Fitness And Road Trip Exercises For Those Living The #VanLife

Obviously sitting behind the wheel for hours on end isn’t great for your physical fitness. Owning a camper van can mean doing exactly that, travelling from one destination to another sat on our bum for long periods of time.

This may cause people who have decided to embrace the #vanlife to struggle with staying fit, as it is essentially one long, seated road trip.

However, with the amazing places you are bound to visit on your journey, why not make the most of it?

Here are some fitness tips for those who intend on making #vanlife their way of life.

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HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)


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If you don’t enjoy exercise at all, then this is probably the way to go. By completing one HIIT workout, your training can be completed in around 15 minutes, depending on how much you want to get done. This method of exercising uses a system of pushing yourself super hard, followed by recovery intervals. Another bonus of doing this while living out of a van is that you don’t need any fancy equipment, you are able to do this using only your body! Try this workout for size:

3 exercises – 20 seconds each – 15 second rest after each minute – 5 rounds.

  1. Jumping lunges (or normal lunges to simplify)
  2. Squat jumps (or normal squats to simplify)
  3. Wall sit

30 seconds rest after 5 rounds

  1. Sit ups with straight arms
  2. Russian twists
  3. Straight leg raises

30 seconds rest after 5 rounds

  1. Burpees
  2. Walk outs on hands
  3. Plank

End of workout!


Follow A Video


If you struggle for ideas on what exercise to do when you get a burst of energy, then head to Youtube. There are literally thousands of channels available with people giving you step by step instructions on a huge variety of workouts you can easily follow. These are also really helpful, as they offer different levels of difficulty, and so will advise you of more difficult or easier alternatives. If you’ve got some signal on your smart phone, prop it up somewhere and complete the workout in real time with the instructor on your screen.


Stretch Or Do Exercises In The Van


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If you are in the passenger seat then you have a whole range of options available to you. For example, if you squeeze your glutes together as hard as you can for 5-10 seconds then release, and repeat, you’ll be working those muscles rather than sitting doing nothing! Another exercise you can do in your seat is a twist on the classic wall sit. Place your feet shoulder width apart, push your heels into the floor and lift your butt a few inches off the seat and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times!


Camp Near Trails


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You will more than likely be camping near somewhere picturesque, however, if you ensure you’re camping near a trail then you are more likely to get up and go. If you are super close to a running or walking trail, it is much easier to get up and do it – as you don’t have the excuse of travelling a distance to get somewhere to do your exercise. Alternatively, if you’re camping near a beach, why not try some interval running on the beach. Aim to run on the slightly damp sand, as it is more compact and makes it slightly easier to run on.


Drop-In Classes And Day Passes


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When the weather turns, van life can be less than dreamy and exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. If you pass by a local gym when the weather is looking less than desirable, pop in a purchase a day pass. This means you can hit the treadmill, bike and weight machines. There is also the added bonus of having a hot shower and a toilet, which can be a luxury when living in a van at times!

Make Space For Equipment


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Living in a confined space can mean sacrifice of personal belongings. However, if there is a sport you play often, and know you will be able to do so whilst on the road, it’s worth making room for the equipment in the van. For instance, some people opt to travel with a collapsable bike, an inflatable paddle board or even just a rugby ball. Some hardcore surfers travel with their boards on the roof, but you can also hire these at most popular surfing beaches for a small cost.


Watch What You Eat


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Although it is obviously very important to be mindful of how much exercise you are doing, a lot of keeping in shape is of course watching what you eat. Many people fall into the trap of eating junk whilst on the road, as much of the time this is the easy and cheap option. However, it is possible to eat well while living in a van. If you are struggling for ideas, we have put together a non-exhaustive list of some tasty, cheap and healthy meal ideas which can easily be cooked whilst living the camper life!


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