Travel Workout

The best laid plans of fitness are often completely derailed by travel plans.  You have your routine at home, whether it is a trip to the gym after work every evening, a run every morning, or time set aside each day in your home gym; when you travel, you are not following your daily routine of work, play, or work-out.  Often times this is due to equipment.  Someone used to going to the gym or using at home equipment are not sure what to do without their machines and weights.  Sometimes you stay at a hotel with a good fitness center.  Sometimes you stay at a hotel with a very bare bones fitness center.  Sometimes you stay at a hotel with absolutely no fitness center, or you are staying with friends/family.  Whatever the situation, there are a few solutions.

First, survey the area.  If you have a fitness center at the hotel, great, check it out, it may suit your needs.

If you are interested in cardio, they may have a treadmill, or you can look up possible routes near where you are staying.  I have a friend who goes to Sci-Fi conventions and sure enough, every morning as I am just rolling out of bed and onto the con floor, he is walking in in his shorts from his morning run (I prefer to workout at night).

Another option is to see if their are gyms nearby where you are staying (that is within commutable distance, whether that is walking, public transportation, or if you have a car) that offer free trials.  Even if you only get a day or two during a week long trip, it is better than nothing at all.

Finally, the no-fail option, is to have a travel routine that requires no equipment, or only equipment that you can easily fit into carry-on luggage.  This can work as your entire workout routine for the trip, or as a supplement to whatever else you are able to find.  Here is a list of some of my favorites (with links for more information):

  • Lunges – Works Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings – No equipment necessary
  • Squats – Works Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings – No equipment necessary
  • Calf Raises – Works Calves – No equipment necessary (also try toes turned out, toes turned in, and single leg)
  • Standing Hip/Leg Abductions – Works Upper Glutes, Outer Thighs – No equipment necessary
  • Resistance Band Bicep Curls – Works Biceps – Resistance Bands
  • Resistance Band Upright Row – Works Delts, Biceps, Traps – Resistance Bands
  • Hand Grip – Works Hands – Hand Grip
  • Plank – Works Core (seriously) – No equipment necessary
  • Donkey Kicks – Works Glutes, Hip Flexors, Lower Back, – No equipment necessary
  • Laying Leg Abductions and Other Laying Leg Exercises – Works – No equipment necessary
  • Laying Resistance Press with Butt Lift – Works Pectoral, Triceps, Glutes – Resistance Bands (I cannot find this with the butt lift, but it is an added bonus that adds  the glute element.  Just plant your feet so you are in a standard sit-up position, press down on them so that your butt lifts in the air, with all the weight on your feet and shoulders.  Hold that while doing the exercises, or press up and down with each rep.)

There are many more, including your standard jumping jacks, push-ups, crunches, ecc.; and a simple search for “travel workout” can lend numerous results for you to tailor your own routine.  It may not be as intense as your regular workout, but it will help maintain your fitness and schedule in the interim.

100 Days – Mental Health with Josh Sundquist

I really enjoyed this video in the series.  If you have not followed along, John hates meditation, so this video brings in Josh Sundquist, a Paralympian, who discusses his practice with fitness, and focuses a lot on the M in his fitness acronym (JERM).  It is also just inspiring to see how this person rose above his physical limitations, even at such a young age.  It makes me feel lazy…I need to go workout…crap…I am at work.

 

JERM
Journaling
Exercise
Reading
Meditation

I never assigned myself an acronym, but this is really the core of my daily practice.  I do not always write everyday, but I rely on it heavily when my mind is feeling full and jumbled (I should really do it everyday).  I exercise daily.  I have a reading schedule and try to read a little bit every day, even if it is just 20 pages or so.  And I meditation daily, generally twice a day.

I think I am going to check out Josh Sundquist’s channel as well.

100 Days – Playground

I debated posting today’s 100 Days video…especially since it might make this week my first three-post week., but I really liked the focus on exercises that could be done with little to no equipment (I saw a couple moves I might have to steal), as well as the mention of doing moderate exercise regularly.  Note that the moderate regular exercise will give you the health benefits, but if you are trying to gain strength, gain definition, or lose weight (though weight is lost in the kitchen, but burning more calories through exercise helps, both through the instant burn of cardio and the increased metabolic rate resulting from an increase of muscle), more workout is necessary.

100 Days

A couple of YouTube personalities I follow (you may have heard of the one, John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars) are going to spend 100 days, starting on January 1st, to make “lasting, meaningful, healthy changes in their lives.”  It looks really interesting.  In this intro video, John mentions meeting with a dietitian, a trainer, and a psychologist, as well as doing meditation, obstacle courses, rock climbing, ecc.  I might post a few videos if I find them really helpful, but otherwise it might be good to follow and watch (no, I am in no way affiliated, I just think it looks really helpful and interesting) for inspiration and information.

Be Stronger

Once your body is healthier, you can really focus on making it stronger, and it will be much more effective.

Flexibility/Balance

Yoga – The most obvious choice, and the most widely available.  Throw a stone and you will likely hit a Yoga school.  Colleges have them, community centers have them, fitness centers have them, hell, even my mothers work has a class now.

Pilates – Less zen than Yoga, but very effective.

Dance – It can be difficult to find adult dance classes, but they are out there.  Ballet is the best for overall form and flexibility, but there are so many other options.  I have been dancing since I was six, and done almost every form out there.

Also, martial arts has varying degrees of focus on flexibility and balance, some styles are very acrobatic, so you could kill two birds with one stone and find a style that works this area as well.

Flexibility Apps:
Daily Yoga App – Android | iOS

 

Basic Strength Training/Gyms

If you live in an apartment, you might be lucky enough to have a quality fitness center at your disposal for no extra cost.  The alternative, if you can afford it, is a gym membership.  There are several to choose from, and most offer a trial period for you to try them out to see how they suit you.  Here is just a sampling.
Equinox – Offers one day trial.
Lifetime – Offers one day trial.
X-Sport Fitness – Offers seven day trial.
24 Hour Fitness – Offers seven day trial.
LA Fitness – Offers three day trial.
Crunch – Offers one day trial.
YMCA – Guest passes vary by location.
Best Fitness – East Coast chain, offers fourteen day trial.
Gold’s Gym – Offers seven day trial.

Of course there is also the option of setting up your own home gym.  Things you might need:

  • Free Weights – These can be expensive, so I recommend starting with a relatively low weight for you and purchasing higher weights as you gain strength.
  • Resistance Bands – A variety of strengths.
  • Yoga Mat
  • Pull-Up Bar – Even if you cannot to pull-ups yet, you can attach a resistance band and do pull-downs.

Strength Apps:
30 Day ___ – There are several of these out there over both platforms, I personally have squats and planks downloaded.  Complete a daily challenge and mark it done after.

 

Cardio

Swimming – If you are lucky enough to have a pool at your disposal, I highly recommend swimming.  It is great cardio, and low impact, but have a healthy snack planned for afterwards because it makes you HUNGRY.  I used to take swimming class in college, and I felt so bad because I would always show up late for my next class (Italian), with a bag full of food.  Still, my professor understood.

Running – Higher impact, but super effective. You can find several follow along programs, and you can run indoors on a treadmill (if available) or outside.  If you are going the running route, I also highly recommend working towards a race to give yourself a goal.  Some that I recommend:

There are also obstacle course races/mud runs.  These are less focused on time (unless you are hard core and trying to meet a time) and more on total fitness.

  • Warrior Dash – 5K race, I did this one in June, 2016.
  • Spartan – I have not done this yet, but Opie has, and I have been planning to one day.
  • OCR Finder – Interactive Map of OCR/Mud Runs

Combat/Martial Arts
I personally feel that it is important for everyone, especially Jedi, to at the very least, know how to defend themselves.  Even if you are not much of a fighter, you might not have the choice in certain circumstances and better to know how if necessary.  Plus, there are several styles that focus more on the spiritual side than the combat, you just have to find one.

You do not need to take Martial Arts for very long to get the basics down, and most schools will have you sign a contract for year, so you could take one year, get a good grasp of basics, and decide later whether you want to continue on with it or not.  There are SO many forms that it is impossible to give suggestions.  The best advise I can give, is to do the research, find a short list of styles that appeal to you, and then see what is available in your area (trust me, it can be difficult to find some styles).  Find a few school possibilities and then go check them out.  Many places will let you observe a class, some might even let you try one out.  Find a school that values learning the style over just testing for rank.

You might start with one style and find it is not for you, but you still want to learn more, try another form.  I have taken Capoeira, Karate, and MMA.  I would consider going back to any of these, but I would also love to try new styles as well.  Recently I was turned on to Bagua, but there are no good Bagua schools where I currently live.  Do your research.

 

At Home Programs
If you can afford one of the video programs, they can be beneficial.  Most of these work cardio, strength, and flexibility.
P90X – There are a few versions out there now, there are a mixture of videos that you do according to their schedule for a total of 90 days.  I have all of them, have done the first one twice.
10-Minute Trainer – By Tony Horton (P90X), ten minute videos of very intense workouts.  If you only have 10 minutes here and there, these will really go a long way.  I have these, they hurt.
Insanity – I cannot do this program because of a limitation of my own, but those who have swear by it.  From what I understand, the title is truth.
Zumba – The Zumba craze.  Fun, dance themed workouts.  You can also find classes just about anywhere, AND video games.
Hip Hop Abs – Shaun T (Insanity) dance themed program.  Very basic moves.
Cize – Another Shaun T Program, more focused on choreography than Hip Hop Abs.  Sort of an advanced HHA.
Windsor Pilates – Pilates Program.
Tone It Up – They have several videos out now, usually filmed at the beach, but these are tough workouts.

Links
Tone It Up – I mentioned this in the previous post.  Again, geared towards women (but nonetheless effective).  They have a few DVD’s out, but have a whole series of video workouts available free online, and are often featured in Self Magazine.

YouTube Chanel
Tone It Up – Like the above link, here is their YouTube channel.

General Fitness Apps
S Health – Samsung specific General Health App.
Apple Health – Apple specific General Health App.
Google Fit – Android General Health App.
A HIIT Interval Timer – There are many out there, try out a few, find one you like.
Everymove – Track activity, earn rewards. Android | iOS
Fitocracy – General fitness.  Free workouts, or pay for coaching.  Android | iOS
Daily Endorphin – Group fitness challenges. Android | iOS

My Practice – TV Routine

Autumn is back (well, almost)!  That means changing leaves, Halloween, my birthday (boo), hot chocolate, and the return of TV shows!

Back when I was in school, I never watched TV.  I was at Acrobatics, or Tap, or spotting Acrobatics, or at Diving practice, or Color Guard, or Orchesis, or Tech Crew….the list literally goes on forever, I was very active.

Then, a few years ago, I realized something.  I watch a LOT of television.  Seriously…from 7-10 Monday-Thursday I am pretty booked solid, and then Sunday nights too, and there are still shows I have to record because they overlap.  I do not know how or when that happened, but it did. When they cancel shows I watch, it is sort of a relief.

All that time in front of the television means time not spent training though, so I created a TV Routine.  A circuit of exercises I can do while watching television…then during commercial breaks I can read or work on something that requires my brain.

TV ROUTINE
16 Jumping Jacks
16 In and Out Bicep Curls
16 Squats
16 In and Out Lateral Raises
16 Calf Raises (alternating 45-degree, parallel, and toes in)
16 Shoulder Presses
16 Pliés
16 Overhead Tricep Extensions
20-Second Plank
16 Laying Shoulder Flyes
16 Laying Hip Raises
16 Ball Squeezes
16 Each of Four Wrist Grip Positions (two each hand)

The routine is much longer than when it started, and it usually takes me two sections of shows (commercial breaks between sections) to complete a circuit, but even if I only did one of these per show on a week night…that is three sets, and it is better than sitting on the couch.