Getting on the road for a year or more indicates abandoning some habits, including regular exercise and an eating plan. After all your juicer, blender, healthy food store and gym stay in your home town. The Big Lap includes many hikes, but numerous gourmet stops too! Not to mention there will be days where you’ll barely make 5,000 steps.
Does the thought of this scare you? Don’t worry, there are ways to stay fit and even be in the best shape of your life. Here’s what you can do to keep balance and stay fit during your Big Lap.
Pack Your Equipment
If you own basic at-home exercise equipment, don’t leave it at home. You can do a good workout with just resistance bands, a skipping rope and a yoga mat. Some light weights can be good for keeping your arm muscles in shape, but you can even create your own weights by filling up plastic bottles with sand. Remember your spare tyre? There are excellent exercises you can do with it!
Make Exercising a Priority
Time flies when you don’t have a schedule. Create your workout schedule. It can be different every day or every week, but make sure to make exercise a priority. If you were hiking the whole morning, count it as exercise, but if you were lying around in the sun, take 30 minutes before dinner for a quick workout.
Some essential exercise you can do anywhere in around 30 minutes are jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, lunges, squats and stretching.
Walk Everywhere You Can
You’ll feel tempted to park your trailer and take your 4WD to most attractions, but for at least the time, skip the car and go on foot. There will be days when you’ll be driving very long destinations, so walking is a basic exercise that will keep your heart going when you can’t make time for a real workout. Not to mention you can see so many things and meet more people when you’re walking instead of driving!
Schedule Driving Breaks
Most parts of the Big Lap are exciting, full of enchanting landscapes, but there are also some monotonous passages like the Nullarbor Plains. You’ll be tempted to drive these long sections at once, but don’t do that. Schedule driving breaks to stretch your legs and back, make a couple of sit-ups or just walk for 15minutes. It also helps you be more alert and awake once you get back on the road.
Morning runs are one of the best ways to stay fit and take in all the fantastic views of Australia as early as you can in the morningtide. You don’t need to have previous running experience; even power walking is enough to get your heart racing in the morning. It works better than caffeine!
The Big Lap keeps you near the ocean and some magnificent rivers and gorges, so why not use the chance? Swimming is one of the only workouts that activate every major muscle group in your body. Don’t be scared of cold water – it’s therapeutic and helps your muscles recover quicker. Beware and always check if the waterbody is crocodile safe!
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There’s no better time than the Big Lap to learn some new skills, and why not a new workout? If you never found the time to attend yoga classes, there are excellent and in-depth videos on Youtube that will help you practice.
If you’re a regular yoga practitioner, you’ll find that the Big Lap takes you to the most picturesque spots for doing yoga. Think of sunrise over red cliffs, sunset at the beach and endless fields with wildflowers. Yoga requires almost no equipment!
Free Exercise Videos
Exercise doesn’t have to cost you money. Each time you have coverage, download several free exercise videos to switch it up a bit. You can’t do one video for a year, you get used to the exercise, and they no longer challenge you, it becomes boring, and you’ll get unmotivated. You can search Youtube for your favourite type of exercises or follow some fitness trainers that share routines on Instagram.
Invest in a Fitness Tracker
Tracking your progress, current state and how a workout affects you is essential. You can then make changes and pick a faster or slower pace. If you don’t already own one, get a fitness tracker or, even better, ask for one as your Big Lap going away present! It makes the job of tracking your steps, pulse and calories burnt more accessible, and you don’t have to bring your phone everywhere with you.
Rent a Bike
Are you bringing your bikes with you on your Big Lap? If you’re not an avid biker, you can always rent one in most communities. Biking to attractions is faster than walking; it’s a fun and healthy exercise. Some camps have cycling tracks you can drive and enjoy fantastic landscapes, all while still staying near your caravan. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try mountain biking.
Make Use of Playgrounds and Parks
You won’t be visiting the gym for a while, but you can use the playgrounds in the towns. They have attractions for adults and kids. Even running after your kids counts as a workout! Look around your camp; you might be closer to one than you think! Don’t forget the parks. Explore the parks and gardens in the area you’re staying; you’ll get to know the place better and get a workout in at the same time.
Walk With Your Dog
If you have your fur friend with you on the road, you’ll probably let him off leash to get their exercise. Instead, follow them and take them on a scheduled walk, just like you would do at home. If you failed to make your recommended steps that day, a walk with your dog is ideal for hitting over 10,000 steps!
Follow a Balanced Diet
Staying fit is 80% food and 20% exercise. If you’re sure you’re active enough, pay attention to your diet. You shouldn’t starve yourself, but you shouldn’t indulge every day also. A balanced diet should give you enough nutrition to keep yourself healthy, fit and full of energy and fit your recommended calorie intake at the same time. Please don’t deprive yourself, you’ll feel lethargic, and your muscles will start eating themselves for energy. And no, a balanced diet is not two doughnuts in each hand!
Stock Up on Real Food
If Saturdays were your farmer’s market days where you got to stock up on local produce, don’t be bummed, you can still do that, just not as frequently. Check the market days in the area you’re staying and visit them. Strolling the markets in a different town is fun; each has something unique you won’t find elsewhere. When grocery shopping, look for things that don’t spoil quickly, have a good nutritional value and are easy to prepare. Think of fresh fruit and veggies, beans, oats, dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, eggs, butter, cheese, as well as some meats and bread.
Make New Rules
Make “never two in a row” your new rule. What is it exactly? Well, if you don’t feel like exercising today, you don’t have to, but make sure you do it tomorrow. “Never two in a row” is about never skipping exercise on two consecutive days. This way, you get a rest day whenever you feel like it, but know that you’ll have to work out tomorrow.
Have Fun, Responsibly
Let’s be honest; you’ll drown more than your regular glass or bottle on your Big Lap. And it’s okay if you do it occasionally. Alcohol and fitness don’t mix up; it has a large amount of sugar and calories, making you feel drowsy the following day when you have scheduled your workout. You shouldn’t avoid socialising or the occasional glass by the fire pit; just make it a treat, not a habit.
Make Cleaning an Exercise
Your camper requires frequent cleaning, so why not make it an exercise? And I’m not talking about doing minor everyday clean up – separate an hour or two and do a deep clean once in a while. It will have your whole body working. You’ll get your much-needed exercise and a clean home to rest in afterwards!
Get Enough Sleep
One of the essential parts of staying healthy and fit is enough sleep. Don’t go overboard and snooze for 12 hours, but make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours every night. This is the time your muscles use to heal; your body relaxes and is ready to tackle new challenges the next day. Exercise before sleeping can also contribute to sleep quality, so if you’re struggling with irregular sleep, schedule your workout for the evening.
Listen to Your Body
It’s important to stay fit, especially if you were in the first place before leaving for your Big Lap. But understand the changes, stress and pressure your body is going through with the switch of living conditions, constant driving and lack of amenities. Don’t put additional strain with vigorous exercise the first week you leave your home. Pace it, take it easy, and you’ll get into a fitness routine in a blink of an eye!
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