Many people think it’s expensive to be healthy, or that they need to have access to the gym or high-end grocery store to get in shape. These people are incorrect; you can stay fit from home, from school, even from your car.
We’re aware the idea may be unorthodox, but you can get and stay in the best shape of your life while you live the van life. Van life is precisely what it sounds like: living in your van.
Learn how you can stay fit, eat clean and feel healthier on road – no equipment needed!
It is a minimalist lifestyle that allows you to take your home wherever you please and the only utilities needed are food, hygiene products, and car maintenance. If you have enough room for some dumbbells, or even if you don’t, you can still turn your van into a rolling gym with the following twenty bodyweight exercises.
Here’s a list of twenty exercises to do you in your van:
- Tricep Dips
- Pushups (any variation)
- Squats (any variation)
- Seated or standing calf raise
- Glute Kickbacks
- Leg lifts (any variation)
- Side Bends (any variation)
- Superman Crunch (for those of you with back issues, do not lift your upper and lower back at the same time)
- Bird dogs
- Jumping jacks (any variation)
- Glute Bridge (any variation)
- Mountain Climbers
- Tuck jumps
- Burpees (any variation)
- High Knees
Some of these exercises can be modified to be more comfortable, (ex. Pushups and planks on the knees, stepping one foot out at a time for jumping jacks) while some can handle extra weights (ex. Weighted lunes, squats, and leg lifts).
Listen to your body with any movement, and if you feel unsafe while doing an exercise, then modify or omit it. However, know the difference between hazardous and uncomfortable. You’ll live through discomfort, but compromising safety may injure you.
Although exercise is excellent for burning calories and overall health, it is not the only part of a healthy lifestyle. You have to watch what you eat, too and there are plenty of healthy foods and beverages you can eat from your van that require no refrigeration.
Here’s a list of twenty foods and drinks for which you need no electricity to keep fresh:
3. Any kind of nut
4. Tuna (beware of the smell!)
5. Winter Squash
7. Coconut Water
8. Any dried fruit
11. Bell pepper
12. Citrus fruit
14. Protein Powder
15. Sweet potatoes
16. Electrolyte drink mix
Some of these things need kitchen equipment to eat, but nothing too expensive or cumbersome, just silverware. Cacti Performance recommends buying a pineapple coring tool if you plan on eating the fruit. Of course, as you shop mind your allergies and food sensitivities.
There are plenty of plant-based protein powders for any of you with dairy issues and most if not all of these things have no gluten. When you pair these and other healthy foods with the previously mentioned exercises and other movements, you’ll notice a significant and positive change in your health.
To improve even more, incorporate stretches into your fitness routine. There are plenty you can do both in and outside your van, and yes, we have another list for you.
Here are twenty different stretches you can do everywhere:
1. Single and double leg hamstring stretch
2. Tricep Stretch
3. Figure four (sitting or lying down)
4. Downward dog
5. Butterfly stretch
6. Thread the needle
7. Quad stretch (standing or lying on your side)
8. Upward dog/Cobra
9. Splits (if you’re flexible enough)
10. Side stretch (Standing or seated)
11. Standing calf stretch (with your hands on a wall or your van)
12. Side neck stretch
13. Chest stretch (interlace your fingers behind the back)
14. Frog stretch
15. Standing or seated forward bend
16. Child’s pose (knees together or apart)
17. Pigeon stretch
18. Side lunge
19. Wrist stretch (front and back)
20. Happy baby pose
Tips For Healthy Van Life
When you stretch, never do so until the point of pain. A good start is to hold each of these poses for approximately thirty seconds. As one would imagine, stretching increases flexibility. It also prevents injury and increases your range of motion with exercises such as high kicks and lunges. With these stretches, you can recover properly from your workout and avoid muscular tightness.
Whether you live in a mansion or a van down by the river, you can be healthy. Although it is recommended, an active lifestyle does not require equipment. The foods, beverages, exercises, and stretches named are just a few of many ways to stay lean. With the availability of nutritious food and uncontaminated water, accessibility of bodyweight routines, and equipment-free stretching, anyone can become and remain fit.