I am embarrassed to say that in the past year my fitness routine has gone from mediocre to bad – I am saying this publicly as a way to motivate myself, and this blog seems like a great place to dissect the problem a bit.
Living and slow traveling in an RV has a lot of benefits but one of the downsides, at least for me, is a constant re-shuffling of my routine. When we’re in travel mode life gets really hectic. Somewhere between adapting to life in new places every few months and the traveling in between, I’ve really lost track of physical fitness as a priority. I no longer have the predictability of a work commute or weekend errands that can be done by bicycle, and it isn’t always possible to get to a gym. The one thing I have kept up on consistently is walking with Phoenix every day, but that isn’t really the type of intense exercise my body needs to thrive.
Not dedicating time to exercise definitely has an effect on me – there’s the obvious loss of muscle and slow transition into pudgitude, but I’ve also found that when I am not active I suffer more from anxiety and depression. This could turn into a really big issue when combined with loneliness, so it’s something I’ve decided has to change.
Truthfully, I shouldn’t let any excuse get in the way if exercise really is an important part of my self-care routine. We brought some smaller/lightweight exercise equipment with us on the road, and there are endless body weight exercises I can do with just a little bit of space – I just need to get over the resistance and make physical fitness a true part of my life again.
If you were evaluating all of the facts, you’d likely also point out that I have more free time and less stress than I had when working full time, and there are plenty of gaps in my schedule where blocks of exercise can easily fit. So, now that it’s abundantly clear that I have the time and resources needed to start exercising more, all I need to do is set some goals and stick to them.
We recently arrived at a new campground in Northern California, and we’re decently close to a town that has a branch of the gym I belong to. Therefore, my goals for the next 4 months while we’re in the area are to:
- Walk Phoenix around the campground enough every day to reach at least 8,500 steps per day
- Bike down (and back up) the hill – a bit further every day, until I can make it to the gym and home again successfully (~6 miles one way, 174ft elevation change)
- After achieving the last step, start biking to the gym for a weightlifting session twice per week
- When not visiting the gym, complete home workouts with kettle bells, jump rope, body weight exercises, etc. twice per week
- Get out and do at least 2 local hikes with Carrie while we’re here
I’ve already unstrapped my bike and completed a few pilot rides part-way down the hill in the early morning coolness, and I am excited about some beautiful and peaceful rides ahead of me as the summer heat gives way to more comfortable autumn temperatures. It will also be good to get out of the campground and explore a bit on my bike.
For the past few months I’ve been sticking pretty strictly to a 16/8 intermittent fasting diet (eating only between ~noon and 8pm), and I am also excited for the benefits I will likely see when amping up the exercise while continuing to fast for 16 hours per day.
What excuses or life hurdles have kept you from focusing on fitness? How did you overcome them? If you have any tips or motivational thoughts for me, I’d appreciate them!