Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Staying Fit While Traveling

I was a computer consultant for almost 5 years, and I know firsthand what it's like to have to travel every week for work. I also know, however, that traveling is not an excuse for a sedentary lifestyle-- you can always fit exercise in wherever you go.

As my clients know, I'm a huge fan of bodyweight training. It's a tremendous misconception that you need to physically lift an iron bar in order to get a phenomenal workout. They key when traveling, as it should really be with any workout anywhere, is to get the most out of every exercise. Come on. You have places to go, things to see, stuff to do. You don't need to be spending an hour plus sculpting each individual muscle, and you can bang plenty of bodyweight exercises out right in your hotel room

Squats, lunges, pushups, and pulls bend several joints at once. That means that lots of muscles are working simultaneously. A properly-executed squat strengthens your knee and hip joints and works your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and even your abdominals. If you're bored with your squats, you can always turn them into jump squats, prop a foot behind you on a piece of furniture for a Bulgarian Split Squat, or take them to one leg.

A lunge, like a squat, works all the joints and muscles in your legs, and has a little extra benefit in the push-off of the moving leg. And, of course, you can always turn those lunges into walking lunges, side lunges, back lunges, jumping lunges, and more.

Pushups work your chest, triceps, shoulders, back, abdominals... oh, how I love pushups. There are a million ways to do them, from standard shoulder-width pushups to wide, narrow, or staggered pushups; there are pushups with your feet elevated and pushups against the wall if you're still building the strength to get to the floor. There are one-armed pushups, jumping pushups... I could wax poetic about them all day long. Le sigh.

If you feel like bringing equipment with you when you travel, you can do a host of pulls, pushes, flyes, and weighted or supported exercises with stretch bands and/or a Jungle Gym or TRX unit.

Don't forget to take stairs, climb up escalators, and walk wherever you can. Every little bit counts.

I do plan to post a few videos on the proper performance of some basic bodyweight exercises, so stay tuned. I am also going to be hosting a Bodyweight Exercises 101 workshop in the next two months if you'd like to learn more.

In the mean time, stay healthy, stay active, and quit making excuses for bad habits.

If you have your own secrets for staying fit while traveling, feel free to post them here!

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