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Staying Fit on the Road: Our Fitness Mindset and Tips

Staying physically fit is a priority whether we’re on the road or not. It helps with so many other areas of our health!

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Ben and I have always loved hiking, running, biking and being outdoors. We try to incorporate as much of that into our life as possible because, quite frankly, focusing on health makes everything else in life a little better! We are more productive with our freelance work, we sleep better and we don’t get sick as often. Sure it’s not “easy” when our days on the road don’t go as planned (happens often) but we do our best to keep the habit mindset alive and get our workout in early.

As you know, we focus on daily small improvements in our physical, mental and financial health here at The Wild Drive Life. Adjusting our routines and habits from pre-bus life has taken us A YEAR or so to really hone in and we still have our crappy days.

In the year we’ve been traveling the country in our bus conversion tiny home, we’ve had to manage our expectations about how our days will go. THINGS HAPPEN. Bus travel takes longer than a car, freelance projects pile up and systems need maintenance. Time is precious and so are healthy routines to balance out the inevitable chaos (at times!) of travel.

We wanted to share some basic tips and notes from our experience maintaining our training goals and staying fit while traveling +16,000 miles around the country!

wild drive life fitness healthy
Our trio after a good 7 mile run. Ben is floating in the air!

Make Fitness a Priority

Mindset shift time! What if 30 minutes of physical activity was as important to your daily routine as brushing your teeth is? Do you ever say, “Nah, I’m too tired, I’ll just brush them tomorrow, maybe…” NO! You brush.

When I chose to make fitness as important as work, or eating well, or calling my Dad to check in, well, the magic really happened. Things have to matter to you, otherwise, why would you stick with them? Let go of the procrastination mindset and incorporate 30 minutes of physical activity into your day, early on if you can. IDEA: I love journaling and sometimes the conscious act of WRITING THINGS DOWN in a workout journal; your little wins, honest struggles, experience and progress REALLY helps. I like this fitness logbook a lot too.

What are our favorite workouts/activities?!

It depends on the season, weather and our location BUT typically we do a mix of running (5-8 miles), hiking and Insanity Max30 on a daily basis with a day or two off each week.

Staying fit on the road (especially on long driving days!) was a challenge for us at first. We got a $20/month black card membership to Planet Fitness (locations nationwide!) and it was a real game changer! We love having that as an option. It’s under my name and Ben is my FREE guest each time. Now, we incorporate a stop to workout, shower and decompress before hitting the road again. I highly recommend a national gym membership of some kind for nomadic living. We manage our water use meticulously so we rarely take your standard shower in the bus. We’re entirely okay with that given the scenery we’re able to enjoy while boondocking but gym trips honestly feel like a treat!

When we’re parked we get outside and explore or do Insanity near the bus. I can honestly say that Shaun T’s workout programs CHANGED MY LIFE. Nooo, I’m not a Beachbody coach or anything I just honestly love his programs. More important than anything else, they helped me make fitness a HABIT, not just something I did once in a while when I felt like it. It became a commitment. Sometimes you need a program/tangible goal/list/partner to kickstart things.

You do not need fancy workout clothes, I repeat you do not need fancy clothes. 🙂

Now it’s only $50, dang!

Insanity is AN EXCELLENT all around, total body HIIT workout. You can do it ANYWHERE with no equipment and minimal space. You can workout wearing ANYTHING. Once you buy the program it’s FREE. I bought it a few years ago so if you depreciate the $80 I spent over three years and what I’ve gained from it, well… MONEY WELL SPENT. Plus the workouts are condensed in a manageable time slot, 30 minutes. No excuses, baby.

Find an Activity that YOU love, with an indoor backup plan

Bottom line, you have to ENJOY what you’re doing in order to stick with it. I won’t sugarcoat the fact that improving your physical health involves discomfort, consistent effort and hard work that isn’t always fun. The joy comes with time and proving that you give a shit about yourself. Your health matters.

Maybe your thing isn’t running or hiking like us, maybe you enjoy rock climbing, a local dodgeball league, hot yoga, skiing or speed walking. Whatever it is, love it and appreciate what it’s adding to your life!

Having an indoor workout option makes the world of difference with consistency, adding a simple alternative! Sometimes you don’t want to put in the extra effort of driving to the gym or maybe it’s raining or snowing out.

YouTube is FULL of yoga tutorials, at home workouts, etc. to choose from. Try YogaTX, ToneItUp or TheFitnessMarshall. Bottom line, find and do what speaks to YOU!

Taking a break from our run to love Moose. I’m wearing my trusty Brooks Ghost 10’s here.

Your Feet Need to Be Happy

I learned this the HARD way. I tried a handful of different running shoes of questionable quality and wondered why I hated running. I had pretty bad ankle pain at one point and almost gave it up. I took a friend’s advice and went into a store to get fitted. Enter the magic of BROOKS GHOST into my life (drooling face emoji — haha). The rest is history.

I’m frugal as they come, you know this. But it’s all about quality over quantity. I’m all for fueling the things that you enjoy, and USING/LOVING what you have. These shoes are no exception. I’m currently on my fourth pair in five years — comfort, excellent construction and they last for many, many miles.

Choose the Best time of Day for YOU

When are you most productive? When do you have 30 minutes to an hour to spare? Don’t say never! 🙂 Ben used to wake up at 5am to do Insanity before heading to work at 6:15am. Personally, I’m prone to make excuses if I wait until the end of the day to workout. I try to commit to mornings and have been successful with that. Everyone is different. Find your time and GO FOR IT!

The Magic Number THREE

Everyone needs a day off, life happens and rest is essential. We typically take 1 – 2 days off a week from our more intense workouts (runs +7 miles, Insanity, etc.) and will opt for a walkie with Moose instead.

Over the years, I’ve learned that THREE days off in a row is where things get tricky…

I find my momentum is a lot easier to continue if I take ONE or TWO days off in a row. As soon as you creep into THREE days off, or more, the excuses are much, much easier to come by. Your motivation starts packing its bags and heading south. By ALL means, let yourself rest, listen to your body first and foremost, but keep this magic number in mind.

We started hiking and running with our dog Moose when he was about six months old. He LOVES both and needs to use a lot of energy each day. A tired pup is a happy pup.

Hydration and Nutrition Matter Too

This goes for staying fit on the road or at home in one location! Nutrition, sleep, hydration and fitness are all interconnected and should be considered in your goals. Working out is going to suck if you’re dehydrated and haven’t eaten well in days.

I love having Ultima replenishing powder on hand. One little container lasts FOR AGES. You can drink it before, during or after a workout and it doesn’t have a bunch of crappy ingredients in it.

Making fitness more of a habit made me realize there were A LOT of deficiencies in these other areas, like: what a negative effect drinking alcohol had on my performance, how much better I slept if I worked out that day, how much different I felt during a workout if I went out to eat vs. made a healthy meal at home.

Pay attention to these differences and don’t be afraid to make tweaks in your habits. You’re SO worth it. Visit our Wild Drive Life Amazon Storefront for A BUNCH of our favorite nutrition and kitchen essentials.

Make the Most of Your Current Environment (no excuses!)

Winter vs. summer, urban vs. rural, apartment vs. a spacious house, we ALL have different environments that affect our ability to get our workout in. I argue, there’s always a way!!

One example. We’re not big fans of winter (clearly, we’re escaping it in Arizona right now!) but we discovered that snowshoeing and winter hiking are SO MUCH FUN and a great workout. I refused to do both before the last couple of years but it’s made all the difference in tolerating a season/situation that isn’t ideal. Experiencing nature at an off-peak time where fewer people get to enjoy it is pretty special. Ben used to always say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!” so get the gear you need and get out there.

Wishing Everyone a Productive and Healthy 2019!

What fitness and nutrition goals will you accomplish this year? I think a great place to start is making fitness a habit. Prove it’s value in your life and stick with it, you GOT this!!

Visit our Wild Drive Life Amazon Storefront for more tested recommendations from Ben & I

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