Old Town Hot Springs: Don’t let summer plans disrupt your exercise routine
July 23, 2017
For many, summer can be a peak time for physical fitness. Trails are open, daylight hours are extended and warm weather encourages us to get outside and explore. For others, however, summer can be a time when fitness routines are thrown off. One common factor is travel, and whether it's a months-long international adventure or a week long family vacation, hitting the road often means changes to exercise habits.
Old Town Hot Springs Group Exercise Coordinator and personal trainer Jenna Jordan sees this often and emphasizes that, with a little commitment, traveling doesn't have to mean your workout routine takes a hit.
"While you can run in most places, strength training is a little harder. Maybe there's a hotel gym, but if not, there are still plenty of ways to get your workout in," she said.
Jordan makes it clear there are many exercises one can do in a small hotel room with no special equipment.
For many, summer can be a peak time for physical fitness. Trails are open, daylight hours are extended and warm weather encourages us to get outside and explore. For others, however, summer can be a time when fitness routines are thrown off. One common factor is travel, and whether it’s a months-long international adventure or a week long family vacation, hitting the road often means changes to exercise habits.
"A desk or countertop provides an easy place to work out your arms, chest and shoulders," Jordan said. "Placing both hands on a desk and standing in a plank position works a lot of different muscles by using your own body weight."
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Jordan explained that standing farther from or closer to the desk changes the angle of the anchor point and will both work different muscles and increase or decrease the difficulty. Adjusting how far apart your hands are spread will also change which muscles are targeted.
For abs, Jordan said there's no easier exercise than the plank.
"Holding a plank on the floor is a simple exercise with a lot of adaptations for different levels," she said. "Beginners can start on their knees. Stronger individuals can do a full plank on their toes, and for a step harder, you can lift one leg up. Holding a plank for 30 seconds to a minute is a great core exercise that also targets the arms, shoulders and back."
For legs, Jordan said wall sits are a go-to favorite.
"You start with your back flat against a wall and then inch down until you have 90-degree bends in your knees and then just hold," she explained.
In addition, lunges are an easy staple exercise but performing them may be influenced by the amount of space the room provides.
While Jordan likes to see people get in a good sweat session while traveling, she also emphasized some precautions, including those related to changes in altitude and climate.
"We often don't think that going to a lower altitude can have an impact, but the body and blood pressure have to adjust," she said. "You can get dizzy. It's important to be careful when standing up suddenly."
To counter this effect, Jordan recommended grouping lying, sitting and standing exercises separately and not rotating quickly between them if you're feeling any effects.
Another change those living in Steamboat may experience when traveling is the introduction of humidity, which will make you sweat much more than at home.
"You will not feel as if you need to drink as much, because there's so much humidity in the air, but it's important to stay hydrated," Jordan said. "Your body still needs the same amount of water you drink at altitude."
With a little attention and dedication, exercising while traveling doesn't need to be complicated. In addition to ensuring you don't lose any of your fitness gains while traveling, Jordan also pointed out the immediate benefits.
"Exercising helps ease the increased sluggishness and stress that we experience when traveling," she said. "When you get the heart pumping and increase endorphins, you will feel better, and your outlook on the trip will be much more positive."
Nick Esares is marketing director for Old Town Hot Springs.