Costa Rica travel

Fitness Challenges

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 and Sol y Arena Bancrédito 10km beach race were both fantastic.

Swimming "laps" in the sea.
Swimming “laps” in the sea.

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.

Circuit training setup.
Circuit training setup.

As well, I tried taking advantage of the Costa Rican love of gates for a chin up bar. It works fairly well.

Makeshift pull up station.
Makeshift pull up station.

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.

If anyone has suggestions or ideas for working out while on the road I would love to hear them. Take care.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

7 comments on “Fitness Challenges

  1. Debbie & Jordy

    All good but how much does a beer weigh? 😉

  2. Janet C.

    The beginning of this post was sounding rather mournful, at which point Richard and I were getting ready to come down there and slap the tan right off of you! Glad you are eeking by ;). Miss you guys but it sounds like you’re just fine! Enjoy! Janet and Rich.

  3. I feel totally lazy now with my fancy gym membership and little motivation. I totally admire your dedication to staying fit. Well written again. Dad would be proud!

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