Millions of Americans, more than a few in Washington DC are packing their bags and making travel plans home to spend Christmas with family; maybe you’re among them, and maybe you’re looking forward to a few days to rest, recharge, and relax.
Enjoy. You’ve earned it! But don’t let that hard work end now. Plan to eat a healthy breakfast; avoid excessive alcohol consumption; take a small piece of pie, or say no to dessert altogether; and always, always stick to your exercise routine.
Exercises you can do on the plane:
- Do knee lifts without ever leaving your seat. Alternate left and right, left and right: lift your knees to your chest and repeat x 15.
- Stand up, stretch, and get in a few calf raises. When the captain says it is safe to do so, stand in the aisle and stretch to the balls of your feet. Hold, then lower; repeat x 15. (If your flight is over three hours long, it’s recommended that you walk about the cabin every 30 minutes or so.)
- Shoulder rolls are great to ease tight muscles. Airline seats aren’t that comfortable, so you might take an opportunity to roll your shoulders back and forward again. Reverse directions and repeat x 15.
- Roll your ankles too. Seated or standing, it matters not. Draw a circle in the air with your big toe 10 to 15 times, and then repeat in the opposite direction x 15. Then switch legs.
Exercises you can do while visiting family during the holidays:
- Ready, set, squat. There’s no need to skip leg day even when visiting family for the holidays. Bodyweight squats are a great way to strengthen and condition your glutes, no equipment required. Increase the intensity with jump squats or burpees instead.
- If the weather isn’t too frightful, invite your sister and the children out for a brisk afternoon stroll. Enjoy the company, the fresh air, and at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity each day.
- Drop and give me 20. Pushups are one of the best, most effective bodyweight exercises to do while traveling. Push yourself a little harder and stimulate the abdominals by propping your feet on a shelf, a chair, or an exercise ball.
Hit the gym. If you’re planning to stay at a hotel, be sure to pack gym clothes and a swimsuit. Take advantage of the swimming pool and get some laps in, or run a few miles on the treadmill before Christmas dinner is served.