Jetting off for the holidays? Here’s how to keep fitness a priority
Almost missing your flight shouldn’t be the ONLY time you work up a sweat this holiday season. We get it: It’s hard enough to stay motivated around comfort food and holiday parties, but add in your travel plans and you might be tempted to forget about your workout routine. According to a new survey by Orbitz, 86 percent of people are planning a trip for the holidays—and you can bet they won’t be hitting the hotel gym every morning.
So unless you happen to be spending the holidays with a family of personal trainers, try these simple tips to shape up on the go:
Go on a hike to Terminal B
Flight delayed? Take a brisk walk around the airport, says Monica Nelson, American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer. Plus, your bag probably weighs a ton.
After a long trip, your muscles tend to be tighter than ever. When you get to your gate, ward off lower-back soreness with a forward fold: Bend at the hips and fall forward, hugging your knees and rocking side to side, says Nelson. And once you’re at your destination, help your body and mind reset with two yoga poses: downward dog and child’s pose.
Pack the right tools
You can skip the dumbbells, but there’s plenty of light equipment you can bring with you. Your best bet is a jump rope. “You burn the most calories per minute with jump rope than with any other cardio,” says Nelson. Other feather-light options to toss in your bag: a TRX, resistance bands, and hand towels to use in place of sliders. And in a pinch, water bottles make decent hand weights.
Scope out the fitness scene
Remember how 86 percent of people will be away between Thanksgiving and the New Year? Yeah, use that to your advantage. Check out deals on fitness classes or just call around to a few studios and see if they’re offering any one-time deals for first timers, says Nelson. Gyms are pretty much abandoned during these weeks, so your chances of finding something new and cheap are way higher. “You won’t feel guilty about skipping a workout and you’ll get to try a new class,” says Nelson. “And chances are you’ll want to get out of the house or hotel anyway!”
Go fast and hard with no equipment
Even if you don’t pack a single fitness tool, you can get a crazy-good workout with simple bodyweight exercises. Just wake up a half hour before the family to do a few circuits. “This is the time do full body at high intensity,” says Nelson. “You have no time and want to rev your metabolism, so make every minute count.” Her simple circuit suggestion: do 100 jumping jacks (or four sets of 25 if you need to), 30-60 seconds of pushups, 30-60 seconds holding a plank, 30-60 seconds of lunges per leg, and 30-60 seconds of burpees. Then repeat two or three times.