A Fitness Regime for the Road
Travel fitness is now important to me.
It all started when I jumped off a cliff.
It was about 5 years ago and I was third in line to jump off a 30-foot cliff into a lake. The area was known. Everyone before me did fine. However, I got off course somehow and when I plunged into the water my left foot hit a rock and jammed my tibia into my knee.
Fortunately, my knee healed very well.
Unfortunately, I like dancing. At my son’s wedding a couple of years later I danced all night. The next day my knee ballooned and ever since it’s been my Achilles’ heel – so to speak.
All this to tell you that I have taken fitness more seriously of late. While traveling, I have always walked plenty and never thought about the rest. Recently I got a personal trainer in an effort to improve my overall health and deal with my knee. But, as I have learned, “the rest” is a pretty big deal.
I leave for China on Monday and, for the first time, I’m going to try to incorporate a fitness routine into my travels.
My Travel Fitness Plan
I asked my trainer for a travel fitness plan last week. I thought 20 minutes would be a realistic amount of time for a workout on the road.
You’ll find the routine below. Remember, this is for me. You are likely capable of more. Or perhaps less. Some of these exercises may not be right for you at all. If you do any of them listen to your body and stop if it tells you to.
A 20 minute workout.
1) Push Ups 2-3 sets 15 reps: On the road I’ll do these pushups against the bed. I’m using a bar at the gym and slowly moving it down with the objective of eventually doing proper pushups on the floor eventually. The bed is a good substitute for the bar as I travel.
2) Wall Sits 2-3 sets 1 minute each: Sit against a wall and hold for 1 minute. Try to go lower each time unless knee hurts (that’s a note for me).
3) Hip Raises 2-3 sets 15 reps each side: Lying on your back on the floor, knees bent, raise one leg to the ceiling and lift hips and drop 15 times. This is great for your hamstring muscles.
4) Plank 2-3 sets 1 min. Oh my gosh this is good for the core.
5) Crunches on floor. 2-3 sets 20 reps. More core work.
6) Supermans 2-3 sets 12 reps: Lying on stomach raise arms and legs at the same time, hold for a few moments and then release. Great for back muscles.
7) Leg raises against wall 2-3 sets 12 reps: Sit with back snugged up to a wall and simply raise straight leg one leg at a time. This is surprisingly difficult.
Stretches so that those muscles don’t shorten.
1) Hip Flexor: Go into a lunge position. Place back knee on floor and place front foot on the floor in front with your knee directly above your foot. Lean forward into your front knee and feel the stretch in your hip. Do it on the other side.
2) Glutes: Lie on your back. Bend legs with knee pointing to the ceiling and calves parallel to the floor. Place one foot over the opposite knee, put hands between legs and pull the knee towards your chest for a nice stretch.
3) Butterflys: Sit on the floor with a straight back and the bottom of your feet touching each other then bring knees as close to floor as possible (stretch will be in inner thighs)
4) Quad Stretch: Hold your heel to butt to stretch your quads.
Am I a disciplined person? Sometimes. I’m hoping to maintain the discipline to run this routine at least three times a week. The cardio aspect of fitness will be managed by all the walking but the exercises above are really important too.
Wish me travel fitness luck.
Oh, as for my knee. I will be taking poles. I learned how wonderful they are in Patagonia.