Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chillin at the Holiday Inn

Okay, so ACTUALLY as I write this, I'm chilling at the Hampton Inn, but I don't know of any songs featuring the Hampton. I've recently started a different role at work that requires me to travel a little bit more.  **DISCLAIMER** I don't travel nearly as much as some of our real road warriors, so I still have a lot to learn. If any of you professional travelers are reading this and have any tips to share, please do!!

Whether for business or pleasure, summer is a time when a lot of us travel more than usual, so I wanted to share some of the things I've learned (some the hard way) along the way about staying fit and fabulous while traveling.

It's SO tempting to fall into the "calories don't count when I'm on vacation" mindset but let's not kid ourselves here! One of the best parts of going on vacation is the opportunity to experience new foods you just can't get "back home." My current trip brings me to Brenham, TX, home of the Blue Bell creamery, delicious pecan pie, and better Mexican food than you find in Kansas. Planning for these things, I try to keep myself in check for my other meals, and of course I'm planning for time to be active.

Vacation brings lots of opportunities to be more active than we are in our daily lives, without even recognizing it sometimes! A couple years ago, Adam and I went to DC, and I can't even imagine how many miles we must have walked in a day touring the city and museums. To really take an active vacation to extremes, plan for a vacation/race. Whether that's a 5k, half marathon, triathlon, or whatever. The vacation serves as a great reward for all your hard training. Then there are things like skiing, hiking, rafting and biking. More of a spa on the beach kind of girl? Did you know walking/running on the beach is an AMAZING workout for your legs? All your muscles have to work so much harder to stabilize themselves in the sand, and many resorts also have yoga classes by the beach. What a great way to start your day!

Business trip in rural TX? No problem! Even if your hotel doesn't have a fitness center, there are plenty of things you can do in your own room with NO equipment!

Legs: squats, lunges, bowler lunges, plie lunges, wall sits, all of which simply use your own body weight for resistance. If you're used to using weights when you do squats, you may need to do more reps than you're used to, or even find something in the room like a phone book that might add a little extra weight.
Core: there are a million variations on planks to keep your abs and back tight.
Arms: pushups, then bring the hands together and the elbows closer to the body for tricep work. Bicep curls can be effective again with a phone book or even without weights, as long as you keep the motion slow and concentrate on contracting the muscles. For a more intense workout, think about bringing a resistance band. It takes very little space in your suitcase and can be held tighter or looser depending on your strength level.

Mix these exercises in with 60-90 second intervals of jumping jacks for a total body strength/cardio workout! Got internet? A quick YouTube search of "hotel room workout" will give you plenty of other ideas!

Taking the extra 30 minutes just for a quick circuit will make those little indulgences like Blue Bell ice cream and Mexican food feel a lot more enjoyable. Just be sure you do the circuit BEFORE the ice cream!