Fitness on the Fly
By Barbara Christman
You’re leaving for a trip, and you can’t take your gym with you. You’re not sure if there will be a local branch near where you are staying. Maybe you’re a member of a locally owned gym or you have a gym in your basement. Regardless, you need a way to exercise. Here’s what to do when you’re on the road.
Use Fitness Apps
Fitness apps, like Fitocracy, help keep you motivated when you don’t really feel like working out. And, when you’re away on a business trip (or even a personal one), it sort of feels like a vacation. In some cases, it is a vacation. Just being away from home can make it difficult to stick to a workout routine. Fitness apps can help keep your mind where it needs to be.
Download Fitness Videos
If you’re away from home, you might need more than a fitness app. You might need a workout video – especially if you’re used to working out with people or with a trainer. Just make sure that it fits your style of working out. Some of the workouts you’ll find are pretty intense. Others are more of a light aerobics class.
Packing jogging sneakers that are minimalist in design might motivate you to go out for a walk or a run. Keep your suitcase light on non-workout closes and heavy on stuff that will keep you moving.
Find Discounted Workout Classes
If you need to go to a gym or a health club, look for discounted places or ask about a “try-before-you-buy” offer. Some places will give you either a free one-time workout or charge you a small fee for working out on a “per-session” basis.
Not all health clubs will do this though, so ask before you show up.
Go For A Run
You can always just go outside for a jog. It’s easy, free, and all you need is a sweatshirt, shorts or jogging pants, and running shoes.
When you’re away from the gym, about the only thing that can mimic weight lifting is calisthenics. Pushups, pullups, and squats are your best friend. Don’t bother with ab crunches. While this is one of the most time-honored workouts, it can also be really hard on your back. How? Crunches and situps force your spine into flexion, doing 25 or 50 or even 100 reps of these day in and day out will eventually start crunching your spinal discs – not good.
Stick to exercises that put the spine in a neutral position and can help you maintain your strength while you’re away from home. For squats, aim to do 5 sets of 25. Once you can do that, move on to pistol (one-legged) squats. These are infinitely harder but will help build awesome leg strength. When doing pushups, remember to keep your back straight. Pullups or chinups can be done on a strong, low-hanging tree branch or at a playground. You can also take light weight, travel accessories like resistance bands. Empower offers multiple versions of resistance accessories that are great for travel like Flex Links, Portable Pilates Studio, and Total Body Toning.
Barbara Christman is passionate about fitness. As a busy mom, she understands the obstacles most people face when trying to stay fit, so she enjoys blogging about creative ways to exercise and improve overall health.