Vacation Fitness – Essential Exercises to Take with You

woman on dockHopefully you’ll have a chance to head out of town for some vacation time this summer —ever wonder what you can do about your fitness routine when you hit the road?

When you’ve worked hard to get strong and lean, you don’t want to lose a lot of ground when you take time off. Maintain your fitness on the road with these traveling exercises.

Strength Training

First, remember that a week or two of missing your usual workouts won’t cause a drastic loss of muscle. You’re allowed to enjoy yourself, and you can kick back into gear when you get back in town.

To substitute for your strength workouts, plan a compact bodyweight circuit you can do every couple of days, just about anywhere. Pick four to five exercises you can perform with good technique, in rotation, for up to 15 minutes.

Suggested Subs: Standing or walking lunges, your favorite push-ups, crossover crunches, deep squats, and for variety grab a strong tree limb for pullups or throw in some squat thrusts (burpees).

Group Fitness

If your vacation involves camping in the woods or visiting your grandparents for a family reunion, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to grab your typical week of kickboxing or Zumba classes.

To substitute for your group fitness routines, plan a simple group of intervals you can do whenever you can fit them in—even if you’re on a walk or a picnic, you might grab 10 minutes to get your heart rate up a bit.

Suggested Subs: Work in 60 second intervals, doing jumping jacks, walking lunges, high-knee crossovers, skipping and mountain climbers. Repeat twice.

Core Strength

Missing a couple longer workouts, combined with resort-style eating and drinking, can make you feel a little soft in the middle. You can keep your abs and low back feeling good and strong when you take quick core workout with you.

To substitute for your TRX workouts, Pilates class or other core strength work at the gym, you only need a small bit of space on a hotel floor to string together some classics. Work in long set lengths that you can really feel in your gut.

Suggested Subs: Forward elbow plank, crossover crunches, full arm side plank w/reach under to twist your body, reverse crunches, V-up or yoga’s boat pose.

Stretch & Tone

If you’re on a vacation that offers you chances for activities like swimming, hiking, biking, beach volleyball or tennis, you probably need to be more concerned about staying loose than about missing your workouts.

To make sure you help you avoid injuries during your vacation warrior activities, it’s best stay flexible with a few stretches and some light resistance work.

Suggested Subs: Pack a set of exercise bands or exercise tubing to bring along. It’s easy to fit in your carry on and versatile enough to meet many fitness needs the entire trip. Use heavier resistance to stretch your legs and hips and do some hamstring extensions. Choose lighter resistance for range of motion work on your shoulders and ankles. You can even do simple biceps and triceps work, seated rows, and more.

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