While long holiday vacations and breaks from your day-to-day routine certainly have their perks, they also come with double the perils of missed workout routines and ample opportunities for indulgence. Here are some suggestions to get in 30-minute workouts when the gym isn't available to help you keep in shape while you're on the go.
Get a Stretch
Sometimes after a long flight, a good dose of stretching is just the ticket to get your body back in working order. Rachel Reddish, a personal trainer at the Crunch gym in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City says to wrap a yoga strap (or, if that isn't available, a large towel) around your heels to stretch your hamstrings. She says a "rolling pin, canned good or big bottle of water" can also be used to stretch calves, quads and other muscle groups. This is similar to using a foam roller to rolling out muscles.
Airport Power Walk
Stuck waiting around at the airport? Ron Eustis, president of Fearless Fitness personal training in Los Angeles, says to make use of your downtime by breaking out your tennis shoes and playlist of motivational tunes before engaging in a brisk power walk through the terminal – just make sure to respect other passengers and towel off in the bathroom before boarding.
Take the Stairs
If you're fit enough, take your workout one step further than power walking. Provided you have proper footwear, forgo escalators and elevators and opt for a healthy race up the airport stairs, says Eustis. Climbing stairs is also a good way to get cardio in during hotel visits or when you have some spare time at a relative's house.
Do Some Circuits
For circuit training on the go, Reddish suggests modifying one of her gym routines: 15 reps of squats with a dumbbell (or other weighted item), 16 reps of reverse lunges and biceps curls, 15 to 20 reps of decline pushups, (putting your feet on a chair or bench and your palms on the floor), 15 to 20 reps of lat pull-downs and 20 reps of medicine ball (or similar item) twists. She says to do this circuit routine three to four times with no rests between sets, but with two- to three-minute rests between each circuit.
Burpees on Your Break
Reddish suggests you do some burpees, (also known as up-downs and squat thrusts) to get your heart rate up. She says the key is to "work for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds" and suggests doing five to eight sets of these. She says pushups and situps can also be incorporated into this routine.
The Perks of Planking
Los Angeles-based personal trainer Karrie King says elongating exercises will help your body adjust to a strange bed and time zone changes. After five minutes of stretching your legs, arms and torso on the floor, stand for biceps curls and arm circles. Hold bunched-up hand towels as weights for the arm circles. Follow with several reps of full pushups. Then assume a plank position with your elbows back and your torso elongated. Alternate "walking" your legs into your body like you're skiing (bringing your knees to your chest from a pushup position). End with five more minutes of stretching.
No Equipment Needed
Eustis' hotel room-friendly workout includes a five-minute warm-up of running in place, high knees, butt kickers, arm circles and shoulder circles, each lasting 30 seconds with the routine done twice. This is followed by a 10-step exercise of wide pushups, squats, dips, front lunges, crunches, regular pushups, wide squats, burpees, back lunges and the "Superman" stretch. Each of these steps should last 30 seconds with a 30-second break before the next step. Do this routine twice. Then cool down with five minutes of stretch yoga poses.
Strengthen Your Core
You can work your abs every other day to keep them tight and strong. While Eustis says that doing "30 minutes of straight abs (work) is too intense," he says that there are great ways to work your core during a 30-minute workout. Eustis says to use the warm-ups, cool-downs and rhythms of the Rock Your Body workout and incorporate "a set of exercises for your glutes and your core" with "all sorts of leg lifts and situps."