We spend a lot of sedentary time in the van, and you really need to up the physical activity to stay healthy.
It’s tempting to only do the physical activities we enjoy in place of the gym. I thought I could get the strength gains I wanted through snow skiing and kiteboarding. There’s really no substitute for lifting weights though, and there’s no cheaper shower than Planet Fitness’ $20/month (aside from free beach showers!). I also highly recommend yoga (especially acroyoga!) to make sure you stay flexible. Here’s a very accessible article to get you started with yoga.
I’m a relative newbie when it comes to working out so I’m going to stand on the shoulders of giants, and show you the articles that helped me get motivated and learn how to work out properly. Most (if not all) of this is from NerdFitness.com. They also have a bunch of great free articles in their Archives (or pay them for cooler stuff!).
The nerdy reasons for getting fit – Life is a video game!
Bodyweight workouts are important, we can’t always get to the gym!
Diet is more important than working out. Why you should be planning your meals and a Step by Step guide to meal prep. The oven stuff doesn’t apply to van life, which is why I suggest prepping Overnight Oats, the best meal in a jar you’ll ever have!
I don’t like most “machines” at gyms. They build up isolated muscles, but don’t let you work stabilizers or ligaments. For me, this means when you try to use your fancy new increased strength, the other muscles aren’t used to the strain and you get hurt. It’s WELL worth learning how to lift free weights. This is how you will see the most gains, and increase in your overall power.
It’s a myth that cardio-only is the path to weight-loss, if that’s your aim. Cardio vs HIIT vs Weights