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Not a fan of the hotel gym? Not enough space to pack your full workout attire? No problem. With this workout, clothing is optional since you don’t even need to leave your room!
The sky is the limit in terms of designing a workout away from the gym. View the following routine as a framework upon which you can incorporate some of your favourite equipment-free exercises. All you need for this workout is a book or binder (preferably of a large size) and a chair or bench. I highly recommend morning exercise, but this routine can be done anytime of the day.
Step 1 Wake up! Splash some cold water on your face, have a small snack (e.g. banana, yogurt, almonds) and get ready to rock out to some great tunes. Music always makes working out more enjoyable. Before traveling, make sure your iPod is loaded with a great workout playlist.
Step 2 Warm up and get your sweat on! Choose one or do a combo of: running or marching on the spot, dancing like it’s your birthday, or even just some good old-fashioned jumping jacks. Do this for 5-10 minutes to get your heart pumping!
Step 3 The Mini Circuit (10-15 mins). I love circuits; they keep you focused and add variety. Beginners perform 1 set of 12-16 reps of each exercise. Modify each move to suit your fitness level. Intermediate/Advanced perform 2-3 sets of 10-16 reps. Try performing one exercise right after another to up the cardio. If needed, take a short rest in between.
- Pushups – On your knees or toes (keeping your body straight).
- Good Mornings – Stand with feet about hip-width apart holding a phone book or heavier book straight up overhead. Keeping your abs braced and knees slightly bent, tip from the hips and lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor, keeping your arms in line with your ears. Lift up and repeat.
- Tricep Dips – Sit on a bench or chair with hands resting next to thighs. Push up and bring your hips out, with your bum just brushing the bench, and keep your knees bent. Bend your elbows and lower your body down (staying close to bench or chair) until elbows are 90 degrees. Push up and repeat. To up the intensity, try straightening your legs.
- Lunges - Unless you're staying in a pod hotel, most hotel rooms accommodate at least a few lunges in a row. Step forward with one foot (don’t let your forward knee go past your big toe), bend your knees and lower into a lunge, bringing both knees into a 90-degree angle. Return to standing and step forward with the opposite leg. Move around your room doing as many as you can.
Step 4 Chill out. Spend 5 minutes doing light stretching and 5 minutes just being still. Stilling your mind and being calm is just as essential as physical activity for starting the day right. Find a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe.
Step 5 Shower and get going!
Note: if you haven't exercised before, or have any injuries or illnesses, you should consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
[photo by Rance Costa]