March 25, 2008

Exercising on the road: A typical Crabby day

[By Merry]

Well, Crabby wasn't sure how she was going to manage staying fit while on the road, so out of pure helpfulness I've drawn up a little schedule. I visualized how a typical day on the road would go for the Crab and the Lobster, while they try to balance road trip with fitness stuff.

6:00 a.m. Get up out of bed, start the coffee brewing. While waiting for a cup, go outside and jog around the Wal-Mart parking lot several times. (Note: might want to get a faster coffee maker. Just saying.)

10:00 a.m. Stop at a roadside rest stop to stretch your legs. While you’re at it, throw in some squats and do some jumping jacks as well.

10:05 a.m. Explain to the nice policeman that you’re from California, and people do things like that there. Really, nothing to worry about, officer, we’ve only been drinking coffee.

12:00 noon. Have a picnic lunch by some scenic spot, by a river or in a park or something like that. Eat healthy food that you’ve picked up at the last health food store you stopped at. Try not to remember how long ago that was. Expiration dates are only suggestions, aren't they?

2:00 p.m. Try cat-lifting in the back of the van, while the Lobster pretends she doesn’t see what you’re doing. Stop after a few minutes, since a) there’s not enough room and b)there's a limit to the number of band-aids in the first-aid kit.

4:00 p.m. Stretch your legs. Just stretching, that’s safe.

6:00 p.m. Stop at a local fast food restaurant and inquire if they have bean sprouts and tofu on the menu. Explain that you’re from California.

10:00 p.m. Find a handy Wal-Mart to park in for the night. Jog around the parking lot. Explain to the nice security guard that you’re not running away, you’re running around. Decide to stick to running in the morning, when the security people are less awake vigilant.

Okay, so it's just barely possible that Crabby might want to seek a second opinion on how to combine traveling with exercise. Anyone have any better suggestions? I know they're camping in the van, so hotel gyms are out. And I don't think they arranged their schedule to include guest passes at gyms on the route, but there have to be other options for exercising on the road. Crabby said she would check in if she had a chance, so I'm sure she'd be glad for any ideas you have.

p.s. Yes, I know this is a silly post. But last night I posted a guest post, written by Karly, that's serious and discusses important issues. (I didn't want you to think that I was letting the blog get too frivolous in Crabby's absence.)


  1. My favorite exercise - pushups! And those can be done in the privacy of the van, woohoo! To add some more resistance, make the cat sit on your back :)

    Kitty racing - my cat loves to streak around the apartment from bed to chair to the top of the freezer and back. Get in on the fun! Just be sure to pad any sharp corners...

    Camper jet-skiing - unroll a carpet or somesuch thing, attach a rope to the back window, and ski along the highway behind the van. This'll work the shoulders as well as the abs and legs for stabilization. And then you get the fun of walking a sobriety test line for the lovely midwest police officer. Ok, not my best suggestion...

    Passenger-side ab crunches - sitting up, flex through your abs (focusing on the ab crunch, not actually bringing your shoulders to your knees).

  2. Also, any exercise that strengthens your grip (you can buy the resistance thingy's at Wal-Mart) can have a huge pay off. Its been shown that if you increase your grip than you can increase the amount of weight your lifting as you spend more time on form and less on trying to stablize the weight.

  3. Jump rope. Resistance tubing for strength training. Take a bike along and go for a short ride? Hm. Options are somewhat limited if one doesn't have a gym membership at a national chain. Day passes are pretty expensive.

  4. Isometrics don't take a lot of room. Get out and push Fran? Sweep the Wal-Mart parking lot? Use shopping carts as hurdles?

    Get a great big high heeled shoe and put it on the top of the van, sit in it wearing a silver...oh, sorry that was an Australian movie.

  5. I think running around a WalMart parking lot is technically a 1/2 marathon.

  6. Now this is funny, I picked a good day to find time to blog surf. I can just see the cat lifts. Good one.

  7. could always drive slowly and jog along behind the van for a while.
    *ducks and runs*

  8. Creative suggestions! Camper jet-skiing sounds waaaay more fun than it probably should. Experience Life magazine did an article on fitness travel in the March issue called "Have Body, Will Travel," and although it's flight-and-hotel oriented rather than camper-in-parking-lot oriented, at least part of it is still useful, methinks. Especially the "Fitness in a Suitcase" sidebar at the end (although I suspect Crabby will not have use for webbed aqua gloves on her expedition). See the article at

  9. camper jet-skiing!! I think I just cracked a rib laughing. Oh how I love this post Merry (and all you witty commenters).

    As for exercising on the road - you could always pull a Britney: try heaving some umbrellas, running away from (and to and away from and to) the paprazzi - in your case regular ol' tourists will have to suffice, and practice getting in and out of your van while flashing the maximum number of Wal-Mart shoppers possible:)

  10. The Bag Lady remembers a cross-country family trip many years ago with some gadget we took along for exercising. It had a hoop that went around one ankle with a rope and ball attached to it. The idea was to swing it around and jump over the rope with the other foot. It was great exercise. All that falling down and getting up again after tripping over the f***ing thing... Methinks it's in the bush somewhere on the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border...

  11. Oh Reb, I love the image of our crab doing a "Queen of the desert" on top of the campervan!

    My thoughts? Forget about exercise for a week. Eat at fast food outlets, don't wash, allow body hair to sprout whether it chooses... What!

    Crabs don't have body hair? Well, aren't you the lucky one!

    Just enjoy the trip, Crabby dear. Snuggle up to the cat, the Lobster too if there isn't too much shell in the way!

    Enjoy being a crab on the move!

  12. For strength - Pushups, tricep dips, plank, squats, lunges. For cardio - Mall walking (some malls actually have group that do this!). Weather permitting, do simple step up and down on the concrete parking dividers/curbs/step of the camper for 5 min at a time. Jump rope in the parking lot. Jumping jacks (in the camper if you have to, hands on hips) - flicks are tough too (like jumping jacks but instead of bringing your legs together you cross one in front of the other, swinging arms similarly) as are mountain climbers (like plank with knee pull, but faster and alternating) and whatever you call it when you squat, then get into pushup position, do a pushup, pull your legs back in to your arms, stand/jump up, repeat. Good luck!!

  13. Wow, these are all great ideas! (Camper jet-skiing! Pushing the van! Pushups with Kitty on top!)

    With all these fabulous ideas, Ms. Crab will surely be able to keep in shape :)

  14. Stroll into Wal-Mart into the kiddie section and buy a hula hoop! Hula away whenever you stop to stretch your legs.

    Explain that you're from California whenever anyone gives you funny looks. :+)

  15. Not so silly :)
    Could always be sillier.

  16. The answer is right in front of you: Wal Mart. They have everything. Simply ask at the service counter and the worker will kindly direct you to whatever you need. All hail Wal Mart.

  17. I agree with Theresa.

    Hula Hoops are a great way to easily get a workout in!

    Just remember to get the weighted kind, I don't know if they sell them at Wal-Mart though...

    I think you can get them online, or some fitness stores sell them.


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