Thursday, May 17, 2018


Bill, 74, and I, 69, have been feeling out of shape, both literally and figuratively. Keeping fit, which includes the matters of exercise, food intake, and healthcare, has become problematic.  Cardiovascular issues plague Bill. Mine are nagging gastro-intestinal and other-stress-related problems. They started when we were full-time RVing and didn’t pay enough attention. Mesmerized by America’s beauty, we were always eager to see THE sights, always on the go. I am glad we have slowed down a bit.

Regular Exercise

Back in Seattle before our cruising days, we went to Bally’s and LA Fitness (a chain that bought it) three times a week. When we went on our 5-year cross-continent runs in an RV, however, the fitness facilities in campgrounds were not consistent. We thought hiking would be our main exercise regimen. Many times though, hordes of mosquitoes feasted on us! At other times, it was either too cold or too hot. And, even if sight-seeing meant walking a lot, it didn’t resemble exercise. It was more leisurely strolling.

We thought there must be a way of keeping fit through exercise while we were on the go. I dreaded the thought that we were be slipping quietly into the sedentary habits of “sexygenarians.” But I rationalized that we had just not yet formed good exercise habits because we were still in transition. In time, we learned that we just had to resolve to do at least two of the following or suffer the consequences:

1.       Find the time to play a sport for at least an hour three times a week (table tennis, billiards, mini-golf, badminton, golf, tennis, or pickleball) or dance.

2.       If there’s a gym, exercise for at least an hour, three times a week. If there is none, you can exercise in your own home.

3.       Walk for an hour before nightfall at least three times a week, if you haven’t walked enough during the day.

Healthy Food Intake

When we were doing a lot of driving in the RV/car, we would cut up a lot of veggies and fruits and have nuts available for snacking on, with lots of water to wash them down. When we settled at campgrounds longer, nesting in a bigger RV, we began to cook more meals which even became worse in Viewpoint. While on trips, loving local cuisine led to hearty eating. We needed the resolve for this eating regimen:

1.       Eat one big meal a day, preferably lunch, and two other small ones or just two regular meals, late breakfast and early dinner.

2.       Graze throughout the day with light morning, afternoon snacks, and evening snacks, but only with fruit slices and nuts.

3.       Eat out infrequently, preferably only during an occasion or celebration, and compensate with smaller meals the rest of the day when we do.

In addition, we have adopted two novel ways of skipping a meal twice a week. One is by going to a movie and sticking to one large popcorn bag which we share for lunch. Also, Costco’s food trial bytes become another lunch when we shop for supplies. These two have become part of our diet program.

After our RVing phase, we also now stick to staying in our timeshare units because they always have kitchens,  enabling us to have fun at local groceries, buying lots of goodies we don’t find in stores back home, and cooking exciting local fare. Beginning January 2019, however, we converted twelve of our sixteen weeks’ timeshare (the ones for El Cid Vacation Club in Mexico) to be all-inclusive. We will need to up our resolve. But please excuse us; we absolutely need a little pampering at this age.

Preventive Health Care

The main drawback of the full-time RVing lifestyle was the lack of regular preventive health care. Settling in Phoenix was the smartest decision we ever made. There is excellent geriatric care with the high population of snowbirds. Phoenix is the fifth-ranked overall in general healthcare in the US. We found an excellent family doctor who keeps track of regular screens and refers us to the best of specialists. Diagnosed with two conditions (hypothyroidism and high blood pressure), I was brought back to normal with half the smallest dosages of the required meds. Meanwhile, Bill has been fitted with a pacemaker.  

So Viewpoint, you are the perfect base for our travels and we are here to stay. With regular exercise, healthy food intake, and preventive health care, we look forward to more years of traveling, past 70.

                                                                                                                                 PINNABLE IMAGE


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