4 on-the-go summer travel fitness tips
1. BURN CALORIES JUST GETTING THERE
The surprising fact is that you start racking up calories burned even before you arrive to your destination. Yes, the hour it takes to pack (or unpack) your bags burns up about 118 calories. Then just the act of traveling (lugging your bags through a busy airport, negotiating the signs in a foreign train station) can burn an average of 117 calories per hour. You can even burn calories while waiting around at the airport! Here’s how:
- Carry-On Bag Curls. Do curls with your carry-on or purse to tone your biceps, shoulders, back, even your core. It can be a total upper-body toning session. Don’t worry if you tire yourself out, you’re about to be sedentary on an airplane seat for the next several hours. May as well make the most of your freedom of movement now!
- Terminal Lunges. You may look a bit nutty lunging around the terminal, but honestly, who cares? It’s not like you are ever going to see these people again. With generally an hour to kill, why sit around and twiddle your thumbs when you could be getting a good leg and butt workout?
- Calf Raises. Feel the need to be a little more discrete? I get it. Calf raises are a great way to tone your legs without being too obvious. It’s perfect for those long boarding lines. You don’t have anything else to do, so why not work out?
- Wall Sit. No available seats? Great! Instead of sitting on the disgustingly dirty floor, pretend to take a seat with a wall sit. Push your back up against the wall, step your feet about 2-feet from the wall (the length of your quad muscles), then bend your knees so that your hamstrings are parallel to the ground (as if you’re sitting on a chair). Hold this position for as long as you can- which will likely be only about 60 seconds.
2. HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT
There is always some extra time spent doing nothing in your hotel room. Instead of nothing, do some exercises! No, you don’t need to go to the gym or even put on appropriate attire. There are exercises you can do in your hotel room… even while watching TV!
- March in Place. Imagine that you are power walking in a box. Swing your arms, lift those knees, exaggerate the moves in order to get the most out of it. Remember, the point is to get your heart rate up without forcing your eyes to unglue from the screen.
- Step Touch. Take big steps out to each side, keep those arms swinging, make this move big!
When it comes to resistance, you will do each exercise for the duration of one commercial- no breaks in between moves! You can rotate through the moves in whatever order you want:
- Plank. It’s a total-body burner and you’re not even moving! Every muscle- calves to abs to chest- is engaged. You may not feel every area at first, but as one muscle fatigues, another takes over to carry the brunt, until it fatigues, then another takes over, etc…Hold this Top of a Push-Up pose for an entire commercial.
- X-Plank. To add a little more oomph to your average Plank, spread your feet and hands further out to the sides in an X-formation (It can be a skinny or even lopsided X). You will find that your legs start to shake fast as you are working more of the inside of your thighs, arms, and obliques.
- Sit-Up…And Don’t Roll Back Down. Like Top of a Push-Up, Top of a Crunch is another great way to tone your muscles. By sitting up in the starting sit-up position, then hinging your torso back just two inches, you are engaging your core. Hold there to challenge your abs even more, forcing other less used core muscles to come into play and help hold you up. It’s another great one pose no-movement exercise.
- Wall-Sit. Sit on the wall as if you are sitting on a chair with your back firmly pressed against the wall, your thighs parallel to the floor. As with plank, hold this pose for as many commercials as you can endure.
3. WORKOUT WHILE LOUNGING AT THE BEACH
Take a break from relaxing and tone up… no running shoes, exercise shorts, or even a shirt required because the best beach exercises are all about honing in and toning up specific bikini-centric spots with nothing more than your own body weight to resist you.
Exercising at the beach is a great way to get more bang out of your exercise buck. To blast fat and tone your muscles fast, try Walking Lunges. They are a great lower body fat blaster and give you a lifted Brazilian booty and a flatter bikini belly. You can also do this exercise in the shoreline and get the resistance of wet sand (this is a great option for athletes and advanced exercisers). Lift your arms over your head to add the upper body.
4. OUTDOOR “ADVENTURING”– GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED IN THE WORKOUT FUN TOO!
The average person is more likely to try new things, sample more exotic foods, and yes, experience different forms of exercise when on vacation. And while you can’t bring home the exotic foods, you can bring home the renewed enthusiasm for exercise. Here are a few to try:
- BodyBoarding. Sure, a little relaxation is absolutely in order, but there’s certainly more you can do than simply sleep under the baking sun… like bodyboarding! The sport truly takes no skill other than a bit of guts and the ability to hold onto a board. Most beach spots let you rent boards for the afternoon, allowing you to test out the water while burning an average of 177 calories per hour.
- Biking. Taking off on foot to tour a city is sometimes too slow for those who like to see lots of sights in little time. Biking is a great way to get to know another side of your vacation destination while burning calories. In fact, the average 130-pound woman can burn off 472 calories an hour during a moderate ride.
- Hiking. If you’re one of those antsy individuals who wants to see your destination on foot with the freedom to explore unchartered (by you) territory, take a hike! Now, when I say “hike” I mean the loose definition of a “hike,” one that allows you to “hike” through a village, up to an abandoned railroad track, or along The Great Wall. If you happen to ingest a few too many calories while enjoying the local offerings, not to worry, an average 130 lb woman can burn 354 calories per hour hiking.
- Backpack. Save cash and forgo a hotel for a few days to instead stay in a tent on an island or along a riverbed. You’ll find that you get to know more locals while really immersing yourself in the culture and lifestyle of your destination if you do it by backpack instead of secluding yourself in a hotel the whole time. And here’s an extra perk, an average 130 lb woman can burn 412 calories per hour backpacking.
- Kayak. Taking an afternoon kayak trip along the river, across the lake, or in the ocean allows you to see the place from a very different point of view. Kayaking down a river allows you the opportunity to take pit stops, pulling ashore on the banks of hard to reach villages and giving you a true peak into local lifestyles. Depending on how vigorously you paddle, the average 130 lb woman can burn about 295 calories.
Whether your sense of adventure is extreme or serene, land or sea, it’s easy to find something to satisfy your activity level and interests, while burning a few calories as you go. Whatever you do, try something new. I guarantee it will add to your overall experience.
Armed with a mission to empower moms across the country to feel beautiful no matter what their size, mother-of-five Becky Reece founded Sexy Mom’s Running Club to help busy women make themselves a priority again, while still balancing career and family.