If your vacation and holidays look anything like mine, you’re probably visiting family and friends, driving or maybe even flying for extended periods of time. Indulging in more foods and drinks then you would normally and overall just out of your daily routine. You may also during your vacation have great intentions about exercising regularly. But chances are you’ve cramped in a ton of activities and things to do that you may even feel overwhelmed about the fact that you don’t have the time to exercise. You may also feel limited in what you can do as space and equipment may not be as readily available. So, what’s a person to do?
Before we get into what to do, when you’re already running around like a chicken with its head cut off, you may be asking yourself: Do I really need to move more? Maybe I should take a week off my regular training while on holidays. Don’t all those steps I’m accumulating running errands count for something? Of course, they do, but that’s not exactly the point.
When life gets ultra-busy, one of the first things that goes out the window is unfortunately our self-care practices, like purposefully moving our bodies on a regular basis. I know this all too well because I’m guilty for it too!
But here’s why it matters; regularly moving your body with a purpose isn’t just beneficial in terms of physical health (although that is very important). It also helps us stay consistent with our healthy habits that are well established in our regular routines. Maintaining positive momentum through vacation can help better manage our stresses, which tends to soar during busy times.
Now besides the obvious fact that most hotels have gyms there are a variety of easy ways to stay active. Below is a travel strength circuit that you can complete with no equipment at all, and very minimal space. Start by performing a quick warm up followed by the circuit.
Warm Up –
10 Jumping Jacks
10 Bird Dogs
10 Side Lying Clamshell
10 Quad Stretch to Overhead Lunge Walk
10 Lateral Lunges
Strength Circuit –
Hip Bridge, 10-12 reps
World’s Greatest to Push-Ups, 6-8 reps per side
Bodyweight Split Squat, 10-12 reps per side
Deadbug 10-12 per side
Try to transition from exercises without resting, unless needed. Complete 2-4 sets. Below is a video of the warm up and visuals and descriptions of each exercises.
- Set yourself on your back, knees bent and feet close to your body, about hip-width apart.
- Set your ribcage down into proper position and engage your abs and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the floor. Make sure your back remains neutral, and that you’re not overextending through your lumbar spine. Push through your heels.
- Hold a second at the top then lower yourself under control.
- Repeat for allotted reps.
- To progress, make is a single leg glute bridge instead!
World’s Greatest to Push-Up
- Start in a long ½ kneeling position, with hands shoulder width apart.
- Lift the back knee off the ground so it is fully extended. Here you will feel a stretch in the front of your hip.
- Take your opposite leg back so now you are in a tall prone bridge position.
- Complete a push-up and then come back to the start position.
- To progress, add repetitions to the push-up.
Bodyweight Split Squat
- Start with your feet directly under your hips, and step back keeping the same width.
- Make sure your hip bones are facing forwards, gently pull your pelvis under.
- Bring the back knee straight down to the floor, keeping your front shin vertical and your back thigh vertical and in line with the rest of your body.
- Push yourself up, keeping your feet in place.
- Perform all reps on one side before switching sides.
- To progress, alternate from right to left leg, or if you have access to dumbbells, add resistance by holding the weights by your side.
- Start on your back, with your arms in the air straight above your chest, and your legs elevated with a 90-degree bend in your hips and your knees.
- Make sure your lower back is firmly pressed into the ground, and that your ribcage is down.
- If your able to maintain this position while breathing, add arm or leg movement extending one limb at a time on an inhale, and coming back to the starting position on an exhale.
- Keep the tempo of the exercise slow.
- To progress, move one arm and one leg simultaneously!
By now you’re probably thinking that’s a lot to do and I’m on vacation. Have no fear, this circuit should only take approximately 30 minutes to complete. By no means do you need to feel obligated to train every day while away, but I would hate to see all the work you have put in leading up to your vacation for it to go down the drain. Vacations are not meant to be a free pass to eat like crap, drink like a fish and stay up super late. Perhaps if you’re on a lengthy road trip pack a picnic with vegetables and hummus, fruit and sandwiches instead of stopping at McDonalds. It’s all in moderation, this is just one way to stay atop of the goals you work hard towards all year long!
Author: Megan Cook