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 🙂

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?

Take a Hike in Central PA

It’s finally summer after a brutal winter.  Everyone is ready to get outside.  If you have been treading on the treadmill or hiking up the stair climber all winter, you may be ready to get outside and put those muscles to use on a hike in the great Central PA outdoors.

Memorial Day weekend my friend Steph and her hubby took a hike in Ricketts Glen State Park. It was a beautiful weekend and she got some great pictures she shared with me.

Steph and hubby in Rickett's Glen
Steph and hubby in Rickett’s Glen

If you’re not sure where to hike or how to get started, check out PA Hikes. It has information on 28 different hiking trails, and a link to hiking clubs, maps books and trail guides.  The trails are divided out into backpacking trails and day hike trails.  Each trail has a narrative written by a hiker who has completed the trail.

If you decide to do more than a day hike, you will probably want to get in hiking shape. Here’s a four week workout plan to get ready to do a backpacking trip. You could even turn your pre-hike workout into a fitness challenge!  Click here to get point tracking sheets and directions to get started.

 

Pinterest No Equipment At Home Workouts

Here’s my daughter’s first in a weekly series of blog posts.  Enjoy!

Marla’s Fitness Corner – Week of June 17

Last week Sue (my Mom!) posted that I would be writing a weekly blog about doing a Couch to 5k Program. It’s true that I found a free Couch to 5k Trainer app in the Apple app store. I did the first few days of the program and really enjoyed it, but I’ve realized I’m not going to be able to run seriously until I get a pair of good running sneakers (very important everyone! Don’t run in a bad pair of sneakers. It’s a good way to hurt yourself). I’m planning on going to True Runner, a store specifically for runners, to get fitted for the right pair of sneakers in the next week or two, and then I will begin blogging about the awesome Couch to 5k program.

In the meantime though, I thought I’d blog about another great way I like to keep fit – Pinterest Workouts! If you’ve never been on Pinterest, you’re missing out. It’s a social media site based around “pinning” photos that link back to all kinds of cool websites. You can pin recipes, outfits you like, house decorating ideas, pretty much anything you can think of! My favorite thing to pin though is different workouts that you can do at home with minimal equipment or no workout equipment at all. You can find workouts to work your whole body or to focus on a specific problem area.

Let me give you an example. Lately I’ve been feeling a little flabby in the love handle region. So I found a workout on Pinterest with exercises that focus on burning away your love handles.  Here is the workout:

It may not look like a lot, but I was sweating bullets! I chose to repeat the workout twice, but you can choose to do a Pinterest workout however many times you want. Another thing I like to do is find two short workouts for the day and do them together. Tonight I did the ‘Lose Your Love Handles Workout’ as well as this, a workout called “I love My Arms”:

The only equipment that you need for this workout is some sort of weight for the bicep curls, but if you can’t find one, you can just skip that step! That’s what I love about Pinterest workouts, you can take parts of different workouts and customize them to fit what you want to do for yourself.

You can see all of my workouts pinned to my Fitness board on Pinterest here: http://pinterest.com/marlak91/fitness-and-motivation/

Use these workouts to start your Pinterest workout regimen, or else create your own Fitness board on Pinterest!

Working out is great, but you have to eat smart too.  You can get 7 quick, healthy, kitchen tested recipes here.

 

Exercise on Vacation: It Can Go Together

In our vacation "gym" with the only equpment we needed.

It used to be a problem to keep the fitness routine going when I went on vacation. All the progress I made would take a giant step backwards when I travelled. Now there are many products on the market that make it easier to work out when you are on the road. Better yet, many really good workouts can be done with only body weight. So they can be done anywhere and don’t cost a dime!

My hubby and I spent two weeks at Sunset Beach, NC with the family. We tried spinning and Group Pump at the Fitness Studio in Ocean Isle. On a third day we walked 3 miles to prepare for the Freedom Run/Walk in Southport.  Other than that, we worked out together under the beach house.  We moved the car, used a few inexpensive and light to carry items and we were all set.   We worked out 8 total days in our makeshift gym.  Here’s what we did:

Workout 1 was a circuit workout.  Do each exercise for 30 seconds with a 15 second break between exercises.

  1. Push-ups
  2. Alternating rows with a resistance band
  3. Speed skaters
  4. Squat Jumps
  5. Inch Worm
  6. Chest Press with a resistance band around a beam
  7. Mountain Climbers
  8. Alternating lunges
  9. Burpees
  10. Bicep curls with a resistance band
  11. Tricep kickbacks with a resistance band
  12. Defensive Slide
  13. But Kickers

Take a short break and repeat the circuit

Workout 2 was a a Tabatas workout.  We did this one four days during our two weeks and changed the types of exercises we did each time. Here’s an example:

Do each exercise for 20 seconds and take a 10 second break between each one.  Do the circuit twice with no breaks in between.  Do each exercise as hard and as fast as you can. Make sure you warm up for at least 5 minutes beforehand and cool down and stretch afterward.

  1. Push-ups
  2. Jump Rope with high knees (no real jump rope needed)
  3. Knee to elbow crunch sit-ups (alternating elbow to leg)
  4. Basketball lunges (reverse lunge followed by a simulated layup jump)

Workout 3 was a circuit with three different parts.  Perform each of the six exercises for 40 seconds with a 20 second break in between.  We did each exercise group twice and took a water/rest break before starting the next set of six.

Exercise group 1

  1. Squat to press with resistance band
  2. Chest press with resistance band
  3. Swimmers with resistance band
  4. Reverse lunge (change legs at the 20 second mark)
  5. Med ball rotations
  6. Jumping Jacks

Exercise group 2

  1. Alternating overhead press using resistance bands
  2. Rows using resistance bands
  3. Bicep curls with bands
  4. Alternating side lunge
  5. Plank- elbows to hands (alternating arms)
  6. Stand to defensive stance jumps

Exercise group 3

  1. Med ball slams
  2. Inch worm
  3. Bent over altenating rows using bands
  4. Squat jumps (or just squats if you are tired now)
  5. Diagonal Woodchops using bands or med ball
  6. Burpees

Workout 4 was a circuit that is done counting reps rather than a time limit.  A short break should be taken between each set of exercises. We did each set twice.

Exercise set 1

  1. push-ups (15)
  2. Squat and row (15)
  3. Alternate reverse lunge (15 each leg)
  4. Ski hops (15)

Exercise set 2

  1. Squat thrust (15)
  2. Swimmers using a band (15)
  3. Alternate Lateral lunge (15 each leg)
  4. Speed skaters (15)

Exercise set 3

  1. Walk hands out and back (10)
  2. Robinhood row (15 each arm)
  3. Screamer lunges (15 each leg)
  4. Squat jumps (15)

A special thank you to One on One Fitness.  The trainers there prepared these for us to take with us on vacation. As always, check with your physician before you start any exercise program and build up slowly to the intensity of these workouts.

 

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

5 Tips To Plan an Effective Workout

Please welcome Hattie Smith, guest poster from guestpostu.com

So, you are in need of a new workout plan, or a workout plan? You’ve looked up what you should do online, in your favorite fitness magazine, and consulted your nearest and dearest. Now, you need to make this plan actually work out so you can achieve what you want. How do you do that? Well, here are some great tips on how to plan an effective workout.

1. Know your goals before you even start

Do you want to lose weight? Increase muscle mass? Do you just want a reason to get outside more often? Before you start the routine, you need to have some goals in mind. This will help you as you plot how to work out as well as keep you on track when you are tempted to stray

2. Know your fitness/energy level

Do you love a morning run or a cardio workout? Or, does the idea of running on a treadmill make your stomach churn? Before getting started, you need to know what your fitness or energy level is. The most effective workout is going to be one that works with where you are now. If you get winded walking up stairs, a heavy intensity cardio workout is not your starting point. As you progress, you will reevaluate what your levels are and adjust accordingly.

3. How often

Will you be working out every day, or just a few days a week? You should at least try to start at 4-5 days a week, even if it just a 10-20 minute slot. Workouts that are more frequent, even if they are shorter, will help to build your stamina. This will help as you progress so that you will be able to challenge yourself further.

4. What exercise will you be doing?

This decision will be made after you decide some other factors, including the above mentioned three. Do you love swimming or riding your bike? If you are trying to tone muscles, what exercises will you want to do to help achieve this? Since this can be difficult to figure out, you may want to consult a fitness professional. They can help you plan the most effective workout.

5. How often do you want to evaluate?

For some, having “check points” is really important. For instance, if you are trying to lose weight, do you want to weigh in once a week, or twice? This is also something to factor in, especially for weight loss programs. Keeping check points at specific intervals will help you monitor progress, and see where you are at.

Hattie Smith loves singing karaoke, going to salsa clubs, and just got a great rate on insurances at healthinsurancequotes.org

Exercise and Fitness: Try Tabatas!

Tabatas seems to be the new buzzword in fitness circles these days. Put in the simplest of terms, Tabatas is 20 seconds of exercise at 100% intensity, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This cycle is repeated for a duration of four minutes. You should start your session with a 5 minute warm-up and follow your session with a 5 minute cool down.

What are the benefits of Tabatas?

Tabatas improves both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Pure cardio only improves aerobic capacity. When your anaerobic capacity is improved you can train at higher intensity levels for a longer period of time. This increases your calorie burn during AND after your workout. You create an oxygen deficit while you do Tabatas that HAS to be replenished after you’re done. The harder you work out, the harder you breathe and the higher your heart rate goes. As a result, it takes more time (and calories) to get things back to normal. Cool science eh?

The really nice thing about Tabatas is you can get a great workout in a very short period of time. You wouldn’t want to do this type of workout every day. It’s recommended that you take part in Tabatas once or twice a week tops. When planning your workout, use exercises that involve large muscle groups.

Time for the disclaimer: You should always check with your doctor before starting a work out program like Tabatas to make sure you are healthy enough for intense exercise. Ok, that’s out of the way…

When I tried Tabatas for the first time, I decided to do “Tabatas light”. I did 15 seconds at 100% intensity and rested for 15 seconds. I did six minutes at this intensity level. My plan is to work up to the real deal.

A traditional tabatas is 20 seconds as hard as you can go with 10 seconds of rest.

Here’s the workout:

Squats: 15 seconds Rest: 15 seconds
Push-ups: 15 seconds Rest: 15 seconds
Crunches: 15 seconds Rest: 15 seconds
(these were “criss cross” Elbow to opposite knee)
Mountain Climbers: 15 seconds Rest: 15 seconds

I did three sets of the above. The total time for the workout was 16 minutes, including my warm-up and cool down.

Here’s the cool tech tools that enhanced my workout:

i-Pad 3 with the following apps

Bit-timer: You can set your work time, your rest time and how many times you want it to repeat. An audible beep counts down to start each exercise round.

Songza: I used the “Drop-a-beat” workout playlist.

Give it a try! (see disclaimer) Then let me know how it goes by sending me a comment.

If you like this post and would like more fitness challenges, tip and tricks, follow this link:



 

 

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Online Fitness Coaching: Beginner’s Workout

Hey all! Just surfing around Pinterest today.  I’m home early from work prepping for a colonoscopy (yuck) and trying to take it easy.  Hey it’s all for healthier living, right?  Anyway..here’s a 30 day fitness plan for those of you who might be starting out from complete scratch.  Maybe you have not exercised for a long time and you need to start over.  It’s never a good idea to come out like a house on fire, overdo it and quit because you are too sore to walk for three days.  Print this out and put it on your fridge.  Follow it for 30 days and see how much better you feel.  While you’re at it, skip over to my “nutrition” tab and check out Shakeology.  They can both get you started on the right foot! Have a great weekend.