If you're like most Americans, chances are that you will be going on vacation sometime between June and September. When you're away from home there are always challenges to maintaining your regular routine, and this is especially true when it relates to exercise. Although it may not be possible to stick to your regular schedule or do the same type of exercise you're used to at home, it is possible to enjoy your vacation and fit exercise into your busy schedule.
While I'm on vacation, one of my favorite ways to fit exercise in is by doing the express workouts which allow you to get a complete workout in a limited amount of time. One of the best is the American College of Sports Medicine's (ACSM) High Intensity Fitness Circuit. This routine, which takes only seven minutes to complete, involves twelve aerobic and strengthening exercises that use only your body weight and no equipment to work all the major muscle groups in rapid secession. Each exercise takes 30 seconds and is performed at high intensity with a ten second transition time between exercises.
These are the exercises included in this highly effective routine in the order they should be performed:
#1 Jumping Jacks - These exercises are aerobic and involve muscles in the entire body.
#2 Wall Sit - (works entire lower body) Stand close to a wall lean your back into the wall then walk your feet forward, slide down the wall lowering your hip the way you would to sit in a chair. Hold for 30 seconds
#3 Pushups – (works upper Body) Move quickly from the wall sit to the floor and perform as many pushups as you can in thirty seconds.
#4 Abdominal Crunches - Roll over unto your back then perform crunches for 30 seconds.
#5 Step Ups – (full body) Use any standard chair (such as a dining room chair) and step up onto the chair then down.
#6 Squats – (works lower body) With arms outstretched, lower hip keeping buttocks out behind you, and knees over ankles.
#7 Triceps Dip – (works upper body) Use a chair or table to perform this exercise. Rest both hands on support slightly behind you, with fingers facing forward, leg extended, knees straight, heel on the floor, and toes up. Raise and lower your hip, straightening your arms as you lift up and bending your elbows as you lower hips.
#8 Forearm Plank – (works core) Lying on the floor face down, lift your chest off the floor so that you’re supported on your forearms. Curl your toes under and lift your pelvis and legs off, making sure that your back is flat. Hold for 30 seconds.
#9 High Knees Running in Place – This is aerobic and works the entire body.
#10 Lunges – (Works lower body) With hands on your hip, keep your upper body straight and take a step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. As you come back up, spring back with the front leg so that both feet are side by side as they were at the beginning. Repeat alternating legs.
#12 Push Up with Rotation – (works upper body) This is done like a regular pushup, but at the top end you turn sideways so that you’re supported by one arm, while lifting the upper arm up to the ceiling. Go back down then when you come up repeat on the other side.
#13 Side Plank – (works core) Begin in the plank position, rotate to the side and stack your legs one on top of the other. Keep hips off the floor. Hold for fifteen seconds, then turn over and repeat on the other side.
You can get a live demonstration of these exercises by downloading the app from ACSM which is called 7, or you can contact me at Edgewater Pointe Estates for a hard copy version.
The key to continuing to exercise when you’re on vacation is to be flexible and creative. Take advantage of what is available, and don’t be afraid to step outside the box and try something new.
Oris Martin is the Fitness Director at Edgewater Pointe Estates, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Boca Raton, Florida. This column appeared in the July issue of the Viewpointe of Boca Pointe.