport easily, and make us WANT to exercise on the road. Just remember, staying fit isn’t a part-time gig. Just because you’re on vacation shouldn’t be a reason to vacation from exercise. So next trip, load up some fun gear and get those workouts in. You might even find they’ll be your best workouts ever.
Would love to hear what YOU like to travel with! Leave a comment below; always love your thoughts!