By Susan Lovitt & Liz Michelson
Summertime often means having a less structured schedule, fun in the sun and traveling. However, there is no need to wander off course with your exercise routine when traveling or enjoying the lazy days of summer. With a little planning and flexibility, maintaining your health and fitness level while away can be a breeze!
Pack Your Bands!
Compact and light weight, resistance bands can punch up strength exercises when you’re away from home and can’t pack heavy hand weights. They are equally effective for both upper and lower body workouts.
For lower body, while standing, place the band right above your knees. From this position you can effectively work the entire lower body muscles: do squats, standing leg lifts to the side, (leg abduction), standing leg lifts behind (arabesque), standing leg lifts in front across the supporting leg (leg adduction), and leg curls behind (hamstring curls). You can also do similar moves while on the floor on all fours for side leg and leg lifts back or try bridges with the band! Do as many repetitions as it takes to really fatigue your muscles.
For upper body, place the band around your forearms then get on a mat or towel and do as many modified pushups (knees bent, feet up) as you can. Use the band in the same forearm position (keeping it taut) and bend at the elbows for an effective bicep curl. For triceps, hold the band in one hand at your shoulder or hip and pull the band back with your other arm. Lastly, hold the taut band in both hands and pull your elbows back to work back muscles.
While having bands or weights can add resistance to your strength workout, you can still get a very effective workout just using your body weight in a variety of exercises. For lower body, try squats, plies (think “Five More Minutes”) leg adductions, leg abductions and hamstring curls or get on a mat for side lying leg lifts, upside down plies, or clamshells! For upper body, go for the pushups or grab a steady chair and put your back towards the chair and your hands on the seat. Then, lower your hips down and push back to the starting position for triceps dips. For those of you who like a challenge, try some burpees! From a standing position, jump and reach overhead, bend knees, jump legs back into a plank then jump feet back up towards hands, come to standing and repeat – cardio and strength in one move!
Take Us with You!
Stay connected with us when you’re on the road by checking out the live stream classes with your Empower Fitness Fitpros! Using My Fit Pro, you can take any class we offer – anywhere! We’ve had customers and instructors stream classes from as far away as Alaska, Colorado, Tennessee and Florida. So, make sure to take along the current month’s password, then dance and sweat with us wherever you go!
Try Something New!
For other cardio options on the go, learn to kayak, ride horseback or snorkel. Discover your destination by biking around town. Take a walk or run on the beach, go for a swim, explore nature with a hike, climb stairs, or try the cardio exercise equipment in your hotel gym. (We’re guessing that won’t be the most exciting exercise you could choose, but it’ll get the job done…and make you miss your local Fitpro classes even more!)
Whatever you do, enjoy your downtime and get some movement in anywhere you can. Keep in mind that the length and intensity of your workouts may differ on vacation and that is ok! Focus on fun! Vacations are the perfect time to explore all that your body can do and to recommit to staying healthy. When you return, your local Empower Fitness Fitpros will be ready to greet you where you left off! Safe travels!