One of the challenges we faced once we retired was maintaining a reasonable level of fitness. For people who exercise regularly I don’t think they realize just how important the routine of “work” is. It provides that framework by which we schedule our workouts and maintain our fitness goals. Of course, some will say that once you retire there should be no holding you back. You now have all the time in the world to exercise and achieve those lofty fitness goals. To that I say, have you met my good friend, procrastination? Couple that with moving away from our home and hitting the road, so to speak, has removed all the normal stimuli to get out and exercise. Don’t worry, this is not a post lamenting how tough it is for us, it is simply an explanation of how we work, continually, to deal with these challenges. After all, travelling the world and seeing all the amazing things available to us is much more enjoyable if we are fit enough to take part in the opportunities presented to us.
Fortunately for me my exercise of choice is running, which requires little in the way of gear and facilities. The motivation I am using to get out the door and run is to sign up for local races in areas in which we are living. I have mentioned in previous blogs the idea of broadening your travel experience by running in races in different locales, and I reiterate it here. The experiences at Irazu Volcano 21km race http://www.costaricarace.com/wordpress/nocturna/ and Sol y Arena Bancrédito 10km beach race http://www.abuenpaso.cr/index.php/sol-y-arena-4/#.U390eV6E5uY were both fantastic.
As with any program, balance is the key and for me, I find the challenge of strength training to be a problem at times. Yes there have been gyms within a reasonable distance of all the places we have stayed so far but I am not a big fan of them. I understand the advantages of working out in a gym, the problem is that I am cheap. So in Belize it was a matter of filling empty Coke bottles with sand to use as dumbbells. Here in Puntarenas I found some cinder blocks to use as dumbbells and a broom handle for exercises. With that I can do quite a variety of body weight and light weight exercises.
As well, I tried taking advantage of the Costa Rican love of gates for a chin up bar. It works fairly well.
Like a lot of guys I like gadgets, and the one that has provided me with endless motivation has been my Suunto Ambit2 GPS watch. I love that I can record all sorts of data and download it allowing me to keep track of how much, or how little I have been up to. I use it for recording everything from runs, walks, biking and even bus trips. A great way to record our travels. http://www.movescount.com/members/Pyropete
If anyone has suggestions or ideas for working out while on the road I would love to hear them. Take care.