Don’t let vacation derail your exercise regimen this holiday season

by TOI Admin November 28, 2011



Looking for a way to maintain a level of fitness this holiday season? A projected 42.5 million travelers will journey at least 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving holiday alone, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA.)
For more tips and ideas on how to stay active while traveling, read more below from the St. Petersburg Times:
1. Walk, walk, walk. If you are on holiday, walking should be no problem. In fact, if you’re in a place where the natives walk a lot, you’ll probably see that people are noticeably thinner than they are in Florida’s car culture.
2. Rather than sitting still, look for unobtrusive ways to fidget. Shift positions often, and if possible, stand at the back of the room. Standing burns calories, and moving around is especially important if you’re prone to muscle stiffness.
3. Take a quick walk, climb stairs and find a place to stretch. Below are several easy stretches, some of which you can even do in planes, trains and automobiles:
Shoulder rolls (to reduce neck tension.) Slowly shrug shoulders up and around, both forward and backward. Then tilt head forward, chin to chest, until you feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Hold 20 seconds.
Seated forward bends (to stretch hamstrings and reduce low back tightness.) Sitting on the edge of a sturdy (non-rolling) chair with legs extended and feet flexed (toes pointed up), reach both arms forward toward knees and reach farther down legs if possible until you feel the stretch. Hold 20 to 30 seconds.
Standing quad stretches (loosens hip flexors.) Holding on to the wall or the back of a chair, bend left leg as if trying to touch heel to buttock, grabbing the foot with left hand. Hold 20 seconds, then switch legs.
4. Build a portable strength-training routine. It’s tough to make major fitness gains without serious weight training. You can maintain your fitness level while traveling. Using your own body weight, try the following moves:
Push-ups. Not only do they get your heart rate up, they are the single best upper body workout. Do them on your toes, on your knees or start by pushing against the wall until you’re strong enough to hit the floor.
Crunches. Lie on the floor or even a bed with knees bent. Support head in hands (but don’t pull of you’ll strain your neck), raising upper torso off floor. Keep your lower back in contact with the floor almost as if your could touch your bellybutton to your spine.
Bench squat (strengthens thigh muscles.) Stand facing away from chair with feet hip-width apart. Lower yourself to a seated position (without using arms), barely touching the chair, then stand up again. Repeat 20 times. Ambro





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