‘Do I need to exercise while I am on vacations?’ ‘Are vacations and holidays not meant to be fun and carefree?’ ‘Why should I do the same routine workouts on my vacations when I am supposed to be doing other better things?’ These are common questions that come to our minds when we plan our vacations, holidays and other travels. For many people who are serious about their health, doing regular exercises while travelling can sometimes be challenging. But a vacation can be the perfect time to exercise if they are planned well and the traveler makes best use of the available time.
Travelling for hours at a stretch (flying, car, bus, train or cruise) can be tiring and hard on the body. The long hours of sitting, especially in cramped airplanes or cars can cause poor circulation, fatigues and aches and pains. Hence, simple exercises can help you reduce your aches and pains and give you a sense of relaxed feeling.
In this article, I present some tips that can be useful for exercise-conscious travelers when they do not have right place and time to exercise.
In the airplane
If you have to wait long hours in transit, it is a good idea to go for a walk in the terminal. It kills time and at the same time helps burn some calories.Also walk up or down the stairs instead of taking escalator.
Because there is very little room to move, the easiest exercises to do are stretching and isometric exercises. These exercises can be done even on your seat. These include knee raises while being seated, squats, walking up and down the aisle, shoulder shrugs, arm swings, raising arms, and neck stretches. You can do leg exercises by raising them from the ground while seated, using the calf muscles. If you put a weight on your lap and try to raise it, it becomes a harder exercise. Ankle stretches can be done by planting the heels on the ground and raising the toes as high as possible. Rotating each foot in turn also stretches the ankle and helps relieve stiffness of the joint.
Arching the body backwards and forwards is good for your back. The neck can be exercised by moving it gently from side to side, or bending the head forward, than rotating it.
To exercise your hands and arms, squeeze a ball or pair of socks with your hands.
These days many airplanes announce exercise time on their TV on a regular basis. You can follow those exercises as well. These exercises are good for preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Walk in the aisle every hour or two. This will relax your back and neck and help circulation.
At your destination
Once you reach your destination, you can do many other exercises like push-ups, squatting, abdominal exercises, and calf raise. Stretching exercises strengthens the joints, muscles and bones and also helps pain of arthritis. Stair climbing is another exercise that strengthens joints, muscles and bones.
In hotel or motel, if there is a gym, make use of the gym facility.
Remember to wear sneakers or carry them in your travel bag. They can be handy as and when you need them and they are good for your feet and back. You can also wear clothing that can double as workout gear.
Walking on the beach is one of the best exercises and burns more calories than walking on the flat ground.Make sure you do not overdo when you start.
Beach volleyball is another exercise that is fun as well as burns calories.Besides, you can involve all members of your group or meet other people and have fun.
Swimming is a very good exercise for all ages. Make best use of the swimming facility in the hotels.
Surfing and snorkeling are also good exercises but may demand more physical fitness than swimming.
Bike ride is another family exercise. You can tour the local area with your family and burn some calories at the same time.
Hiking is a good exercise if you are fit and looking for a bit of adventure and burn more fat at the same time.
Tennis and golf are other games if you have time and you are on leisure trip.
Going for brisk walk in the morning or even shopping are easy to do exercises.
If possible, exercise at least for 20-30 minutes daily.