Exercising Tips While Traveling

Summer is here! The kids are out of school, there are camping trips to be had and traveling to be done. So how do we maintain all the hard work we have put into our bodies and exercise routines while we are on the road? Sounds a bit challenging, yes, but not impossible. All you need to do is take the time to plan ahead, prepare and keep your eye on your goal of staying on track.

Where are you going and what do you have to work with?
The best way to stay on track is to do your research before you leave and make preparations from home. When staying at a hotel, call ahead of time and find out exactly what they have in the workout facility. You maybe in luck and find everything you need from cardiovascular equipment to weight machines and free weights. If there isn’t a workout facility and/or not enough exercise equipment to work with, check the hotel front desk for a health club nearby.

Now, if you are heading out into the great outdoors or somewhere that doesn’t offer exercise equipment, getting creative and making a plan is going to be key. Be realistic in your expectation that your workouts will be different and most likely not your typical club workout. But hey, different can be fun and your body will most likely embrace the change. When traveling, the goal is to stay on track with your workouts.

What to Do?
Energy, better sleep and an overall feeling of wellness are just a few of the benefits you feel by staying on track with your workouts. It only takes a little bit of physical activity to feel these benefits and so many more. Shoot for 20 or 30 minutes of just cardio or do follow sample strength workout below with burst of jumping jacks and jump rope to get your heart pumping.

Cardiovascular
When staying at a hotel with no cardiovascular equipment you do have options. If the weather is nice, go outside for a walk/jog/run or find a trail nearby to walk or hike. If the weather brings rain or it is too cold to go outside, try to walk/run stairs at the hotel. Other options include: Jumping Jacks, Jump Roping (bring one along if you have one) or try High Knees. You can also add these cardio bursts to the sample workout plan below.

Strength
With strength training keep it simple. If you have access to free weights or machines you can make a workout plan ahead of time. If you are without anything, your bodyweight will be just as beneficial and effective as your regular workout.

Body Weight Workout Sample:

Cardio Burst
Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope (with or with out a jump rope), High Knees

Dynamic Squat (50 sec or 20 reps)

  1. Stand with feet just wider than hip width apart, toes at a natural angle forward or slightly out.
  2. Bend the knees and squat, pushing your rear out as though you’re about to sit in a chair. Your knees should stay behind the toes.
  3. As you are squatting, keep the knees going in the same direction as the toes and avoid arching or rounding the back.
  4. Squat as low as you can, touch your hands to the floor and then explode up reaching your hands up to the sky. Repeat.

Push Ups (To Fatigue)

  1. Lie chest-down with your hands at shoulder level, palms flat on the floor and slightly more than shoulder-width apart, with your feet together and parallel to each other.
  2. Look forward rather than down at the floor. The first contact you make with the floor with any part of the face should be your chin, not your nose.
  3. Straighten your arms as you push your body up off the floor. Keep your palms fixed at the same position and keep your body straight. Try not to bend or arch your upper or lower back as you push up. Hold for a second.
  4. Lower your body slowly towards the floor. Bend your arms and keep your palms in fixed position. Keep your body straight and feet together throughout this movement. Once you hit a 90 degree bend in your elbow, exhale and push yourself back up.

Cardio Burst
Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope (with or with out a jump rope), High Knees

Reverse Lunge with Straight Leg Kick (50 sec each leg or 20 reps)

  1. First, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and keep your trunk upright. Your arms should hang down to your sides or find a place on your hips.
  2. Take a large step backwards with your right foot, to make a right angle.
  3. Lower your hips until your left thigh, is parallel to the ground and hold for one count. Your left knee should be directly above your ankle. Your left foot should be pointed straight ahead and your right heel should be lifted.
  4. Pushing through your left leg, power through your glutes and hamstrings to make a straight leg kick to the front. Once you get the hang of it, extend your opposite arm to touch your toe as you kick through.
  5. Bring your leg back to the reverse lunge position again and repeat.

Tricep Dips (To Fatigue)

  1. Use a bench or chair that is sturdy enough to hold your body weight.
  2. Place your hands on the bench with palms down and your knuckles facing forward. Your hands should be right next to your hips on the bench or chair.
  3. Lower your body by bending at the elbow. Inhale slowly as you lower yourself for a count of two. Elbows should not point out away from your body as you lower, keep them in close.
  4. Exhale as you straighten your arms pushing your body back up. Repeat.
  5. Tip: Keep your body close to the bench and your weight primarily on your heels.

Cardio Burst
Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope (with or with out a jump rope), High Knees

Back Extension – Opposite Arm and Leg Lift (each side 10x’s) then both arms and legs together “Swimmers” (10x’s)

  1. Lie on your stomach on the floor or hard surface. Extend your arms overhead with the palms facing the floor.
  2. Keep your chin and head neutral with your spine.
  3. Engage your core muscles by pressing your hip bones down into the floor and squeezing your buttocks. Tightening these muscles will help stabilize your back.
  4. Exhale and lift your right arm and your left leg off the floor, pause a moment. Keep the arms and knee as straight as you can. Inhale and lower down.
  5. Lift the left arm and right leg up, pause and then lower down.
  6. Repeat for desired reps.

Back Extension – Swimmers

  1. Same instruction as above except you will lift both arms and legs at the same time and make a swimming motion. Both arms will move up and down and both legs will move up and down for 5 seconds, and then lower both arms and legs down to the mat.

Bicycle (50 sec or 20 reps)

  1. Lie on an exercise mat with your back flat against the mat and your hands placed behind your head and your fingertips just barely touching each other
  2. Bring your shoulder blades off the mat into a basic crunch. The shoulder blades need to be kept off the mat the whole time you are completing this exercise.
  3. Keep your neck in line with your spine, resisting the urge to bend and strain the neck. It may help to imagine that you are holding an orange underneath your chin as you complete this exercise.
  4. Lift your legs off the mat and place one leg in a 90-degree angle and the other leg in a 45-degree angle.
  5. Move your legs in a bicycle motion, like you are pedaling, bringing your left one up to a 90-degree angle as the right one moves back into a 45-degree angle.
  6. Meet your right knee with your left elbow as it comes closer to your upper body. As your left knee comes close to you, meet it with your right elbow.
  7. Repeat the bicycling motion.

Cardio Burst
Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope (with or with out a jump rope), High Knees

Plan your daily activities.
So now that you have your workout plan, the next important step is to plan your daily schedule so you can figure out the best time to get your exercise in. The most successful people, traveling or not, take a peek at the beginning of each week and figure out when exercise is going to happen for them. Let’s be realistic here, if your workout is not done in the morning it will most likely not happen while traveling. Keep in mind that life happens and last minute things come up but planning will keep you accountable and you are more likely to stay on track.

You are Ready
Now that you have a plan, all you have left to do is pack your workout gear. This will be the last piece to keeping you successful and on track. Make sure you pack workout clothes, shoes, water bottle, mat, and resistance bands if you have them, jump rope, anything that you regularly use to keep you on goal and “excuse free”.Follow these tips and you will find yourself on track and will avoid sacrificing your workouts while exploring new and summer vacation favorites.

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