How to Stay Fit on Vacation

Recently I was invited by Jennifer Whitehair (she promotes vacationing in Las Vegas and it sounds like there is tons to do there besides gambling and going to see shows on the strip) to blog about staying fit on vacation. It’s a part of #TravelFit2014. She contacted me right before I was headed to South Bethany Beach Delaware.

We have been going to Sunset Beach, NC (and loved it) for years. This year all of our young adult kids have jobs that don’t mesh too well with traveling 12 hours away so we decided to bring the party North.

This is a perfect time for me to explore what kinds of fun things I can do to stay in shape while I enjoy the shores of South Bethany for two weeks.

June 15 was our first full day here. I decided to try some Yoga on the beach. I have my P90X Yoga X pretty well memorized so I just walked down the beach access and gave it a shot. It was great gazing at the ocean while doing my sun salutations. I felt very relaxed after about an hour doing Yoga in the wind and salt air. Sure beats my basement home gym!


Today my sister and I took a two mile bike ride up highway 1 to Bethany Beach. There is a bike path that runs parallel to the road. We were able to park the bikes and walk around, check out the shops and restaurants, and walk the boardwalk a bit. It was a beautiful day for it! On the way back DelDot had a bike safety station and installed free lights on our bikes. Thanks ūüôā

When we got back to the beach house, I decided to use my 12 Minute Athlete app on my smartphone to get some resistance exercise. This app is great for traveling and it only costs about a dollar so the price is right. You just put in how long you want to work out (12 or 16 minutes) and what equipment you have and it creates a workout for you. If you don’t like it, you just shake it and it creates another one. Since it didn’t have resistance bands as an option for equipment, I had it create a bodyweight workout and substituted 2 band exercises for two bodyweight exercises. I just went under the beach house in the shade. Who needs to spend extra money to go to the gym?

Weight Workout for Heel Spur

So I’m still nursing this heel spur and I continue to modify my workouts. If you are dealing with a foot injury, maybe you can benefit from my workout modifications. The doc says I can still lift weights as long as I’m not putting heavy pressure on the foot.¬† Here’s what I came up with:

Since I am not doing any squats or or lunges with weights, I have added some cardio on the bike on my weight days.

  1. Two minute bike warm-up followed by a four minute bike tabata
  2. Total body weight workout, eliminating any squatting or lunging movements. If I could do the weight move and eliminate the squat or lunge. (Example: kneeling shoulder press instead of a shoulder press with a lunge) I did it.
  3. Second two minute bike tabata, followed by a bike cool-down and a ten minute stretch.

10 Minute Core Workout Video

My private fitness group has started our 10 days of abs workout challenge.¬† The beginner Ab workout video is being used and I just added this intermediate workout video.¬† I’m sharing it here so you can use it too. I am creating a spreadsheet¬†to keep track of participant’s workouts.¬† When they get to ten, they get 25¬†bonus points toward our next points challenge.¬†In the meantime, we will all end up with killer abs!

 

 

Beginner Ab Workout

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, we were stuck inside while Hurrican Sandy raged outside.¬†I used my time wisely and made a video for my private facebook¬† fitness group.¬† We are starting an ab challenge.¬† The challenge is ten days of abs, the participants choose what days to do their workouts and post on the site when they do them. If they do all ten days of abs, they get bonus points for our next points challenge. So…here’s my beginner ab workout video I made. It works your upper and lower abs, obliques and back muscles to help strengthen your core. It’s almost ten minutes long.¬† Look for the intermediate and advanced ab workout soon…

 

Fitness: Rip Deck Workout App

Ever do the Deck of Cards Workout? Each suit represents a different type of exercise (hearts are jumping jacks, spades are burpees etc.). Each card stands for a certain number of reps. My hubby tried this the old school way (real deck of cards) with his group training class.¬† Being the techie that he is, he googled “deck of cards workout” and found the Rip Deck Workout App.

 

This app gives you four levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced and custom). Once you set up your workout, you just tap the screen to flip your cards.¬† It gives you the suit, what exercise you should do,¬†and the number of reps to complete. All you need to do is follow the directions. Simple! The workout takes about 30 minutes.¬† You can do it literally anywhere and you don’t need any equipment at all.

It times you on each exercise and gives you a breakdown of how many reps you completed and how long it took to do each card. It has a social component too.  You can e-mail your results to a friend and challenge them to beat your score.  You can also post your results on facebook or twitter.

The cost of this app is only 99 cents.  If you use it and get in great shape, it will be well worth the investment! If you have used Rip Deck, let me know what you think about it.

Exercise Can Prevent Hip Injuries

Regular exercise and good nutrition are a part of my lifestyle so I can have quality of life and enjoy the years I will be blessed with. This guest post by Elizabeth Carollton supports this view.

Preventing Joint/Hip Injury with Proper Exercise

Did you know that hip injuries that happen over your lifetime can come back to haunt you years later? Hip problems are among the top causes of disability in adults. In many cases, the damage that caused those problems accumulated gradually. That’s usually how hip osteoarthritis develops ‚ÄĒ one little injury at a time over the years, each one wearing away a bit more of the cartilage that cushions joints.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting around a quarter of all adults. Some will develop arthritis severe enough to warrant hip replacement. Learning how to prevent joint injury with proper exercise can reduce your risk of becoming one of them.

Inactivity: You’ll Feel it in Your Hips

Weak hips and bones can cause a lot of trouble, and inactivity is one of the chief causes of that weakening. Among the issues that can occur as hip muscles weaken are stiffness and limited range of motion, hip pain, excess stress and wear on hip joints and poor balance or unsteadiness while standing and walking. Hip injuries are more likely with weak hip muscles, and eventually, chronic joint problems like arthritis can develop. Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, a common condition in which bones become fragile. Once that happens, even a light bump or fall can result in hip fracture.

Serious hip problems can often be corrected with hip replacement surgery, which has been a blessing to many disabled by these problems. However, preventing hip problems is the better way to go, since hip surgery is not without risk. Recent trouble over recalled hip implants has been a good example of that.

Many patients who had defective or poorly designed metal on metal hip implants used in replacement surgeries have suffered complications ranging from premature implant failure to metallosis and osteolysis, which are serious conditions related to implant debris than can lead to pain, inflammation, tissue death and bone loss.

How Exercise Can Help

Your hips need the support of the muscles that surround them to maintain optimal function. Keeping the hip muscles strong and flexible with regular exercise makes sure they are able to keep the hip joints well-aligned, stable and somewhat insulated from the force exerted on these hard-working, weight-bearing joints as you walk, run, stand and bend.

Strong bones are crucial for hip health, and regular exercise benefits bones too. The stress placed on them during exercise stimulates the production of new bone cells to keep them dense and strong. Last but not least, exercise can help in weight control, which is important to hip health, since excess weight places a lot of strain on weight-bearing joints

Half an hour of exercise five days a week is a simple and effective way to keep your hips strong and healthy. However, avoid activities that pound away at the joints, since they can do more harm than good. Walking, low-impact aerobics, bicycling and swimming strengthen the hip muscles and help maintain bone strength without causing trauma to your hip joints.

Elizabeth Carrollton writes about defective medical devices and dangerous drugs for Drugwatch.com.

 

Fitness: High Intensity Interval Training

I am really into high intensity interval training lately. Why? It gets you maximun results in a minimum amount of time.¬† If you are wondering, “just what is all this HIIT business anyway?”, this infographic from greatlist.com will explain it for you.¬† Then check out some of my tabata workouts and my mountain hike intervals for some HIIT workouts you can try.

 

Home Gym: Organize Your Workouts

I do most of my workouts in my own home gym.¬† It’s cheaper, it’s convenient and sometimes it’s kind of cluttered.¬† Here’s a good way to organize your Tabata workouts so you can always find the one you want, when you want it.

Post-it notes aren’t just for the office. My hubby works with personal trainers from One-on-One Fitness.¬† He gets Tabata work-out ideas from them.¬† I like to search for mine on You Tube. (Check out my facebook page for a new Tabata video each Tuesday.) We write each Tabata workout on a¬†post-it note. Then we post it on the wall in our home-gym basement.¬†When it’s Tabata day, we choose one that is posted on the wall, put it on the coffee table so we can refer to it as we work out. When we’re done, we post it back to the wall. It’s ready to go the next time we need it. It’s easy to do, it’s convenient, and my¬†personal¬†favorite, it only costs the price of a pack of Post-it Notes!

 

 

Fitness Challenge Idea: Striders

What motivates people to exercise? I’d like to share an idea I am trying with my middle school students that you could use at work or¬†with your family and friends.¬† All you will need are ideas to modify what we are doing to fit your individual situations.

Husky Striders is an intramural program I started at our middle school.¬† Here’s how it works. Kids stay after school and we go to the football field nearby. It is surrounded by a cinder track. Students walk or run (their choice) around the track.¬† Each time they pass me, they are handed a playing card.¬† At the end of the alotted time, students report how many cards they have and hand them in.¬† I record the number of laps they walked or ran; four laps equal a mile.¬† For every mile they walk or run, they will receive a “Husky Strider” purple¬†rubber wrist band. (These bands are very popular with the middle school set!). Laps are cumulative so I add them up for the entire time I run the program.

My hope is this simple incentive will keep the kids coming back to Striders and keep them racking up the miles.  The first day we stayed after school, I had sixty students show up.  I was expecting 30 at the most. Many completed 12 laps that day. Kids are already asking me when those bracelets will be here!

How could you use this idea to motivate walking/running with your group of fitness minded people? How could you modify it to use with a group connected via internet? What kind of incentives will motivate your group? Start thinking and let me know what you come up with….

Exercise and Fitness: Foam Roller Moves You’ll Love

You’ve heard that I love my foam roller, right? Here’s some foam roller exercises that will make you feel great. A big thanks to Greatist.com for sharing their infographic.¬† Give these a try.¬† You won’t be sorry!

Foam Rolling Infographic

Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com.