Posted by Step into Life Ocean Grove on 05/23/2019

Get fit before you go on holiday

Get fit before you go on holiday

You have saved like crazy and are excited about your holiday. Who wouldn’t be? But are you fit enough to enjoy it? I’m not talking about getting a bikini body so you can sun yourself in Waikiki, or tackling Kokoda, I’m talking about the actual travel - hours on the plane, walking up and down stairs, getting in and out of the bus, visiting the sights, using public transport, carrying your bags, shopping - you get where I’m going. Spending as little as 30 minutes per day exercising could make the difference from being the person who stays on the bus to the one who experiences some great scenery.

Making a few changes to your routine and getting out and about at least 4 weeks prior to taking off on your adventure can make a huge difference to your holiday enjoyment. Remember if you haven’t exercised in a while or have any health concerns please check with your medical practitioner before starting a new exercise program. If any particular exercise causes you concerns leave it out.

So where do you start?

Increasing your cardiovascular fitness is going to make that long flight a bit easier, plus you will be able to go further and enjoy your holiday more. Depending on your current fitness level this could mean walking. Start off slow with a gentle walk and then gradually increase the pace. Make sure you allow your body to cool down at the end. If you have a higher fitness level and no injuries then add a bit of jogging after you have warmed up. Aim to do this every other day for at least 30 minutes.

Adding a bit of resistance training to your regime will assist in carrying and lifting your bags, getting in and out of seats, standing in lines and climbing stairs. On your non-walking days include some body weight exercises, such as squat, push ups, planks, tricep dips and ab curls. Warm up for about 5 minutes with step ups or walking and complete each of the exercises below 2-3 times. Maintain good form throughout. When you have completed the exercises finish with a good stretch.

  • Body weight squats - you need to do lots of these if you are going to Asia as you never know when you will need to squat! Stand with your feet hip width apart and hands on your hips. Draw your belly button into your spine. Sit back as if you are sitting into a chair. Keep your weight in your heels, as you come back up squeeze your butt and keep your knees soft (ie don’t lock them out). That’s one rep - aim for 12-15. If you are having difficulty use a bench or chair and sit back into it before standing up again.
  • Calf raises - calf raises help with circulation and balance. Stand with your feet hip width apart, hands on your hips. Draw your belly button into your spine and lift up onto the balls of your feet. Slowly lower back down. That’s one rep - aim for 12-15 again. If you are having difficulties balancing hold onto a chair or wall.
  • Push ups - you will need a mat or towel for these. Start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Draw your belly button into your spine, squeeze your butt, and slowly lower your chest toward the ground, bending your elbows to approx. 90 deg. Push back up. That’s one rep, aim for 8-10. If you find this version easy slide your legs out into more of an A-frame position.
  • Plank - Get into the same position as your push up. Draw your belly button in and hold this position and breathe. Aim for 30 seconds.
  • Abdominal curl - lie on your back on a mat or towel, feet on the floor and knees bent. You want your heels to be close to your backside. Place your hands loosely behind your head to support your neck. Slowly lift your head and shoulders off the ground, then lower. That’s one rep - aim for 10-12.
  • Tricep dips - these work the back of the arms. You will need a bench or step. Sit on the bench or step, place the heel of your hands on the bench with your fingers pointing forward. Lift your backside off the bench and slowly lower down, then push back up. That’s one rep - aim for 10-12. If you have difficulties then sit back on the bench after each rep.

Congratulations that’s your workout done, after a few times you will find the exercises easier as your body becomes used to the exercises and you will feel stronger. Remember to do some stretches too.

Ensure you start at your fitness level and as you feel fitter and stronger add another set, for example doing the abdominal curls 10-12 times then having a little rest and doing them again.

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