Holidays are upon us and, for many, traveling is inevitable. For at least a few days you may be on the road, in a hotel, or at a family or friend’s home. What happens to your exercise and nutritional routines that you have built and finely tuned over the past year? Do you take a break from those routines, or do you stick to them?
Keep Your New Year's Goals in Mind
Fast-forward a couple weeks from now. Do you have any fitness or nutrition goals that you have been thinking about for the New Year? If you haven’t thought about them yet, what might they be? For many gym-goers, weight loss is the main goal. Has this been a resolution for past years? One last question: Why would you put yourself “in the hole” when it comes to diet and exercise before the new year even starts? I’ll leave your holiday nutrition information up to our Registered Dietitian Angie Mitchell and focus mainly on a few workouts and exercise habits you can use to put yourself in front of the eight ball rather than, you know…
Take Physical Activity Breaks While You’re On the Road
My first focus will be on something that many people probably don’t think about when traveling, which is the amount of time that you might spend in the car. For some, six- or eight-hour car rides each way await them. If passengers in your car are anything like the ones that are in mine during road trips, bathroom breaks basically come every couple hours. Use this time for, well, obvious reasons, like having a little physical activity break from the car ride. All you need is 3 to 5 minutes to get the blood flowing and burn a few calories after sitting in the car for so long. Bathroom breaks can be done after that.
Below you will find two physical activity breaks that can be done at a gas station or rest stop that will help break up some of those monotonous driving feelings.
Physical Activity Break #1 Physical Activity Break #2
3 rounds: 3 rounds:
Jumping jacks x30 Incline pushups x10
BW squats x15 Lateral line hops x20
Skaters x10/side Lunge x10/leg
Two Simple Workout Programs That Don’t Require Equipment
Three years ago my finest reindeer, Tom Livengood, wrote a blog on exercises that you can do with limited or no equipment during holiday travel. I’m going to build off of Tom’s previous work and give you some exercise options to choose from when you are on the road. Here are two simple workout programs that shouldn’t take more than 20 to 30 minutes to complete and will “HIIT” (get it?) all of your major workout components during these hectic months.
Warmup (3 rounds)
- Alternating reverse lunge x60s (photo 1)
- Walking plank x30s
- Step through w/rotation x60s
Strength/Core (3 sets)
- Rear foot elevated split squat x15/leg(photo 2)
- Wall plank x60s(photo 3)
- Pushup xMax
HIIT (Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes)
- Mountain climber x30
- Squat jump x15
- 1/2 burpee x5
Warmup (3 rounds)
- Single-leg bridge w/ pulse x30s/leg
- Side plank w/ rotation x30s/side
- Plank reach x60s(photo 4)
Strength/Core (4 sets)
- Lateral lunge w/ forward reach x10/side
- Feet elevated pushups x10-15
HIIT (30s on/15s off: 12 minutes)
- Step-up (30s/leg)
Elevated split squats and pushups can be performed with a chair, box, dog, child, or whatever…be creative!
If you have additional time, try your best to find a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, foam roller, can of cranberries, frozen water bottle, or SOMETHING to use for some soft-tissue work. I hear foam rolling while drinking eggnog is the newest fitness trend (kidding!). No matter what you choose to do, the number-one goal is to stay moving. Don’t let your active lifestyle take a “HIIT” (okay, I’m done) over these next few weeks.
This blog was written by Alex Soller, Health Fitness Instructor, Athletic Performance Coach. Click here for more information about the NIFS bloggers.