Staying in shape while living on the road in an RV or van is tough to do. It’s hard enough at home but what do you do when you have limited space, limited storage, and are always in a different place?

I have some tips that I’d like to share but first let’s talk to some other who are keeping fit on the road. Stephen Smith and Kalen Vavla have been kind enough to share what they do to stay in shape.

When traveling with my wife Annie and our two dogs. I like staying in shape by taking a walk with my dog Snickers. By taking a walk two times a day 30-45 minutes each Snickers and I keep the weight off.

Couple of points I keep in mind is to stay out of private neighborhoods. I do not want the neighbors to harbor bad feelings with the RV park or other travelers. Second part is staying out of dark places….doors, alleys, behind closed businesses….. I am lucky Snickers don’t care where he walks as long as he gets to walk with in an hour of eating. If you have a dog make sure to always carry poo pick up bags. I have the bag keeper for both of the dog’s leashes. I always carry a plastic bag from Walmart too. You never know when a walk becomes double drop..lol

Stephen Smith

Don’t think of exercise as exercise; think of it as exploring for new parking locations.  Walking is a great way to blend in while exploring your neighborhoods for new parking locations.  It is also a great way to test a new parking spot.  If you arrive back to your RV and find the cops there, you simply explain that you went for a walk with the intention of leaving upon your return to the RV.  If you arrive back to your RV and no cops are there, you are probably good for the night.

Wear light colored clothes in the winter because it gets dark earlier and light colored clothing allows you to be seen.  Wear dark colored clothes in the summer so you can wear them wet and stay cool.  Wearing wet clothes provides evaporative cooling.  It is like your personal swamp cooler.

Gym memberships have their advantages.  They are air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter.  Many have steam rooms and swimming pools that are difficult to incorporate into your RV.  They also have room to stretch and move, and offer classes for people of all abilities.  They also have equipment that you don’t want to carry in your RV such as elliptical machines, rowing machines, and free weights.  If you will be relocating often to follow your work, look for a national chain gym.

The disadvantages to gym memberships is they cost money, provide no exploration potential, may have small parking lots, underground parking lots, or it may be difficult to find sufficient parking.  In addition, it may be difficult to get your RV in and out of the driveways of the parking lot.  Also, the gym’s hours of operation may not provide the flexibility you need.

If joining a gym does not fit into your lifestyle, then I suggest Bodylastics bands.  They are light weight, safe, easily portable, and provide adjustable resistance for all levels of strength training and muscle toning.  They are perfect for RVers because they are a gym-in-a-bag.

Each set comes with instructions for different exercises which can easily be done inside your RV or outside while you are at the park or beach (or wherever you happen to be at the time).

For safety, each band has a cable manufactured right in so you can’t over stretch the bands.  If one does happen to break, the safety cable reduces the snap-back thus reducing the chance for injury.

I bought mine directly from the company at http://www.bodylastics.com/

Kalen Vavla

I’d like to thank Stephen and Kalen for their great advice and tips! I’m sure that’ll help a lot of people.

Here are some other tips from me that I hope may come in handy:

  • Bike, hike, walk, run, kayak, or whatever else you can do. You’re likely in an area that had some amazing natural scenery so get out there and experience it!
  • Try to find RV parks that have gyms included. I’m still looking for a database of RV parks that has a gym as one of their filter options. Let us know in the comments if you’ve found one.
  • Get some adjustable dumbbells like these. I don’t actually own these but I’m definitely looking into a set in the future and I’ve heard good things.
  • A cool tip I heard from Tim Ferriss was to get a 40 ounce Hydroflask like this one and use it as a foam roller. That way you have a water bottle and a foam roller which are extremely bulky.

I hope you can take these tips and implement them into your daily routine. I think it’s so important to stay in shape and stay healthy. Especially when you’re traveling around a lot and are always being introduced to different air and bacteria and things. Plus you don’t want to miss out on something amazing because the hike was too strenuous or you were sick in bed.

Share your workout tips in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

-Trav