15 June, 2008

Fitness Workouts for the Traveller.

Nothing takes a toll on the mind and body like travel - even so-called leisure or vacation, travel can do a number on you. You know what I'm talking about: ever say, "boy I need a vacation after that vacation?" It's not even jet lag that I'm talking about it - spend ten hours in the car with only minimal pit-stops and at the end of the day you can hardly move or think about eating a balanced meal. Often times we over-indulge when we travel: stay-up later, get-up earlier, eat differently and try to cram as much into a day as we can. Body rhythms are very sensitive to change which may result in any or all these symptoms: head aches, restless, insomnia, irritability, and constipation.

The tendency is to pile on the excuses of why it may seem like a good idea to skip your diet and exercise programs when traveling. However, the truth is, keeping to your diet and exercise program will help you overcome any travel fatigue and make your re-entry into your normal routine feel like you had a vacation!

Muscles have memories. What you may have gained getting in shape for your trip might be lost by stopping your exercise routine. You also risk losing the incentive to start back up again after returning home. While you may not be able to keep to a rigors exercise schedule due to lack of equipment, space and time, some general stretching, cardiovascular, and weight baring or isometrics and calisthenics every other day for 15 to 20 minutes (at the same intensity of your normal workout) will keep those muscles' memories active.

Exercising on the road doesn't necessarily mean getting to a gym, you can achieve a great workout anywhere. Your hotel room is a perfect place to start.

Improvise on Equipment

0. Use a belt from the hotel robe as your yoga stretch cord.
0. Use the back of a chair to help stabilize yourself when doing leg lifts and squats.
0. Surf cable TV channels for the morning exercise show and follow along.
0. Pack a couple of spongy foam balls to squeeze (great for limbering hands and arms after death gripping the steering wheel for hours).
0. Pack a jump rope (caution bouncing up and down may disturb downstairs guests).
0. Take along your walking/exercise shoes and workout clothes.
0. Do floor calisthenics and tummy crunches.
0. Pack a lightweight Pilates fitness ring for resistance training.
0. Use a short ottoman for step-up workouts.
0. Be sure to test the sturdiness of any hotel room items before using.
0. Caution should be used if exercising on tile floors (use shower mats to avoid slipping).
0. Need weights but hate hotel gyms? Ask the hotel if you may borrow a set to take to your room.
0. Walking or jogging is a great - but be sure the area is safe and ask for a map in case your jog takes you further then you planned.
0. Be sure to take along ID and cab fare.
0. Water is essential be sure to drink plenty of plain old H2O. If tap water is questionable drink bottled water.
0. To avoid dehydration by going out during coolest part of the day.

Walking is a wonderful way to not only get a great workout but to get out and explore your travel destination
Incorporating regular exercise into your travel itinerary will certainly improve your well-being and your trip.

Each year millions of people take flights abroad – and with the prevalence of budget airlines, combined with the availability of online internet booking, it’s never been easier to find cheap flights.

However, in spite of the popularity of air travel, flying is not without its complications. Jet lag, disrupted sleep patterns, stress, dehydration and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are just some of the problems that air travel can bring.

If you follow some basic precautions before, during and after you fly, you can make your journey much more enjoyable and avoid many of the problems associated with flying. Simply follow the realbuzz.com aeroplane workout, which will guide you through the best protocols to ensure that you enjoy your journey and arrive at your destination invigorated instead of exhausted. This guide is subdivided into three distinct categories – before take-off, in the air, and back on terra firma – and includes information on:
0. Nutrition and hydration
0. Exercise and mobility
0. How to stay energized
Before take-off
Even before you actually board your flight, there are many things that you can do which will make your flight more enjoyable and lessen the chances of problems afterwards.
0. Nutrition. Avoid large, heavy meals that will leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable in your seat. Instead, eat a light, low-fat meal containing protein and complex carbohydrates – such as tuna and pasta – which will give you sustained energy throughout your flight. 

0. Hydration. Flying can significantly dehydrate you, so it is important to be well-hydrated before you check in. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee and cola, and consume natural fluids such as water or fruit juice instead. 

0. Clothing. Whatever the length of your flight, you’ll want to be comfortable – so wear light, loose-fitting clothing, avoiding garments such as tight jeans. Several hours confined in an aircraft seat can leave you feeling stiff, so try to choose clothes that allow you to relax. 

0. Sleep. Ideally you should try to get some rest before your flight, because you may not have much opportunity to sleep. If you will be on a long-haul flight, it can be advantageous to pre-adjust your body clock to the new time zone before you fly, so that when you arrive you will find it easy to slot into your normal daily pattern. 

0. Exercise. Before you board, take a brisk walk. Exercise will invigorate you, help you de-stress and get the blood pumping around your body – which can reduce the risk of DVT. 

Stress. Plan your travel arrangements well in advance, allowing plenty of time for travelling from home, checking in and airport shopping, so that an unexpected delay doesn’t throw your schedule and send your blood pressure sky high.

In the air

0. Nutrition. Similar to your pre-flight diet: stick to easily digestible light meals and snacks, which will help you to both avoid stomach problems and keep your energy levels topped up. 

0. Hydration. Alcohol is often freely available during flights, but drinking it will only dehydrate you and make you tired. Keep a bottle of water close at hand and drink small quantities regularly to prevent dehydration. 

0. Clothing. To help you relax, loosen your tie, belt or tight waistband and use the layering principle of adding or removing layers to stay at a comfortable temperature, rather than wearing thick, single items of clothing. Putting on special elastic in-flight socks is also beneficial as they can reduce the risk of DVT. 

0. Sleep. Any sleep that you do manage to get is unlikely to be of high quality, but it will help a long flight pass more quickly. Remember to adjust your watch when the plane takes off and stick to the time-zone of the country that you’re visiting – so that adjusting your body-clock will be easier when you arrive. 

0. Exercise. The key is to be as active as possible. You should try to get up and walk around whenever you can (ideally, about every ten minutes) – but you can also do some exercise in your seat. Try the following routine every half an hour to maintain mobility: 

Alternate between clenching and relaxing your feet and toes.
Contract and relax all your leg muscles.
Make a ‘pedalling’ movement with your legs.
Stretch your legs, arms and hands.
Take some deep breaths.
Gently stretch and rotate your neck. 

Stress. If you begin to feel stressed, try to distance yourself from all the on-board activities like mealtimes and drinks being served, and instead immerse yourself in a good novel, the in-flight film or a selection of your favorite music.

Back on terra firma
Once you land, your airplane workout doesn’t end. Now is the time to fully reactivate your body so that you can get the most out of your stay. To complement your ‘before’ and ‘during’ routines, a light arrival workout will energize you and help to combat any feelings of fatigue or jet lag. Simply follow the realbuzz.com post-flight energizer below and you’ll be prepared for anything!

Post-flight energizer
0. Get up and go! Despite your in-flight mobility exercises, you will still have been confined for a 
long period during the flight – so as soon as possible, stride out in the airport terminal and get the blood flowing with a brisk walk. 

0. Take a drink. Continuing to maintain your hydration is very important and will help you to avoid headaches and mental fatigue. Keep a bottle of water with you and drink frequently. 

0. Stretch yourself. Cooped up in cramped conditions can leave you stiff and immobile. After your brisk walk, spend ten minutes stretching the major muscle groups to help return your body to a more normal state. Flexibility exercises will make you feel loose, supple and light on your feet. 

0. Don’t overdo it! Whether on vacation or a business trip, it can be easy to throw yourself into activities, meetings or just exploring straight after flying. You may be more tired than you initially realize, so try to pace yourself and avoid cramming a week’s work into the first day after you arrive. 

0. Snack attack! While making travel arrangements and getting excited about your new environment, meals are easily forgotten. Similarly, a foreign country may have different eating customs and cuisine which may not fit in with your arrival time. To ensure that your fuel tank doesn’t run low, pack a selection of snacks to keep you going until you can eat a meal. Healthy cereal bars travel better than fruit, and even boiled sweets can sustain you while you find your feet.

Enjoy your flight! Air travel exercises for the flight HANDS

1(i) Link fingers. Breathe in. 1(ii) Stretch out arms. Breathe out. Repeat 3-4 times.

2(i) Palm to ground, stretch thumb towards the wrist and breathe out. Repeat on other hand. 2(ii) Palm up, stretching each finger downwards, breathing out.

3 Rotate wrists 5-10 times clockwise and anti-

4 Shake out the hands.


1 Link fingers and rest hands on the back of head. Allow weight of head and arms to stretch out neck and upper back. Breathe deeply 5 times.

2 Place right hand on the left side of head, hook tips of fingers in ear and lean to one side. Breathe 5 times and repeat other side.

3 Rotate neck slowly 5 times in each direction.

4 Raise shoulders towards ears. Breathe out, drop and repeat 4-5 times.

5 Rotate shoulders backwards 5 times and forwards 5 times.

6 Turn to face back of seat keeping hips square. Repeat 3-5 times each side.

7 Sitting up straight, hands on knees, alternately round back and then push out chest. Repeat both 3-5 times.


1 Alternately bring knees to chest 5 times

2 Rotate ankles 10 times clockwise and 10 times anticlockwise

3 Spread out toes and bring them towards you then clench and point away. Alternate 5 times

4 With feet on floor raise heels then lower. Repeat 20 to 30 times


1 With tips of fingers lightly tap top and side of your head

2 With tips of fingers gently massage from temples to jaw

3 Rest head forwards on to thumbs, then squeeze along eyebrows with thumb and forefinger

4 Massage with finger from under eyes along cheekbones

5 Massage with finger from either side of nostrils down along upper jaw

6 Massage along lower jaw with finger tips

7 Rotate jaw circling 5 times left then right

8 Rotate tip of nose with palm of hand 5 times each direction

9 Firmly pull ears up and down 3 times each. Then rotate forwards and backwards three times.

Just landed…
Air travel may be part of your everyday life – and providing you follow sensible precautions, it can also be an enjoyable experience. There is always a chance that problems such as stress, jet lag, fatigue and dehydration will occur, but by following the realbuzz.com airplane workout, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to arrive rested, relaxed and raring to go!

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