Jul 8th 2012
Travelcise: Travel-sized Workouts Anyplace, Anytime!
According to the newspapers, travel among Americans is up. Summer is traditionally the season for families to drive or fly to national parks, visit with relatives, or just hit the trail. Many of us who exercise on a regular basis sometimes feel hesitant that our routines will be disrupted during this time. Most of get caught saying, “I won’t have my 9:30 Wednesday yoga class” or “what am I going to do without Trampoline Camp on Saturdays?” We feel trepidation that all of our hard work will go down the drain without our routines, our gyms, and our instructors. Alas, there are several ways to keep in shape while we are away from home.
One of the simplest ways to keep fit while on the road is old school calisthenics for a total body workout. Jogging in place, jumping jacks, burpees, push-ups, skaters (hopping Side to side), plyometric jumps, squats, crunches, sit ups, mountain climbers, knee ups, hamstring kicks, leg lifts, and planks can all be done in a circuit to give you a workout that can be customized to give you 10-90 minutes of exercise.
Recently I did a great staircase workout that I found in Experience, the magazine put out by Lifetime Fitness. Find any staircase or set of bleachers and start by walking up the stairs for a warm up. The exertion gradually increases for a great 30 minute workout. Jogging, walking, curtsy lunges, and skaters up and down the stairs are followed by body weight exercises such as lunges, push-ups, and squats.
Fitness trails can generally be found in many towns and cities. These are great for travelcise! They're paths with exercise stations dotted along the trail. A fitness trail is usually one mile in length and can be easily modified to offer a low to high intensity experience. The stations typically offer exercises that emphasize strength, balance, and flexibility. The trail can be walked, jogged, run, or a combination of intervals. Depending on your stamina, the trail can be completed several times with or without doing the stations.
A pool, lake, or oceans are obvious choices for swimming or water aerobics. Other than a bathing suit, not much more is required. You can pack a water belt or noodle for deep water aerobic training or adapt your deep water routine to shallow water by working in suspension. Weights can be made by filling containers such as gallon jugs.
Some exercise props are easy to pack such as the TRX (http://www.trxtraining.com/) suspension system and resistance bands. These are compact and take up little space in your luggage. The TRX can be wrapped around a tree, a basketball pole, a fence or even better, a playground. Speaking of playgrounds, there are many exercises that you can do on a playground using swings, monkey bars and slides. An easy internet search for “playground workouts or playground pump” can yield a variety of circuits that can provide a phenomenal and fun cardio, strength, and flexibility charged workout. Additionally, the JumpSport Fitness™ trampoline has recently launched a new portable version of their trampoline. Especially for people on the go. You can always use your JFT for the total body conditioning you have come to expect from it.
Traveling does not need to put a stop on your healthy routine; just do travelcise. It can actually offer you an opportunity for muscle confusion and flexing your training thresholds. Also, finding parks and pools gives you the chance to mingle with the locals and experience a more intimate visit. There’s nothing like befriending locals to find out the “secret” favorite hot spots in a community. Embrace a change in your routine to try new exercises, enjoy the scenery, and prove to yourself that your dedication to health is innate and not dependent upon a membership, a class, or an instructor. You exercise because you enjoy it and know that it keeps your body in shape no matter how many miles away from home you are. Exercise requires no special equipment - just some motivation.