Read on for how to do just that, even if you’re swamped with business meetings–or just have an extra-long beach “meeting” planned.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely either planning a vacation or prepping for a work trip. While in either case you don’t need to kill yourself trying to maintain your regular workout routine, there are some simple things you can do to ensure you don’t take a step backwards–so you can return from your trip and pick up right where you left off at the gym.
Make Fitness Part of the Vacation
"Adventure out for a run somewhere in the local neighbourhood or find a local hike," suggests Kerry Greer, an expert with EXOS. If it’s a beach vacation, go for a run in the sand (which, PS, makes the cardio activity more effective). If you’re in a city, look for a running tour–companies. You’ll get your sweat on and it’s a great way to explore a city. Or, check out what group workouts might already exist in the area if you prefer a class setting, says Greer. For instance, maybe you don’t have Soul Cycle in your city but you’ve always wanted to try it–if you’re in New York City, take advantage and sign up for a class before you pick up that cronut.
Squeeze in Exercise Separately
Ok, so you want to keep a thick line between “exercise” and “vacation.” That’s fair. There are plenty of things you can do to get your heart rate up before you sit by the pool or go shopping or [insert whatever your idea of vacation is here]. First things first, make a plan. “Schedule your workout around meetings or events at the beginning of your trip–If you have a plan it is much easier to follow than trying to fit it in where you can,” says Greer. You should also check out the hotel gym online before you go (or call if you need to). Many hotel chains like The W and EVEN are catering to wellness-minded visitors and seriously amping up their wellness offerings from better gyms to healthier room service–and more.
Get in a Warm Up
No time for that? No problem. “When you only have a few minutes, do some dynamic stretching exercises (like lunges, squats, and glute bridges–check out more options here) that can be done anytime, anywhere,” says Greer. “This will keep your body in working order while you are out of the norm traveling.” You can also use a tennis ball (so easy to pack) to relieve any tightness you have from travelling–pinpoint any sore spots (like in your shoulders or the arch of your foot) and put the tennis ball there and apply some pressure, says Greer.
Work Out in Your Room
You can incorporate body weight moves with some creative “equipment” ones using stuff in your room (think: the bed or tub) or if you want to be outside, head to the closest park. For example, you can cycle through the following five moves one after the next with little to no rest in between. Do 8-12 reps per exercise. Rest for two minutes when you’re done and repeat up to three times total. (If there are stairs in your hotel, feel free to run up and down them a few times as a warm up to get your heart rate revved up).
Walking Lunges – with overhead reach
How to: Stand tall with your arms extended overhead. Step forward, bending at the knees to lower yourself into a lunge. Pause when your back knee is just above the floor, then push off your front leg and step through with your back leg, lifting your knee high and stepping into the next lunge. Continue alternating to complete the set.
Coaching tip: Keep your chest up and shoulders relaxed throughout the movement.
Feel it: Working the glute of your front leg and stretching the hip flexor of your back leg.
How to: Start in a push-up position with your hands on a bench, bed or couch and your feet on the floor. Lower your body until your chest is almost touching. Push yourself back up to the starting position. Continue for the full set.
Coaching tip: Keep your body in a straight line and push your chest as far away from your hands as possible at the top of the movement.
Feel it: Working your chest, arms, and torso.
How to: Start with your arms behind you on either side of a stable chair base and your feet extended out in front of you. Bend your elbows, lowering your hips to the ground, while keeping your chest up.
Coaching tip: Keep your chest up and torso tall throughout the movement.
Feel it: Working your triceps and shoulders
Split Squat – Back Foot Elevated
How to: Standing in the split stand with your back foot elevated. Lower your hips toward the floor by bending your front knee without letting the back knee touch the ground. Return to the starting position by pushing up with the front leg. Complete the set on one side before repeating with the opposite leg.
Coaching tip: Maintain the majority of your weight on your front foot with very little on your back foot.
Feel it: Working your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
Plank – with hip rotational hip flexion alternating
How to: Start in a modified push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart on a bench, bed or bathtub and your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your torso stable, slowly draw one knee toward your chest coming slightly across your body without rotating your torso. Return your leg to the starting position. Repeat the movement with the opposite leg. Continue alternating to complete the set.
Coaching tip: Perform the movement slowly, keeping your abdominals tight. The rotation should all come from your hip keeping in mind the rotation might be very small.
Feel it: Working your shoulders, abdominals, and torso.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Travelling can make you more dehydrated than normal so be sure to guzzle H2O–especially before, during, and after your work out, says Greer. It’s also smart to pack healthy snacks (like trail mix or healthy bars like KIND bars) to keep your nutrition on point while you’re out of your normal routine.
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