Summer has arrived! And with it, summer vacations. While a vacation is a welcome break from your regular routine, it does not need to mean a total loss of fitness. A short maintenance program keeps you fit and lean, and can add to your vacation instead of feeling like a chore.
It is simple: make sure you do some cardio--fast walking (not strolling with an ice cream cone!), running, swimming, hiking, biking, kayaking, mountain climbing, wind surfing, regular surfing, or learning a local dance. Then, follow that with some simple strength training. Personally, I like to pack the running shoes and take short runs at the beach, in the mountains, or in whatever town I am visiting. This way, I get to check out areas that I might not otherwise see, and take in the local flavor.
Below you will find a sample simple vacation workout to follow 20 minutes of cardio. The cardio can be anything--go for a brisk walk, relaxing jog, refreshing swim, cruise on a bike, hike up to a gorgeous view, or otherwise tailor the cardio to the location you are in. It doesn't have to be strenuous but do at least 20 minutes and make sure you break a sweat.
Simple, yet effective exercises for travel.
These are simple and give you a nice flat belly--if you do them correctly! Start in a kind of pushup position, but with your forearms and hands on the ground. Balance your weight between your forearms and toes. Drop into your shoulder sockets by squeezing your shoulder blades towards your spine. Do not let your gut sag! Pull your bellly button towards the sky, and keep your legs straight and engaged.
Hold for 1 minute| TARGETS: full body, especially abs
On your hands and toes, with your hands just a bit wider than your shoulders and your butt slightly raised. Lower your full body down towards the ground, staying in control the whole time. Your chest should come in between your hands. Keep your abs tight and do not sag. Push up to your starting position on your exhale. VARIATION: "Girlie push-ups" are a better way to build up strength if regular push-ups leave you doing the worm. It is important for you to stay in control on the up-and-down.
REPS: your age | TARGETS: full body
3. Walking Lunges
Stand upright, feet shoulder width distance. Stepping your left leg forward, drop your right knee towards to ground. Push up through your left heel to return to your original position. Then repeat with your right leg. Continue to alternate which leg steps forward until you have completed all the reps.
REPS: 20 on each leg | TARGETS: Glutes + quads
These work your back muscles and balance your ab work -- for a long, supple back and better muscular balance. Lie flat on your stomach, arms next to your body, legs straight. On the exhale lift your head, chest, arms and legs up towards the sky. Hold, then slowly lower your body back to the ground.
REPS: 25| TARGETS: Low back
5. 1-legged Squat
Swimsuit season = squats--these keep all the muscles in your leg in tip-top condition. Stand upright, feet shoulder width distance. Stand on your right leg, bend your knee and stick your butt out as you squat down. Slowly straighten your right leg and push up from your squat into a standing position. Do all repititions on 1 leg before going to the other leg.
REPS: 15 | TARGETS: Full leg