"All my bags are packed. I'm ready to go..."
It’s that time of year again—the 4th of July is nearly here, and if you’re like me, you’re planning a few days to get out of town. While the prospect of travel, seeing friends and family, and getting away from work for a few days is appealing, there’s one part of the whole shebang that I’m not overly excited about: missing out on my regular workouts.
|Stretching can help loosen tense muscles.|
I am the type of person who thrives on routine. If I have a set workout schedule, I’ll stick to it—no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But if I have to, for some reason, break that schedule…. Well, let’s just say it all sort of goes out the window. Sometimes it’s the weather and other times I might get sick. This time, it’s travel. I’ll be out of town for more than a week, and I don’t want to get out of the habit of exercising. It’s so much harder to start up a routine than it is to maintain one.
So here’s the plan: a short daily routine to keep my body active while I’m away. I’m sure I’m not wrong in assuming some of you are also planning a trip around the holiday weekend—so you could probably benefit from this as well.
I know you might be stuck in the car all day, in the airport, and visiting friends and family—but it’s so important to stay active. The last thing on your mind during those out-of-town days might be exercise. But really, what is ten minutes? Nothing. Nothing at all.
Start your mini-workout by stretching. We’ve all had to sit in a car, bus, train, or airplane all day—and it has a surprising affinity for making you sore. Doa few stretches to lengthen those tight muscles, especially those in your back. Stretch out your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, iliotibial band (ITB), lower back, shoulders, and neck. A gentle forward fold (legs together or shoulder-width apart) can also do wonders.
Get your heart going. If you have one, pack a jump rope and spend five or six minutes getting that heart rate up. A resistance band is also great for strength training. If you have one, do a few quick exercises with it, like rowing, wrist extensions, and lower leg extensions. If you don’t have any equipment, don’t worry! Take a short, brisk walk or run, do jumping jacks in place, or see how many burpees you can do in three minutes.
|Not in the mood for a run? Try a brisk walk instead.|
I think it’s easy to get the idea in our heads that to qualify as a “workout,” we have to spend a lot of time doing it. And while getting at least 30 minutes in several days a week is best practice, that doesn’t mean it’s all or nothing. I tend to be of the mindset that every little thing counts. If all you can fit in is ten minutes, that’s okay! Instead of feeling bad about not working out for long enough, feel good about having got a workout in!
Give 100% every day, respectively. Some days, 100% might be more or less than the day before. That’s not important—what is important is that we are always striving to do the best we can. And there’s no reason to ever have to feel bad about that.