Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Keeping Fit While Cruising

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Keeping Fit While Cruising

When we were in Pittsburg, Kansas, Bill and I had to see doctors.  A continuous tingling on my left arm had me alarmed while Bill developed a cold that wouldn’t go away.  Increasingly, we had been feeling out of shape, both literally and figuratively.  And so the topic of keeping fit within a cruising lifestyle has come up.  And this includes both the matter of food intake and exercise.

We used to go to Bally’s (a chain of gyms) three times a week.  Some nights we even walked to the supermarket or deli, roundtrip 2-3 miles. When we started our cruising lifestyle, through Boise, Denver, and Calgary (homes of our children), we invariably found a Bally’s or a community center with excellent workout facilities.  When we started to navigate the Alaska Highway, however, our routines changed.
We realized that the convenience of a nearby exercise facility is crucial. At first we thought hiking would take the place of a gym.  When we tried that, hordes of mosquitoes rejoiced! And then it got either too cold or too hot. So the habit refused to take hold. Then the thrill of Phase I, the sight-seeing phase, took over.  New routines were formed, not resembling exercise except for leisurely strolling.

Six months later, when we entered Phase II, the relaxing/seeing phase, and bought M’A’turn, we bought yoga mats so we can exercise right there on our new and spacious floor.  We did, for a month. But that habit did not take hold either.  We tried playing table tennis, billiards, mini-golf, and pickleball when we got to the North Carolina campgrounds. Sadly, those did not become habits either!  
But we thought there must be a way of keeping fit through exercise while cruising! I dreaded the thought that we may be slipping to the sedentary habits of sexagenarians. But I bravely reasoned that we have not yet formed good exercise habits simply because we are still in transition from our old lifestyle.  Discussing the matter with Bill, we now resolve to do the following every day:

1.       Exercise for 15 minutes immediately after waking up.
2.       Walk for 15 minutes before nightfall.
3.       Find the time to play at least 30 minutes of one sport (table tennis, billiards, mini-golf, badminton, pickleball or dance).

Now let us shift to the matter of food intake.  In Phase I when we were doing a lot of driving in the RV, we would cut up a lot of veggies (celery, jicama, and carrots), bring a lot of fruits (apples, bananas, cantaloupes, and grapes), and always have nuts for snacking on. We also opted for lots of water.  In Phase II when we settled at campgrounds longer, nesting in our ‘home’, we started to cook more meals.

 So, combined with minimal exercise and more food, would you like to guess what happened? Yes, we packed the pounds. So, now we also resolve to:

1.       Eat only one big meal a day, preferably dinner.
2.       Graze throughout the day with a small breakfast, a light morning snack, a light lunch, and/or a light afternoon snack.  
3.       Eat out infrequently, preferably only during an occasion or celebration.

Examples of a light breakfast are: a pancake, a toast, or a bowl of oatmeal or cereal. A light snack would mean a bowl of popcorn or chips, a cookie, a banana, or an apple. A hot dog, BLT or deli sandwich could make for a light lunch (in fact, maybe it should be half). And then we reward ourselves with a big meal (but not too big) at the close of day, like meat and potatoes and salad or pasta, garlic bread, and greens!

Wish us luck!

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