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The Work Out Anywhere No Equipment Travel Workout

The Work-Out-Anywhere Workout by Maria Faires, RD, ACE-PT, ACE-MES

Even if you don’t have access to a full hotel gym, this list of travel exercises provides you with some body weight exercises you can do in your room so that you don’t lose your fitness gains while you’re traveling. There are lots of exercise options here. Feel free to pick and choose. For best results warm up with cardio, do the first 3 exercises as a dynamic warm up then choose at least 1 or 2 exercises that target the back, the legs, the core. If time allows, stretch after your are done.

Warm up cardio: It is always important to warm up before working out. Options are running in place, dancing, step ups, jumping jacks, jump rope, run around the block a couple of times or walk up and down a stairwell.

Ankle Touches: Run in place, turning your knees slightly outward, bringing the inside of the leg up toward the chest and reaching your hands to touch the inside of your ankles.

Shoulder circle: Stand with your arms straight out from your sides, parallel to the floor. Slowly rotate both arms forward in big circles. Continue for 30 seconds, then draw big backward circles for 30 seconds.

Fire Hydrant Circles: Get in hands and knees position, hips over knees and shoulders over wrists. Keep the arms straight throughout. Pull belly button to spine. Lift one leg off the ground with knee bent and perform circles from the hip; getting as large a range of motion as possible without moving your spine. Do big circles then reverse the circle then switch sides. Make sure your spine is staying stable and all the movement is coming from the hips.

Forward Leaning Lunges: get in lunge position, bend forward, place palms on floor.

Glute Bridges: Lying face up on ground with arms to side, knees bent, and heels on ground (or chair). Lift hips off the ground until knees, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line, hold 3 seconds, return to start position and repeat.

Push-ups: If these are too difficult, do standing pushups. This exercise works your chest, shoulders and arms. Kneel on the floor with about 75 percent of your weight balanced on your palms. Pull your abdominals in so your back doesn’t sag and your spine is in alignment. Bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor. Once your upper arms are parallel with the floor, press back up to the start.

Ski Jumps: side to side plyos with feet together.  

Wall-Sits: From a standing position, lean back against a wall or a solid stationary object and bend your knees sliding down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold this position for as long as you can. If this position is uncomfortable to you just go to a depth that you feel comfortable with and then work at being able to get into the thighs parallel position as you progress through the weeks of your program. Your feet should be 18 to 24 inches away from the wall to minimize knee stress. Continue to breathe throughout the entire time.

Squat Thrust/burpees: Stand with feet together. Squat down and place your hands on the floor next to your feet. In an explosive movement, jump feet backwards into a push-up position (keep core braced), jump feet back between hands and stand up. Leap up as high as possible from the squat position.

Side lunge windmills. Lunge to right side and touch left hand to right foot, bring right hand up and behind you. Stay low I a lunge and move to other side. Keep back straight.

Jumping Jack: Stand upright with feet together and hands at your sides. Raise hands up above your head, while jumping up just enough to spread your feet about twice shoulder width apart. Immediately reverse movement back to start position without stopping. Repeat as many times as necessary as quickly as possible.

Squats: Stand tall with your feet hip width apart and your hands on your hips. Bend your knees and lower your body. How low you go will depend on your strength and flexibility, but never go so low that your rear is lower than your knees or your knees shoot out over your toes.  Stand slowly back up.

Bench Walkouts to forearm plank: Toes on bench and palms on floor, walk hands back towards bench, walk back out, one arm down to forearm, other arm down to forearm, back up to palms, walk back towards bench.

Single Leg Balance. Standing on one leg, maintain your balance Try to hold for 1 minute. Once this exercise is too easy progress to eyes closed.

High Knee Jog 30 seconds

Hamstring Plate Slides. Lie on back knees bent with heels on paper plates. Tighten butt, slide plates away.

Bench Burpees: toes on bench or sturdy stable chair, hands on floor. Hop toes to floor then back on bench.

Calf Raises: Standing, lift heels off the floor and repeat.

Rear Blasters: Get down on your hands and knees. Slowly extend your right leg behind you until its straight and in line with your back. To get additional effect, squeeze at the top for a couple of seconds. Now slowly lower your leg back into the starting position.

Skipping: forward and back.

Low Ab March: Bend knees and keep bent. Brace abdominals, lift one leg at a time, marching slowly.

Plank: Get into a pushup position and lower your forearms to the floor. Look down at the floor, pull in your belly button and brace your abs. If this is too hard put your knees on the floor. Keep your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging. Hold this position for as long as you can.

Side Plank: Lie on side, knees straight, upper body propped on your elbow and forearm. Hold.

Clam Shell. Lie on your side. Stack your legs one on top of the other, and tuck your knees forward about 45 degrees. Lean your hips forward. Lift the top knee up, keeping your feet stacked. Your legs should look like an open clamshell. Then close your legs. Repeat this movement 10 to 15 times, keeping your pelvis steady throughout the movement.

Bird Dogs: Kneel on hands and knees with legs and hands slightly apart. Raise arm out straight beside head while raising and extending leg on opposite side up out behind body. Hold 8 seconds. Lower arm and leg to floor to original position and repeat. Perform movement with opposite arm and leg.

Cool-down stretch: Take two minutes to walk until your heart rate slows and your breathing returns to normal. Then proceed with stretching.

Stretching Do a stretch for all major body parts: Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms, Quads, Hamstrings, Calves.

 

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Client Spotlight: Meet Gene

Gene performing a yoga Crow Pose.

Written by: Intern Callie Parry and Gene Purdum

Maria has a vast group of past and current clients. They range in age, location and life experiences. To give you a better sense of the people Maria is helping through her business and expertise, we will be doing regular client spotlights.

To start, we would like you all to meet Gene age 66 years young.

Gene was born in the Maryland countryside and attended Michigan Tech receiving a Bachelor’s degree in applied physics and a Master’s in nuclear physics. While in college, he put his classical music background and radio experience to use by working for NPR’s music department. Upon graduating, Gene moved over to Michigan State University and worked as Music Director/Operations Manager/Classical Announcer for NPR radio for 38 years until retiring in 2013.

Gene has lived a full life. He loves cycling, running, and hiking and has completed several amazing feats such as solo bike rides and endurance road races. Other hobbies of his include stamp collecting, ham radio and taking care of his immense garden.

Gene is an ambitious soul and although he has completed a lot of the things on his bucket list he is still hoping to hike the Grand Canyon again from rim-to-base-to-rim, travel to India to study with yoga gurus, finish all the remodeling on his home, ride a 300-mile 24-hr bike race and bike from Fairbanks, Alaska to the Arctic Circle.

Gene does not ever want to be slowed down so when he developed a severe case of sciatica in 2013 and had to undergo back surgery he knew he needed help. He went through physical therapy post-surgery and began working with a personal trainer. However, he did not connect well with his trainer and wanted a second opinion. That is how he came across Maria Faires. He was drawn to her because of her extensive experience in exercise and nutrition, her background in Medical Exercise as well as her experience working with older clients.

Gene has always been dedicated to living a healthy life, so he was not seeking help in weight loss or major lifestyle changes. He began working with Maria remotely via email and phone. He sent her the workouts he had received from his former personal trainer and Maria altered them to be better for strength preservation, rehabilitation and avoidance of injury. That is something that few people are better at than Maria – she is always up to date on the best exercises to avoid injury and provides post-rehabilitation exercise programs or for the healthy individual, designs effective programs that will help prevent injury in the future. She does not follow fitness trends just because something looks cool and hard, but is more concerned with protecting the body and building strength and endurance in a safe way.

Maria gave Gene three basic workouts that he could alter to avoid boredom. Since they worked remotely they began by calling weekly and then gradually tapered off to only calling every three months. They have built a great relationship where Gene feels comfortable asking whatever questions to help him with his health, nutrition and fitness needs.

A big thing that sets Gene apart from Maria’s other clients is his work as a yoga instructor. Gene has always been one who wants to expand his knowledge and delve in to unknown territory. That is how he came across yoga. Gene discovered yoga later in life after his back surgery. He was taking a Gentle Yoga class at his gym and realized they were doing the same thing every class. One day he thought to himself, “I can teach this,” and so he did. He got his 200-hr teacher certification and immediately began teaching his own version of Gentle Yoga at his local high school’s adult education program. Currently he teaches that class four times a week and has an average of 10 students per class. The average age of his students is 70. Since his 200-hr training, he completed Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga teacher training. He does not know if he will ever teach it because Power yoga is a vigorous and challenging style that is not suitable for seniors, but he has incorporated Bryan’s philosophy in to his classes. This philosophy takes the perspective that yoga is more of a mental practice than a physical workout. Gene also has become certified as a Chair Yoga instructor, but has yet to find employment in that area, let alone time to teach it.

Maria also supports Gene in his passion for yoga and is always offering advice for how he can best reach his senior students. Gene appreciates Maria’s genuine concern for him. She always is reminding him to eat more quinoa and whole grain, for example, and advising him on what yoga poses he should or should not be doing for safety for himself and his older students.

Gene encourages everyone to seek Maria’s help no matter their current health status. She is very well qualified to guide you in whatever direction you desire to go. If you need to lose weight, Maria can review your diet and recommend safe substitutions. If you need a review of your present weight-training routine, Maria can help tie them into your overall goals. Maria can give you the Big Picture about how to obtain wellness, unlike other “fitness” people who are more narrowly focused.

If, after reading Gene’s story, you would like to get additional details on his journey and experience working with Maria, you may contact him at gene@wkar.org

 

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How Fast Does Fitness Level Drop?

Have you ever wondered how fast your fitness levels drop if you have to stop exercising for a while?

In general, the loss of aerobic capacity occurs more quickly than loss in muscle strength. Even two weeks of not training can lead to a reduction in cardio fitness, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Not exercising for two to eight months leads to loss of almost all fitness gains. In addition to cardiovascular, fitness and strength losses, any improvements in increasing good blood cholesterol levels, decreases in blood pressure and insulin sensitivity can be lost in just one month.

How fast can you get it back? If your time off was long, it may take you nearly as long to retrain as it did to become fit originally. If you have to take some time off, rather than totally abandoning your workouts make them shorter yet effective by concentrating on doing interval training to maintain your fitness levels. For strength training, a shorter travel or at-home workout can be designed by an experienced trainer to aid in decreasing strength losses.

• Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases; Volume 24, Issue 7, Pages 792–798, July 2014

• Bajpeyi, S., Tanner, C., Slentz, C., Duscha, B.D., McCartney, J.S., Hickner, R.C. et al. Effect of exercise intensity and volume on persistence of insulin sensitivity during training cessation. J Appl Physiol. 2009; 106: 1079–1085

• Baynard, T., Carhart, R.L. Jr., Ploutz-Snyder, L.L., Weinstock, R.S., and Kanaley, J.A. Short-term training effects on diastolic function in obese persons with the metabolic syndrome. Obesity. 2008; 16: 1277–1283

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