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Old 26 Jul 2009
chica diabla's Avatar
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Stay fit

Might be a bit a strange topic, but i am just wondering what you all do on a RTW trip to keep your body happy too.

I mean driving a motorbike all day long is fun, can be extremely sports-like, or make all your muscles ache.

But for me I also like some other things beside sitting on my bike, like taking (half)day-long hikes or play some badminton (rackets fit neetly in my panniers)........

What about you??
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Old 27 Jul 2009
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Did a yoga 'taster' lesson at a HUBB meeting last year and liked it, though I haven't followed it up because of cost. Perhaps I should though, even if it's just to learn how to do it, though I'm more concerned with a decent diet - something I don't have to go somewhere and learn.

Hiking sounds a good idea and a nice way to switch off.
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Old 28 Jul 2009
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keep fit and supple

Hi Chica, to my mind there is no substitute for a 'standard' yoga program, 30 minutes of housewives gymnastics every morning will really help. No, it won't reduce your waistline or enable you to climb Everest without oxygen, but it will make a big difference to your riding comfort, and ability, after a few hours on the bike. Try it.
Peter, in Oslo
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Old 28 Jul 2009
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often the off-road is enough!

we have often tried this intentional keeping -fit on the road stuff.....and to tell the truth you are often just too knackered after a long day riding off-road. usually a little dehydrated too. often the most you can do with the energy that you have left is to put up your tent, cook some food and sleep!

....and Simon and I are not afraid of the keeping fit stuff (I used to do it for a living)

however, there are some very basic things you can do even inside your tent if its too foul outside.
sit-ups - push -ups - leg-lifts - stretches of all kinds - you can even take one of those 'resistance' rubber bands, they often work well. finally if you do have the energy and weather allowing - run! good for muscles, cardio, builds up stamina.
cant say much about Yoga as never really done it.

We have been on the road now for just over 6 years so this is not a trip but a way of life.....a little every day goes a long way and dont stress when you cant do it.
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Old 28 Jul 2009
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keeping fit on the road

Hi Lisa, yoga is a morning thing. There are so many 'schools', and variations of schools, that I cannot recomend any. The main thing is to operate as many body parts as possible by stretching and twisting. Cats and dogs do it naturally, thats probably a good start. I think you have a bigger tent than me, I prefer some more room and air, but it is no fun if it's cold. As I am not very impressed by the mysticism side, I stick to the physical excersises.
Ride safe
Peter, in Oslo
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Old 28 Jul 2009
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I would have assumed that the travelling itself was conducive to staying reasonably fit simply because I have yet to meet a bike traveller carrying any excess weight.....
The electric monk always has faith.
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Old 30 Jul 2009
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I ended up putting on nearly 2 stone while in South America for 6 months.

Most of that is the fault of Argentinian asados and swilling Qulimes () with the super hospitible Argentinians..

Like said, you ride all day burning very little calories and you're just too tired to think about exercise when you get to your destination.

Also, when on the road the easy food to eat is usually high calories food such as Cheese, Salami, Chrisps, biscuits etc etc !

On the flip side of that, I lady I met used to wake up at 6am every morning and do a five mile run before riding anywhere.. She was in her 50's too !! I have nothing but respect for her.
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Old 30 Jul 2009
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It's easy!!!

Read Anne Mustoe and do a bicycle ride. I did Canada to Mexico a few years back. (Aged 53, took 4 months).

You see even more (and spend a lot less) than on a motorbike.
And the fitness? .......... We'll, it just arrives without you having to think about exercises or anything!

A funny thing though - I developed a real taste for ice cream. Later I read in a cycling magazine of a lad who cycled east to west across Canada and kept a log of all his spending (he was a student with no money). He was surprised to find his single biggest spend was on ice cream. That drew in lots of letters to the mag saying how all long-distance pedallers develop a craving for it.

Doesn't affect the fitness though.

And just to backup Peter above, I've practiced Iyengar yoga for about 16 years and am firmly convinced of its benefits. But it's not only about moving body parts by stretching and twisting.
I think you do burn quite a few calories while riding a motorbike, but that's often through having muscles contracted that don't need to be contracted.
Yoga can also teach you how to use ONLY the muscles necessary for any particular activity (eg. riding a bike) and have ALL the others properly relaxed. In my experience - not easy unless you're taught the awareness of this.
Tai Chi is good for that as well.
A teacher I used to have used the term "relaxation of effort" which is pretty descriptive.
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Old 2 Aug 2009
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Funny post but important one. I was born in 1968 so I am worried about keeping fit because now my body could change (in bad meaning) fast. What I can say is I have been travelling across USA, Europe, Africa, Central Asia, Minor Asia and now Turkey and Middle East and I always have found the way to do sports and having fun. I go for running every morning. It was gret to run Grand Canyon, Ilhara Valley, Skeleton Coast or the Golden Gate. It was not only motorcycling. By foor, running, you can see details you loose on a bike.

But I could find gyms everywhere. Maybe not in the wild Africa or Central Asia, but from time to time (perhaps a every week) you reach a city. There are gyms. I got them in Dar es Saalam, Almaty, Tashkent, Lusaka, Winek, San Diego, Istambul, Samarkand, Bukhara... If you really want yo find the place. It is another way to know people and the country. In fact, I write also for a sport magazine about how to get gyms all over the world.

So, you can keep fit, enjoy and ride. I have been 15 months riding the World and I am in the same condition from where I started.
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Old 8 Oct 2009
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Besides doing pushups and sit ups in the hotel room or camp I also use a theraband (may go by other names). It is available in almost any length from medical supply shops and stores that sell items for physio therapy and is basically a flat rubber band approx 8 inches wide and cut from a roll. I buy the one that offers the most resistance but you can buy ones that stretch easier if need be.
I have an 8 foot length that can be looped around one's foot for all sorts of arm stretching exercises and curls. It can also be looped around a stationary object, like a door knob, for sideways resistant type stretches of arms and back. The best thing is it takes no more room than a pair of socks and 20-30 mins is all I need a couple of times a week. I have developed a good routine with my tiny portable gym.
Other than that lots of walking or swimming when possible.
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Old 17 Oct 2009
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Ive been travelling for a while now and found a couple of excercises that will keep you fit using you own body as resistance. Im talking pushups, pullups (good for your core) skipping rope and a couple of others, this site is quite good:

Fitness Training For People Who Want to Get Fit at Home

no nonsense from NewZealand, dont have to buy anything and most of all lots of excersices that dont need weights !! your bike probably heavy enough as it is!!

all it needs is a couple of minutes each day... im hooked now
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Old 22 Dec 2009
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Several ideas....

Run, all you need is a pair of running shoes.
Jump rope, some 550 cord and tent pegs as hangles.
Body weight exercises, Beast Skills - Tutorials for Bodyweight Feats
Pull ups, a pair of adjustable nylon straps with handles can attach to just about anything.

Eating right (as possible) is key. Stay away from carbs. Drink lots of water.

You don't have to get fat and out of shape, though laziness will tell you otherwise.
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Old 22 Dec 2009
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I've been convinced for a long time that riding the bike on a regular basis does contribute to muscle tone and a fitter feeling. All that hanging on against the wind etc is only done by muscle power. I read somewhere years ago that biking used twice as many calories as doing the same distance in a car (probably down to shivering)

When it comes to keeping fit in other ways motivation is the big problem. I'm sure that you have to have a reason to undertake a long term fitness regime or that you have to have others motivating you. Doing it yourself for no particular reason other than "I'm a slob, I've got to do something" is doomed to failure.

My wife and I run and we motivate each other but the only way we can manage more intensive training is to set a goal and work towards it. (Our current one is a half marathon next Easter). We have a local cycle track as part of our various circuits and have seen so many (usually middle aged (like ourselves)) solo men and women beginners do a couple of weeks and give up. Running to a level intense enough to alter your body is hard and you don't lose much weight from it unless you alter your diet at the same time.

Recently the whole thing has backfired on me. I was running 25 - 30 miles a week + a gym / yoga session with an ex olympic athlete preparing for overlanding to Mali /B.F. and went down with 2 stress fractures in my left foot, one after the other. That not only cancelled the trip but has kept me off the bike most of the year. Keeping things in proportion might be the lesson to be learnt.
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