The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust
Continuing with our travel theme, in this week’s blog I wanted to pass along a few tips that will hopefully help you to stay on track with your exercise regime while on the road.
I used to have plenty of time on the weekends for long hikes and bike rides before I had a child. These days, however, between using Saturdays to catch up on work I didn’t get done during the week, family events, chores, church, and my son’s games, it’s rare my weekends offer much in the way of large blocks of time to myself.
To make sure I’m making the best use of the time I do have, I now take the weekends to create and do workouts that can easily be done while I’m on the road. This way I have a “grab bag” of no excuse workouts that can be completed anywhere with minimal space, time, and accessories. As my collection of do-anywhere workouts has grown, instead of dreading how travel messes up my daily routine, I now find myself looking forward to changing things up.
For those of you who like how this sounds, here are three recommendations to get you started*:
Best use of time: The scientific seven-minute workout
This workout is made up of a progression of 12 different bodyweight exercises (see NYTimes) that are done by alternating between a 30-second “work” phase and a 10-second “rest” phase. What makes the workout “scientific” is how it alternates between working larger muscle groups and smaller muscle groups.
It’s my go-to workout when I’m on the road. I’ve done it in hotel rooms, parks, and parking lots; and, so I don’t have to keep track of the exercises or the work/rest intervals, I have a Seven-Minute Workout app (see Google Play) on my Pixel. I like the app on my phone but I’m sure there are plenty of others available – just do a search for “seven-minute workout.”
Once you have the app downloaded on your phone, consider getting up a few minutes earlier than normal on a weekend and giving it a try so you’ll be prepped for your next trip.
Get creative: Head outdoors
As I noted last week, I don’t much care for hotel gyms. As such, if my hotel room has me feeling cramped and I’m not pressed for time, I’ll often head outdoors for a workout in a park or a stroll around the block.
Lots of ways to get creative. Consider for example, that last month, while traveling in Asia, I created a sprint course for myself at a park with some water bottles. By the time I was done with a workout that consisted of a few rounds of forward and backward sprints and side to side shuffles, a market had been set up next to the park where a husband and wife were selling freshly cut pineapple from the back of their truck. As I headed back to my room eating some excellent pineapple, I couldn’t help but be incredibly grateful to be alive…and thankful that I wasn’t on a treadmill in a hotel gym watching the morning news.
If you happen to have a park near where you live, on a weekend when you have a little more time consider taking a break from your normal routine to develop some workouts you can do outdoors.
Injury Prevention: Stability, stretching, and core routines
Ask a physical therapist what some of the more common injuries are in older folks and I’m sure you’ll hear all about injuries to rotator cuffs, knees, lower backs, as well as the dreaded and all too common plantar fasciitis. Whether you’re an endurance athlete, powerlifter, skier, crossfitter, yoga practitioner, golfer, or a couch potato I suspect you aren’t taking the necessary preventative measures to prevent injuries to these areas.
I totally get it. With it hard enough to get a workout in during the week, finding extra time to do some stability work/stretching/core training is tough. The problem is, especially as we get older, it doesn’t take much to bring on an injury that can sideline you for a long time. Although doing the extras won’t necessarily prevent injuries, I have found they do help reduce recovery time.
If you’re strapped for time, why not use weekends to focus on some overlooked areas and have some routines in the bank you can do while you’re on the road? Most exercises can be done without any equipment at all or minimally with some lightweight bands. The internet is a great source of ideas but if you have access to a qualified personal trainer or physical therapist, consider asking them for some ideas.
On that note, given that I’m currently on travel in the beautiful state of Minnesota, it seems appropriate to add some local music to our Manufacturing Peace of Mind Spotify playlist. So much to choose from but I have a soft spot for ukuleles so let me introduce you to Lena Elizabeth via her song “Loaded Gun.” A singer/songwriter from the Twin Cities, her dad taught her how to play the baritone ukulele when she was a kid and she hasn’t stopped playing since (Minnesota Public Radio). Hope you like her music as much as I did.
*Ah yes, the fine print…do consult your doctor before starting any type of exercise routine.
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