Exercise for Dummies

Namaste! Tree pose with cactus arms.
Namaste! Tree pose with cactus arms.

“What are you doing?” He didn’t need to preface his sentence with “Now . .” It was implied by his tone.

“I’m shoving a magazine down my pants. What does it look like I’m doing?”

“No need to be sarcastic.”

“I’m using the magazine as padding to protect my spine from the hula hoop.” My new waist whittler had killer knobbly bits on the inside. To demonstrate, I gave the hoop a little spin.

“See? No pain. Whoops!” The fruit bowl took a hit and needed to be pushed back a bit. With the table cleared, myself carefully positioned between bed, window and wall, and Jimmy well out of the way, I could get my hooping exercise indoors instead of looking a fool outdoors.

I tried again. “If I put the magazine in my pants, keep my feet firmly planted, put my hips into it, concentrate and don’t let the hoop slow down, there’ll be no damage to me or the trailer.”

“That has to be one of the most stupid things you’ve ever done.”

“Thanks!” Who, after all, wants to be predictable?

“You’ve already injured yourself once.”

That was my leg. I can’t hurt my leg. The table’s in the way.”

“I still think it’s stupid if you’re risking hurting your back.” He’s trying to insult me or frighten me into stopping. It isn’t working.

Exercise is an issue in our confined quarters. We walk when we can, I swim when there’s a pool on the campsite and we both do sit ups about every six months. Even with constant tweaks to our diet to reduce calories and improve nutrition, our waistlines are expanding.

I worry about the blood pressure and obesity implications of eating a big meal then taking one step to the couch to have dessert and vegetate in front of the telly for the rest of the evening.

With Jimmy away for two weeks I had contemplated our lifestyle and found it lacking. In the midst of doing what I wanted, when I wanted to (instead of falling into step with the tour director/camp commandant) I exercised frequently and cleaned up my diet between bouts of reading trashy magazines and watching trashy TV.

“Guess what I had for lunch today?” I had asked Jimmy during one of our international phone calls.

“Please don’t tell me.”

“Sautéed spinach with Parmesan cheese slivers on top.”

“Oh God help me.”

“It was yummy.”

“The thought of it makes me feel sick.”

“Tonight I’m having jumbo shrimp braised with garlic, onion, ginger, Jalapeños courgettes and spinach.”

“I won’t come home.”

“Tomorrow I’m having a crab cake.” Jimmy doesn’t like seafood, shellfish in particular, so I gave him all the details because there’s an unruly streak in me.

Back to the exercise matter, it is only four steps from our dining “room,” or living “room” or “bedroom” to our toilet. We joke about going upstairs to bed. It’s one step up. My pedometer registered just 151 steps from late afternoon to bedtime.

Where’s that hula hoop? And my magazine padding?

How do you include exercise in your daily routine?

Can you imagine me hula-hooping in this same space? It wasn't a great success.
Can you imagine me hula-hooping in this same space? It wasn’t a great success.

52 thoughts on “Exercise for Dummies

  1. You look great! As for me, I love to eat and drink, our eating is pretty healthy, although not quite like your spinach dish. I walk a lot, and, as we travel we kayak, hike and sometimes bike. But we tend to do those at a fairly leisurely pace. So, I’m still “pleasantly plump” and will definitely need to work harder, not getting any younger. I do have some free weights that I haven’t touched since we left on our trip. Hector is giving them the evil eye though, so I’d best use them soon.


  2. wandering around the i-net…somehow from Villa la Mucchia to here and thanks for the best chuckle I’ve had all day…”…there’s an unruly streak in me.” ah…me too and wouldn’t change it for the earth. if you’re in southwest VA, you can rest at Thistle Cove Farm.


  3. Only you would attempt to hula-hoop in such a small space. If I attempted it I would take out any number of items in the RV. I too worry about exercising while on the road. Even though we hike, bike and kayak, strength training has suffered and yoga poses aren’t easily done in the RV either, without moving chairs, so I don’t do yoga as often as I would like. Terry gave away my free weights because he didn’t want to carry the extra weight around and now I use bands, which I don’t like near as well. I loved it when we volunteered near Encinitas, CA, as they have a fabulous YMCA just a mile away from the campground we worked at. When are you heading across the pond?


    1. We fly on Friday. We’ve had a hellish few days packing up. I’m now sitting up in bed in a hotel room and feel like a queen bee!
      Sounds like you get plenty of exercise, as does everyone on the road who has responded to this post. We’re all working on it. As opposed to sitting on it! Hahaha.


      1. We try but gravity seems to be winning. 😦 I know what you mean about the luxury of a bed in a hotel room. We recently took a whirlwind trip to NYC and stayed in a hotel. I felt like a queen for a few days. Safe travels to the both of you. Look forward to hearing more about where your next home may be. We haven’t been to Europe but it’s on the list. You may just have this gal for a visitor yet! Don’t be afraid. 😉


  4. 1) You look gorgeous. 2) You are absolutely hilarious. I read your post twice because it was so funny. Just completing our first year on the road, I’m giving serious thought as to how to get more exercise — although we hike, bike, or kayak every day, I miss my yoga classes and strength training, and things are going downhill, if you know what I mean. I just bought a kettle ball; however, I’m a bit worried that I could easily take out a window or put a big hole in the side of the trailer while swinging it around. 😦


    1. A kettle ball?! Whoa! I think you’ll need to entertain the neighbors with it as you exercise outside. That sounds even more destructive than my hula hoop. Made me lol as you threatened to take out a window with it! Thank you for your kind compliments. We are now on our journey to the UK and will be carrying 3 suitcases each for our exercise. I’m praying customs won’t want to interfere with us.
      Happy travels to you.I’ll be following along. X


  5. Yes, these large, knobbly weighted hula hoops can be a bit vicious, and I’ve had more than my fair share of bruises from mine. I have one in Florida waiting for me when I get back, and just sold my two here to some unsuspecting lady in Cape Town. I wonder how she’s managing with them. I use one of those neoprene waist belts with mine. It does help a bit. They do need a goodly bit of space too, so I can’t imagine doing it in a trailer. 🙂


  6. You are such a rebel aren’t you? Poor husband of yours…first you hula hoop him into a state of nervous twittering after he just saved the RV from the California roads and then you scare him with dire threats of no comfort food. It is a miracle he hasn’t had run screaming through the RV park yet. 🙂 Just kidding. Very humourous post as usual…though one does wonder why you are so much obsessed with posing oddly near large tree structures….


    1. I’m the one who should run screaming, being dragged all over the country! lol And that nasty-sounding healthy food has kept himself fit and well. He should kiss the ground I walk on. Hahahahahahaha. That’ll be the day
      As for the trees, I’ve got loads of ‘large tree’ pictures and without a human nearby there is no sense of how mind-boggling huge they are. And himself doesn’t like having his picture taken. So there you have it! 🙂 Rebel?


      1. Okay, you win……he should kiss the ground you walk on. You do take good care of him. But still think you are a rebel…most people don’t hula hoop in small living spaces against better advice 🙂


  7. We live in an apartment now, one with an elevator. So, I take the stairs when I can. My knee protests a lot, but I do it anyway. When I have avoided the stairs like the plague I will go to the gym next door and walk on the treadmill, I LOATH the treadmill. Long story short, I walk. I am a fluffy girl, and I do not want to get fluffier. Bad enough I gained weight over the horribly long winter.


  8. I finally learned how to hula hoop last year and I LOVE my hoop. Yes – it is a weighted one and it was brutal at first, but now it’s not an issue. I really like to hoop when my back feels stiff. For some reason, it helps shake it out 🙂

    I agree with everyone else’s comments that you look terrific. Whatever you are doing, it works 🙂


    1. Thank you Joanne. You are very kind. I’m glad the hooping is working out for you. I think the weighted lumpy ones are the devil’s work. Maybe it was just mine. Someone else is cursed with it now. 😉


  9. Carol the conversation with your husband was hilarious. Oh my heavens you make me laugh. Exercise for me…well between the running, cycling, hiking I do need to look more like your cactus and do some yoga. 🙂


      1. Yes I actually do yoga as part of my stretching routine but probably should be doing more. If I didn’t I think this old girl would just shrivel into some fetal position and be in a wheelchair sooner rather than later. 🙂


  10. Hula Hooping in a Trailer – OMG!!! Love the tree pose capture 🙂 Just get outside in the great outdoors for you to exercise. I hit the gym twice a week and then get outside as much as possible to walk, hike, bike, and swim. Happy Week!


    1. Too hot at the moment to walk, hike or bike. And we don’t have bikes here which kind of cramps our style. We’ve got bikes in store in England. I imagine the tyres (get that spelling!) have perished. I hope they haven’t rusted to bits. That said we’d probably get mown down on our first outing, the roads are so crowded. And I am NOT hula hooping! lol I’ve actually already got Pilates and yoga classes lined up. I’ll need them after all this stress of moving. Taking a coffee break right now from packing. Cup is nearly empty. Heck.


  11. Looking at that top photo I can hardly see that you need to do all this exercise… and as for the food that you are describing, I’m with Jimmy on that… get some normal food into you….
    your post did give me a good laugh though…


  12. I feel your pain! Exercising on the patio in front of the whole RV park isn’t my idea of good fun. Not much longer now will you have to suffer small spaces though. 😦 I keep thinking I’ll turn those yards and yards of mosquito netting I bought on the East Coast into privacy curtains, so far, they’re tucked safely in the back of the RV (had to move them this morning in fact). Maybe now that I’ve voiced it, it will prompt me to get busy. We’ll see. Meanwhile, there’s always the bike or hike exercise routine . . .


    1. That sounds interesting! Get cracking and post some pictures when you’re done!
      BTW there may be a European trailer in our future. We’ve shipped the truck to tow it. The steering wheel will magically be on the correct side on the Continent.


  13. I bought one of those weighted “fitness” hula hoops a couple of months ago, based on the advice of a couple of blog readers. HOLY CRAP THAT THING LEFT BRUISES!! I haven’t touched it since that first week, when I tried to suck it up and be a trooper. Until I saw the blue and green marks all over my obliques.

    I think it’s awesome that you are so conscious of how to build more activity into your daily life (along with the great food choices). Hopefully you and Jimmy can come to a happy medium on the food thing. 😉


    1. I just typed a long response to you and my bloody touch pad destroyed it! It wasn’t me! Here goes again. Take a tip from me and GET RID OF THAT HULA HOOP! lol Jimmy eats up his all veggies now after going on a bean diet, losing 30 pounds and sending his blood pressure tumbling lower than mine! Puts me to shame. He can be just a little bit sanctimonious when turning down a treat. Huh.


  14. oh my heavens… this was a crack-up! thank you for the grin and may I say also, thank you for the magazine/hoola-hoop tip as this is something I never would have thought of on my own. tee hee hee, carry on you renegade rover!


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