Alta PT & Fitness Newsletter

Travel Fitness: A Plan of Action to Keep You Active

It is easy to let a vacation or business trip destroy your fitness schedule and eating habits, but why let something as rewarding as a vacation or as exciting as a business trip leave you feeling unhealthy upon return? With a little research and proper planning, you can create an easy-to-follow plan to keep you fit and healthy no matter where you travel, and you can come home feeling more healthy and energized than when you left.

Nature’s Playground and Man’s Monuments

There is no excuse for not finding places to exercise when every city has a great staircase, stadium or tall buildings where you can master the stairs without a machine. If stairs aren’t your thing, cities have lots of places good for walking, running or even hiking. Ask the hotel concierge if there are parks or trails nearby; or if you have ventured to the mountains, ask for a map of local hiking trails. It is also a good idea to ask the concierge for a map of the city to find out how many of your destinations are reachable by foot. (Walking will increase your fitness and decrease your taxi fares.) Prior to departure on your trip, find out if your hotel has a workout facility and a pool, and remember to pack your bathing suit and workout clothes. If they don’t have a facility, they may be affiliated with a local gym where you can get a one-day pass for a small fee. There are no limits to the exercise you can do while exploring new territory. Make the most of your trip, and get to know the city by foot.

Prepare for Power, No Excuses

If your hotel doesn’t offer fitness accommodations, bring along a jump rope and an exercise tube. They are both lightweight and easy to transport. Jumping rope is one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise, and you can do it anywhere. With the exercise tube and a prearranged plan to keep you motivated, you can keep your entire body toned and energized without entering a gym or stepping on a piece of exercise equipment. Numerous magazines and websites offer workout instructions for each body part. And, of course, body-weight exercises such as push-ups and crunches require no equipment at all. The point is to find a workout routine that suits your needs and follow it. Plan a specific time each day or every other day to do your strengthening and cardiovascular routines (a good plan is to alternate days between the two). Remember that the 20 to 60 minutes you spend working out each day is for you, and try to stay on schedule.

Have Fun

Be sure to enjoy yourself and make the most of the area to which you have traveled. Remember to bring comfortable shoes so that you can easily get a workout while using your feet as your main mode of transportation. Whether your trip is for business or vacation, remember that you should have some time for yourself every day. Why not dedicate that time to improving your health and making yourself feel better?

Nutrition Road Tips

 

Cross Training for Fun and Fitness Tired of the same old workout?

Looking for a level of fitness that your current exercise routine can’t offer? Are you experiencing nagging injuries that just don’t seem to heal? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a likely candidate for cross-training. Cross-training is simply a way of adding variety to your exercise program. You can vary your aerobic routine and incorporate some muscular strength and flexibility training as well. And if you think cross-training is new, think again. Athletes have been cross-training since the days of the Olympic decathlons and pentathlons of ancient Greece. The past decade has seen the popularity of the triathlon reach international proportions, introducing the concept of cross-training to even the most recreational athletes.

What’s the point?

The benefits of cross-training are numerous. It reduces the risk of injury because the same muscles, bones and joints are not continuously subjected to the stresses of the same activity. Cross-training also adds variety to your workouts, making your routine more interesting and easier to stick with. For the athlete, it provides a break from the rigors and stresses of single-sport training. Cross-training will improve your overall fitness and, over an extended period of time, may ultimately lead to improved performance.

The Nuts and Bolts of Cross-training

Whether you are new to exercise or a competitive athlete, the essentials of cross-training are the same. You can choose to vary your routine from workout to workout, or simply add a new component to your existing exercise program. One of the easiest ways to start cross-training is to alternate between activities—walking one day and swimming or bicycling the next. Or, you can alternate these activities within a single workout, spending five minutes on a treadmill, five minutes on a stationary cycle, and so on for a total of 30 minutes. More experienced exercisers might begin an hour-long workout with a 15-minute jog to a nearby pool. After a 20-minute swim and perhaps a few minutes of calisthenics, they can finish off their workout with a 15-minute jog back home and several minutes of flexibility exercises.

Get Creative With Cross-training

If you’re looking to increase your endurance level, try alternating low-level aerobic activities, such as 20 minutes of stationary cycling, with 10 minutes of higher-intensity exercise, such as stair-stepping or jumping rope. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend on the more intense activity. These formulas can be used with just about any type of activity—as long as you enjoy it. Combining a group of aerobic activities into one workout at steady or varying intensities is an excellent way to fight the boredom that comes from performing the same daily workout routine. All exercise sessions, whether they involve cross-training or not, should begin and end with low-level aerobic exercise and stretching to effectively warm up and cool down. And remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.