Exercise on the Road
Traveling? Don't leave your workouts at home. Even though you're on the road you should still make an effort to do something healthy. It'll pay off when you return home, feeling and looking good.
If you're visiting family, volunteer to help with chores like mowing the lawn in the summer or shoveling the driveway in winter. Relatives will appreciate the help and you'll get some exercise.
Be flexible. If you're used to riding a bike, consider swimming in the hotel pool. If you're in a safe neighborhood, get out and walk. Use the trip as an excuse to try new things.
Look for hotels with, or near a gym and find out the gym's hours. You don't want to get in after it closes or leave before it opens.
Really pressed for time? Bring the gym with you. Exercise tubing (also called resistance bands) are like giant rubber bands with handles. Together with a chair, exercise tubing can help you perform almost any strength workout found in the average gym. Plus they're inexpensive, light and easy to pack.
No gym, no exercise tubing and you don't want to leave the hotel? Workout in your room. Here's a routine you can do anywhere.
- Jog or run in place to warm up.
- Stretch and make sure your muscles are ready to work.
- Do three variations of the push-up, 5 to 20 reps for each exercise.
Stand facing a wall, a few feet back. Place your palms flat on the wall in front of your shoulders. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, bend your elbows and bring your upper body toward the wall. Stop before your upper body touches the wall. Push back slowly to the starting position.
Stand facing a desk or counter. Place your palms flat on the desk approximately shoulder width apart. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, bend your elbows and bring your upper body down to the desk. Stop before your upper body touches the desk. Push slowly back to the starting position.
Get down on the floor for traditional push-ups. Place your palms flat on the floor approximately shoulder width apart. Move your legs out behind you supporting your weight on your hands and knees (easier) or toes (harder). With a straight back and tight stomach, bend your elbows and bring your upper body down to the floor, stopping before you touch. Push slowly back to the starting position as you exhale.
Dips. Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your knees bent and hold the edge of the seat with your hands. Move your hips off the chair and bend your elbows as you lower your hips to the floor. Don't sink into your shoulders, keep them straight and tight. Stop when you reach a 90-degree angle with your arms and slowly return to the starting position. Do as many as you can, up to 20 reps.
Sit-ups. Lie flat on the floor, on your back with your knees bent. Place the tips of your fingers behind your ears. Tighten your abdominal muscles, raise your head and shoulders off the floor, and then slowly lower yourself back down again. Do not place your hands behind your head; you shouldn't use your arms to pull you up. Work up to 20 reps.
If you're only gone a few days, and you don't travel much, use the break to let your body recuperate. The effects of a regular workout program take time to fade. Your body won't fall apart if you miss a week.
Don't overcompensate. If you're on the road and missed some workouts, don't exercise so vigorously that you injure yourself. Use common sense and maintain a consistent program.
Take a few minutes to plan ahead and you can return home just as fit as when you left.
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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.