Whether you're planning an exotic vacation in some foreign land or a more domestic stay-cation, summer can mean neglecting healthy eating habits and normal workout routines.
Below are a few basic exercise ideas you can do on vacation to keep the blood flowing and your muscles from losing their memory. It's a quick and easy regimen that hits all the major muscle groups. Done twice a week on nonconsecutive days, it can maintain a level of fitness without the delayed-muscle soreness so common after long breaks between workouts.
(Thanks to Women's Fitness Company for providing the space and equipment for this photo shoot.)
Push-ups are one of the best upper-body exercises going. Always available and effective, they are a great way of keeping arms, chest and back in good shape.
1. Place the palms of your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, while balancing the weight of your body on toes and hands. For an easier version, allow weight to rest on knees and hands.
2. With a straight back and abs held tight, bend your elbows, lowering your torso until upper arms are parallel to the floor.
3. Press yourself back up to the starting position without locking your elbows. Repeat exercise 12 to 15 times.
Open a door and wrap a towel around both doorknobs, holding one end in each hand. This also works well with any sturdy pole or post.
1. With your arms fully extended, stand far enough away from the door to make the towel grip tightly around each knob.
2. With feet shoulder-width apart, back straight and abdominals contracted, bend your knees until upper thighs are parallel to the floor.
3. Squeeze thighs and glutes as you straighten your legs and return to the starting position. This is a good overall thigh exercise. Do three to four sets of 15 to 20 reps.
To perform this one, lie on your stomach, shoulders down and palms facing the ceiling.
1. Lift chest and shoulders off the floor as you squeeze muscles of your lower back and shoulder blades together.
2. Hold contracted position for four counts before returning chest and shoulders to the floor. Perform three to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions to challenge and strengthen your lower and upper back.
A double-ended crunch is a good way to work upper and lower abdominals at the same time.
1. On your back, lift your legs, with knees lined up directly over hips and bent at a 90-degree angle.
2. Place your hands behind your head and tighten abs as you simultaneously lift shoulders off the floor at one end and hips off the floor at the other end.
3. Concentrate on tightening abs as you bring hips and chest toward one another. Do three to four sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.