Keeping fit on the road
It can be hard to keep active when you’re at home, let alone while you’re away. These exercise tips can help keep you active when you’re on the road.
Holidays and business trips can wreak havoc with your fitness regime. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work out – you just need to be creative and plan ahead.
Bupa Blue Room resident fitness instructor Natasha Dinneen says the first step to help keeping fit on the road is to plan what you pack.
“Make sure you have a decent pair of runners in your backpack, some comfortable workout gear that will suit the weather conditions where you’re travelling to, a hand towel, a drink bottle and, if you’re super keen to get your heart rate up, a skipping rope,” she says.
Check out the location
At your destination, Dinneen suggests checking out the workout options available at your hotel. Most hotels have a gym and/or a pool, some even have tennis courts or offer free morning yoga sessions.
Ask the hotel reception for information on safe walking or running routes nearby, such as botanic gardens, ovals, parklands and public athletic tracks. Some hotels may even hire out bicycles.
“Walk or jog as much as you can,” Dinneen says. “It can be a great way to explore your surroundings, especially if your holiday and business commitments are in the CBD area.”
If it’s a business trip, give the elevator the flick and use the stairs at the office – it’ll get your heart rate up without worrying about long workout sessions. “Fifteen to 20 minutes is all you need to get the blood pumping,” Dinneen says.
You don’t even have to wait until you reach your destination. Keep moving while you’re in transit, even if it’s a simple series of shoulder, hip, wrist and ankle rotations and gentle stretches – just keep your safety in mind!. This can help to boost circulation and release muscle tension.
Natasha’s 20-minute travel workout
Holding the skipping rope in both hands jump on the balls of your feet with knees slightly bent. Your heels shouldn't touch the ground; jumping flat-footed is bad on your knees. Don't lock your knees and keep your movements relaxed and fluid. Aim to skip for one minute.
Start on all fours with your hands slightly wider than shoulders and your knees comfortably apart. Lower your chest to the floor as if you want to make a 90-degree bend in your elbows. Push back up to the starting position. Too easy? Straighten your legs to a plank position. Aim for 10 to 20 push-ups.
Start with feet hip-width apart and turned slightly outward. Keep knees in line with feet and hands crossed over your chest. Bend knees, keeping head, neck and back aligned and the weight towards heels. Knees should remain behind your toes as you lower into a 90-degree bend. Hold squat for two to three seconds then push back up through your heels to the starting position. Aim for 10 to 20 squats.
Place your hands directly under shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) and extend legs like you’re about to do a push-up. Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Draw your lower belly towards your spine and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Too hard? Rest your knees on the ground and hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
Place a chair with its legs firmly on the ground behind your back on a flat surface. Hold onto the edge with your hands shoulder-width apart. Extend your legs forward, balancing on your heels. Slowly lower your body by bending at the elbows until there’s an angle slightly smaller than 90 degrees between the upper arm and the forearm. Using your triceps, bring your torso up to the starting position. If straight legs are too challenging, begin with legs at 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor. Aim for 10-20 dips.
Be sure to check with your healthcare professional before embarking on any exercise program.
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