inner engine fitness

building a better body

No-Nonsense Fitness for Travel

on June 6, 2012

All you need is ten to twenty minutes here and there to help keep you in shape while you’re away from home.  Always take a pair of workout clothes and a swimsuit with you when traveling.  You never know when and where you’ll need them!  Swimming is a great way to have fun and get a workout.  Even treading in the pool for ten minutes uses plenty of calories.  So, keep in mind that little bits of exercise add up to your daily calorie expenditure at the end of the day.  If you aim for a short period of time, you blast out a few exercises in no time, giving yourself a natural lift.  The more active you are, the more your muscles will stay toned and the fat won’t have a chance to add up.  Here are my favorite go-to travel exercises:

  1. Step ups or climbing stairs.  It seems that there are always stairs around when you travel.  Use them to your benefit.  This is a great warm-up, but it tones your hamstrings and glutes, too!
  2. Pushups.  The granddaddy of all upper body exercises, these tone your whole body with just your bodyweight.  No need for fancy equipment.  Make them easier by using a countertop or more difficult by putting your feet on a chair or bench.
  3. Lunges with core twist or alternating arm reaches.  These work your core and legs, giving you a toned body overall.  Using upper and lower body at the same time keeps your brain as well as your core working hard.
  4. Army man plank.  Rotating side to side, stopping in side plank position helps to tone your entire middle section and keep your lower and upper body engaged. 
  5. One-legged balance reach or squat.  One-legged exercises work the stabilizer muscles, keeping your muscles and joints healthy.  Tighten your core and reach forward or bend the standing leg as far as you can, making sure you sit back as far as you can.  These will help you keep your balance no matter what terrain you decide to take on.
  6. Plyometric exercises.  Also known as jumping exercises, you can use these to increase your heart rate, BUT ONLY if you don’t have joint issues.  Jumping jacks, jump squats, squat thrusts (burpees), ice skaters or step jumps are all good options for keeping those calories burning.

I like to perform the exercises in a row, with barely a rest in between.  I then repeat this process until I’m out of time, making sure to get the most out of the time I have.  In this way, I can enjoy my vacation with minimal disruptions to hanging out with my family.  Another good option is to generate enthusiasm among your family members to take a brisk walk, go for a bike ride or enjoy a swim together.  You can visit and get a workout, too!  Have fun and be safe :)

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