"Sometimes, we get so used to our normal workout routines, that we cannot imagine going a day without our dumbbells, treadmills, or stairclimber. But this summer, whether you are heading overseas for a historic sightseeing adventure or heading to a warm, sunny beach somewhere, you will need to be more flexible than a gymnast if you want to maintain your fitness. So here they are...exercises you can do anytime, anywhere...
At The Beach
The beach is probably nature's best gym. The sand provides the unstable surface with some resistance, which means doing any exercise will strengthen the small muscles in your ankles and feet and work your core.
On the Sand
Jump: Stand and leap to the side with you right leg, landing on the ball of your right foot. Absorb your landing, sinking into a one-legged squat. Then, leap to the left and land on your left foot. Repeat for 10 jumps. Lateral bounds strengthen thighs and glutes as well as stabilize hips, knees, and ankles.
Slide: Stand with your feet together. Keeping your heels together and feet flat in the sand, slide your toes out to the side. Return to start and repeat for 10 reps to tone your hips, glutes, and thighs.
On a Boogie Board
Pose: Stand on the center of a boogie board in the wet sand where the waves roll up. Bring your left leg toward your chest. Hold it for 15 seconds, then switch legs and repeat. Complete three sets, trying to balance longer each time.
Paddle and kick: Lie on the board and paddle and kick out using this: 10 frog kicks to work your quads, 10 traditional kicks with elongated and slow motions to work your hamstrings, and then 10 short, traditional traditional kicks as fast as you can to increase your heart rate.
Curl: Fill two buckets with sand and use them as weights for arm curls and front and lateral shoulder raises. To make it harder? Stand on a boogie board and do the moves with water in the buckets.
With a Towel
Isometric shoulder pull: Hold a towel in front of you, pull it as taut as you can, and hold for 15 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, and then pull for 15 more. Do six sets.
Ab rock: Lie on your back, bend your knees toward your chest, and curl your torso up. Slowly rock back so your shoulders touch the ground, then forward so your butt, then toes, touch the ground. Reverse it so that your toes touch the ground first, then your butt, then your shoulders.
In the Country
If you find yourself in Vermont, Ireland, or even on a large plot of land this summer, you can do a lot more than hike or run from those pesky mosquitoes. A park provides everything you need for that total-body workout.
On a Grassy Hill
Decline situps: The slope provides resistance during crunches. Sit with your legs uphill, knees bent, and fingers lightly supporting your head. Do 25 crunches.
Decline and incline pushups: In pushup position, put your feet uphill and your arms downhill. With each set, switch positions so you alternate the location of your arms and feet. Complete three sets of as many reps as you can.
On a Park Bench
Balance squats: Face away from the bench and place the top of your right foot in the seat. Hop forward a bit so that when you lower yourself toward the ground you'll be in a lunge. Do three sets of 10 on each leg.
On a Trail
Hiking lunges: On a flat or uphill trail, take two long steps; on the third, sink into a lunge so that your knee is forward and your back knee nearly touches the ground. It'll increase the quad, hamstring, and glute burn you feel- especially on ascents. Do 16 lunges, walk for five minutes, and then repeat the lunge-walk sequence twice.
In the City
On the Hotel Stairs
Varied stair run: Instead of just running up and down, pick one flight of stairs and do quick intervals. But every time up, go a different way: Do every step fast, two steps at a time, slow, backward, hopping with your left foot, jumping with both feet, sideways, etc. You'll get your heart rate up, working on toning the whole leg, and will be surprising those muscles with the variety!
On the Sidewalk
The stealth squeeze: When you're hoofing it, take strides a few inches longer than usual. With each step, squeeze your butt. This will give your hamstrings and glutes a little extra workout.
On the Hotel Bed
The dead bug: Lie on your back with your hands and legs straight up in the air, pointing toward the ceiling. As you slowly lower your right arm behind you, lower your left leg-end with both about six inches off the bed and then slowly raise them to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
When booking your travel plans, consider the fitness facilities as much as the continental breakfasts! You should find out which places will give you the space, equipment, and athletic accommodations that you want.
On Finding a Good Hotel Gym
Why ask the front desk about what kind of equipment is in their gym when they rarely know what a treadmill may be? Instead, ask for the hotel engineer. They are the ones who service the equipment so they will know the equipment available.
On Finding a Good Hotel Pool
Ask the engineer for the length of the pool. Thinking of swimming laps? The pool should be at least 20 yards and for the best fitness results, its temperature should be warm (about 78 degrees).
On Finding a Good Running Path
Visit the Run the Planet website. This amazing tool lists and describes running paths all over the world as well as international race calenders. You can find out the length of the path, difficulty of the terrain, and often the scenery around your journey.
Calorie Burn-Off Count
Here is what you will burn every hour...
Swimming in the ocean: 540 calories
Waterskiing: 480 calories
Playing beach volleyball: 480 calories
Playing frisbee with your dog: 240 calories
Building a sand castle: 120 calories
Reading a book: 60 calories
Applying sunscreen: 30 calories"
What are some ways you stay in shape while on vacation??
So now, there is no excuse for not being able to get your workout in while trying to enjoy yourself! You may think you can't live without your gym membership, but in reality the world if your own gym. So join in and enjoy nature while toning up that bod and of course...make sure it is on your OWN two feet...
Until the next step bloggers...