Overlanding is fun and very exciting – particularly if you are going on a long trip. The main problem here is that since you will be on the road a lot, you will be nowhere close to your local gym – so, say hello to your body fat constantly growing. Unless you actually do something about it, you tend to gain a lot of weight during trips.
So, how do you keep yourself in shape during an overlanding trip? Well, you’ll be surprised to find out that it’s actually not such a difficult task. It is all based on what you do when you step out of the car – or some habits that you make part of your routine.
You don’t need a gym nearby to keep yourself healthy. You just need to be creative.
Using Your Own Body Weight to Keep Fit
You probably thought that strength exercising could only be done at the gym, lifting weights and doing a variety of exercises at the machines. However, you do not need actual weights. Instead, you may just use the weight of your body.
For example, let’s say that you are stopping at a gas station, and your road trip partner is filling the tank for the next few miles. Why just sit around while they do that? Instead, step out of the car and do a few of these:
- Lunges: Try doing 8-12 forward lunges on each leg per set, working your way up to three sets. These exercises are great for your glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
- Squat Holds: These are like a combination between a squat and a plank. You’ll be lowering your body as you would with a squat, but instead of going back up, you will be keeping that squatting position for 30 minutes. Stand to release and repeat.
- Jumping Jacks: You probably remember doing these exercises quite a lot when you were small. If you are looking to add a little cardio workout in your routine and burn some extra fat, then you might want to do as many jumping jacks as time lets you (at least 30 seconds).
- High-Knee Marches: You may do this while you are actually marching or keeping the same spot. Raise your knee as high as you can, and then switch between legs in a marching movement.
- Crunches: If you have a yoga mat or even a bench nearby where you can lie on your back, try doing some crunches. If not, some abdominal contractions in the car might work just as well. Draw the belly towards the spine, contract your abdominal muscles, and keep this position for about 30 seconds, three sets.
There are various other exercises that you may do. From calf raises to the push-up – depending on whether you have the place available or not. The idea here is to use your own body weight so that you actually get your muscles moving.
Exercising Using Small Equipment
You may not be able to bring all your gym equipment with you – but this does not mean that you cannot bring anything with you. For instance, you may pack a jump rope with you and use it whenever you have a 5-minute break. It’s great for a cardio workout at a pit-stop.
Resistance bands are also a great thing to take around with you, as they allow you to work on your shoulders and your arms – even as you are in the car. All you have to do is attach one end to your foot and start pulling from the other end using your arms. You will practically be using that equipment along with your own body strength.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
You might be exercising at gas stations or camping points – or wherever you may be stopping – but you will also need to be mindful of your diet. Even if you do a couple of squats or crunches in-between breaks, it won’t matter much if you are continuously splurging on fast-food from the gas station.
Make sure that you always have a stock of healthy food available. If you drive through a market, buy some fresh vegetables and ingredients so that you may cook a healthy meal. This way, it will be much easier for your body to stay fit and not gain any extra kilos.
Make sure that you also keep the right gear with you. As an overlander, you usually have a big SUV with you, equipped with all the camping gear necessary. So, you can keep your fresh, healthy food in a 12-volt fridge.
Keeping healthy and fit is not necessarily a difficult task to do when you are overlanding. You just need to work the right habits into your routine and remember that every now and again, you will have to move a bit. This way, your body will recover from all that sitting in the car.