Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Travel Workouts

Over the holiday season people travel to visit with family or friends and are not able to attend their regular Pilates sessions. Strapped for time but looking for a way to fit in a quick routine? Below are some simple exercises that will keep you in shape no matter where you may be this holiday season. Remember: Exercise helps reduce stress (such as preparing the feast for the family or conversing with that relative you haven't seen in years).

30-second anywhere: Breathe and Scoop
Wherever you are (car, chair, standing in line) take a deep breath in through your nose filling up the sides and back of your rib cage. As you exhale out your mouth like you are blowing through a straw focus on pulling your navel toward you spine and narrowing through your waistline. Repeat throughout your day for an instant refresher.

Two-minute stationary: Posture Check
Feel like someone is pulling you by the crown of your head as you gaze straight ahead on an inhale to lift tall through your neckline. Take another breath to lift your shoulders up to your ears and then roll them down as you exhale out any tension. Next focus that breath into your rib cage as you feel it lacing together (as if you were wearing a corset) on your next exhale. Lastly, practice your scoop by drawing your belly button toward your spine and narrowing (as if you had a belt tightening around your torso) with your final breath. Repeat these steps as necessary to "grow taller".
For a more detailed version with a visual explanation check out this UTube video.

4-minute tush toner: Side Leg Series
No matter if you are driving or flying this season, your bottom half could sure use a little lift from all that sitting. Lie on your side with your hips stacked in line with your shoulders. Then swing your legs slightly in front to form a banana shape. Your can be all the way down on your bottom forearm or propped up on your elbow. Just make sure you lengthen through your top leg to put more of the work on the oblique closest the floor. Do circles or small kicks to trim up your thighs and lift your tush.
For a wide range of moves to pick from check out this UTube video.

5-minute waist trimmer: Ab Series
Nothing will get you burning off that holiday meal like the ab series. This includes an array of exercises such as 100s, Single-Leg Stretch, Double-Leg Stretch, and Crisscross. Each movement uses your whole body and stabilizes through your core to warm you up quickly. During each exercise focus on sinking your belly deeper into the mat on each exhale.
For a video version check out this UTube video.

Nothing beats an hour Pilates session, but these quick session can fit into any busy schedule. Safe travels and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

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