‘Exercise’ Articles

Fitness Journal: Working Out on Vacation

ParisThe summer is almost here! That magical time is often when families pile in the car and hit the open road – like Chevy Chase and family in National Lampoon Vacation – but many adults opt for a different sort of trip to get away from it. Instead of a week at Wally World you might opt for time away on a cruise ship, which hopefully turns out better than Leonard DiCaprio’s experience in Titanic, or a week on a beach, which hopefully isn’t as eventful as DiCaprio’s adventure in The Beach. But wherever you go we bet you’ve got the same concern: How do you stay in shape while you’re off having fun and relaxing?

Wherever your vacation takes you, vacation it should be – like the lyrics to the Go-Go’s song – a time “to get away.” What it shouldn’t be is a time to take a vacation from your workout routine, especially if you’re training for a big event. Even if you just want to stay in decent shape vacation calories still count, even if you’re not being charged for them.

Don’t Forgo the Workout
Unless you’ve specifically signed up for an active vacation, it’s important to find a way to make your exercise fit into your vacation in a way that doesn’t feel like work. Cruise ships, beach resorts and many hotels do offer a gym. Don’t avoid it; instead hit it early in the morning so you don’t have an excuse after a day of leisure activity.

If there is no gym, bring a workout program with you.

“Those would be easy to take on vacation and could be done in a hotel room,” said Dillon Martin, professional fitness coach. “They are typically designed as a 30, 60, or 90 day plan. My wife is taking two of her eight TurboFire DVDs with us when we go on vacation so that she can keep up some of the workouts.”

Dillon added that, “A week’s vacation doesn’t mean you will go backwards, and if well timed, it might be a positive in your workout plan.”

Super Leisure Vacation?
There are certain vacations that offer the promise to just sit back, relax and soak in the rays. This however can seriously impact a workout routine, even if you’re just focusing on staying fit or watching your weight. Two weeks on a cruise ship and you might end up looking too much like the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island by the time you reach your home port.

“If your vacation involves is one of pure leisure, such as a cruise or a trip to the beach it becomes hugely important to work out,” said Steve Edwards, director of results and fitness advisor for Beachbody. “A cruise ship has food available around every corner. While there are opportunities to work out and do things, it is so easy to sit on a ship – or a beach – and just not move.”

Edwards suggests moving regularly, and that means more than just turning over to get an even tan. He also recommends making regular trips to the gym.

“Throw it on the daily schedule and get it done and, and if you like even out of the way,” said Edwards. “That way you can then spend the rest of the day relaxing.”

But even when you relax break it up with a stroll around the ship or down the beach, take stairs instead of the elevator and if you’re at a resort take a walk instead of a cab after dinner. Consider some fitness opportunities too; many resorts and cruise ships offer exercise classes, climbing walls and even team sports like basketball and soccer as pickup games. And even if you don’t normally meet with a trainer spring for one while on vacation – you are treating yourself after all.

Vacations are about breaking from the routine so trying a new activity like rock climbing might be something else you can bring home with you.

Will You Be Sightseeing?
While most some people would count a hike in the woods during a vacation as a workout, the same consideration isn’t always given when it involves a walk along the Seine in Paris or through the Roman Forum. A day spent walking and taking in the sights is actually quite a workout in itself.

“It certainly can be,” said Edwards. “Walking around Paris all day can make you more tired than a real workout,” says Edwards. “If you’re on an active holiday, there is no reason to worry about breaking your workout routine for a few days.”

In fact, if you’re planning to see the City of Lights this summer and will to take in the museums and enjoy walks around town the city, you might even leave the running shoes at home and bring some comfortable walking shoes instead. Trying to get in a run after a day in the Louvre isn’t necessary and it could even be more than your body needs.

“Walking around Paris all day is a lot more athletic than a typical day at work for many people,” Edwards added. “Sightseeing can be mean 10 hours or more of activity and that is equal to an ultra marathon – the sort of race where people walk stretches of it.”

If you just can’t skip the workout and absolutely feel the need to go for a run on the Seine after looking at Mona Lisa and her pals, think about dialing back the workout Martin suggested.

“If you are walking six to nine plus miles a day while exploring the city this will cause fatigue, especially if you are not accustomed to that much walking,” said Martin, who suggested that dialing back to the intensity to 60 percent or, he says, is a good way to handle the fatigue. “Alternatively you could do shorter workouts and up the intensity. For example, find a pool and do 10 x 100 meter hard intervals. Done in under 30 minutes.”

And that leaves time for lunch or dinner.

The Vacation Diet
Food plays a big part of any trip away from home. When on vacation, most of us tend not to cook. And, for many, exploring new restaurants and sampling exotic cuisine is part of the experience. While those training for a big event should use caution, for those on more active vacations shouldn’t worry about a post-trip bulge if they indulge just a bit.

“It depends on your goals and what you are actually doing,” said Edwards. “If you are training for something it’s a lot more important to be careful, but for those who work out for general fitness, eating on vacation should be part of the fun.”

Just walking around a city all day requires a much more massive caloric burn than sitting at a computer.

“The more active you are, the more you actually need to eat,” Edwards added. “If you’re moving around, you might really need some junk food. Think of how ultra marathoners and bicycle racers eat a lot because they’re burning so many calories.” If you are training for a big event, such as a triathlon, it might be necessary to watch the diet and get in those workouts…or if you can, time the vacation to come after, not before, the big day.

And feel free to let loose a little. It is a vacation after all, and overdoing it at the desert table or bar early on in a vacation might just be the best way not to do it again.

Hit the Bike… Or Not
It is hard to avoid some walking on vacation, but increasingly it is hard not see people riding bicycles. While you can’t ride a bike on that cruise ship, you can rent a bike in many European cities. While the traffic of Paris and Rome may not be for the faint of heart, many destinations are quite welcoming on weekend afternoons when roads are closed to traffic. Other cities, such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen are ideal for seeing the sights on two wheels.

Even American cities are become bike friendly, with smart bike rentals popping up.

Of course if you spend a lot of time after work on two wheels, a vacation can mean time away from the bike and if you can’t rent a bike running and jogging can still provide a way to work the your legs. So when you head back home you’re still feeling ready for a long ride.

“Running or jogging is a very efficient way to build some aerobic fitness, and only requires a pair of shoes, shorts, wicking tee, and a sense of adventure,” said Stages Cycling’s power education specialist Benjamin Sharp. “However, for the trained cyclist, the impact of running can be a painful experience as supple quads and calves are pounded by the pavement. In many cases, a short walk around the neighborhood of the hotel, first thing in the morning, might be all you need to keep the athlete’s mentality and find equilibrium in the restfulness of a vacation and the desire to be able to perform when reunited with the bicycle.”

For those who work out regularly sometimes the best part of a vacation is getting back into a routine when it’s over.


Strength Through Numbers

Push-StrengthThere are plenty of fitness monitors that track calories and activity during a cardio workout – but most times those looking to increase strength and conditioning (S&C) are left without such digital aides. Push Strength is a start up that is looking to change this.

While heart rate monitors are typically worn on the chest, the Push system utilized a strap that goes around the arm – and in can track reps & sets, force, power, balance, speed and even be used to answer the phone remotely. This could prove there is strength in numbers.

Push Strength Official Website

Weekend Reading List (05.17.2014): Phily Fold Up, Lapping the Competition, Sprint Ahead

Phily Fold Up


From Bicycle Retailer:Philadelphia to host first US Brompton folding-bike events
The first-ever U.S. Brompton Urban Challenge will be hosted by the City of Brotherly Love May 31. Brompton owners’ orienteering skills will be put to the test as they make their way to secret destinations and Philadelphia landmarks. Read the rest of this entry »

Walk on Water?

Aqua-EllipticaWalking on water isn’t that hard – provided it is frozen. Walking on water when it is actually in liquid form requires some divine power or the right technology. Uriel Arad of Los Angeles has launched a Kickstarter campaign to find backers for his Aqua Elliptica, a device that makes walking on water not only possible but also makes it part of a workout routine. The primary construction of his design is a catamaran arrangement with two feet supporting a platform on the surface of the water.

If the campaign is successful Arad hopes to go into production this summer, with the final version utilizing carbon fiber and Kevlar. So it would be water ready and rugged. Video after the jump

The Challenge is On

National-Bike-ChallengeThe National Bike Challenge kicks off today and it looks to build on last year’s challenge that saw more than 34,000 bicyclists ride some 19 million miles. For 2014 the League of American Cyclists is calling upon 50,000 bicyclists to reach a combined goal of 30 million miles.

The National Bike Challenge, now in its third year, is a fun, free, game-changing event that runs from May 1 to September 30.

National Bike Challenge Official Website

TAO-tally New Look

TAOTAO Wellness has updated the design for its TAO WellShell, the portable, interactive and motivating exercise tool that turns exercise time into game time. The unit is set to be delivered to backers of the Tao-Wellness Kickstarter campaign this fall, and the new version of the WellShell will feature a smooth black top surface with a silver base that makes it easier for the user to exert uniform pressure from a variety of positions.

TAO Wellness Official Website

Panasonic Gets Sporty

Panasonic-HS34Panasonic has introduced its new earbud-style headphones that can handle your workout. The Panasonic HS34 Sport Clip Headphones are designed with an ear-clip style with an adjustable hanger size for individual fit. These offer a lightweight design and water and sweat resistance, which make these headphones ideal for joggers, runners or anyone who enjoys listening to music while exercising or outdoors. The flexible ear hanger is both durable and comfortable and resists popping off the ear if the headphone cord is accidentally pulled.

The Panasonic RP-HS34 Headphones are available in black, yellow, red, purple, blue, and white, and are just about $20.

Panasonic HS34 Sport Clip Headphones Official Website

Chill Out?

CLIMACHILLAfter this long harsh winter the last thing most people are likely to want to do is “chill out,” but soon the temperatures will rise and the Adidas Climachill technology will keep athletes from getting overheated. And it does so by putting metal into the clothing, but this is no suit of armor.

The line incorporates innovative fabric woven with titanium and industry-first 3D aluminium cooling spheres that provide an instant chilling sensation. The high tech fabric is designed to transfer heat away from the body to help the athletes’ performance in warm conditions – lowering their body temperature so they can train harder, run longer, retain focus and compete at the highest level.

The micro fiber fabric allows the apparel to provide the cooling properties of mesh, and in doing so can move excess moisture away from the skin. It utilizes evaporation and conduction methods together for the first time, the ground-breaking SubZero flat yarn contains titanium and is woven throughout the inside of each article of clothing. Flat yarn has more surface area than traditional yarns, which enables it to transfer heat away from your body.

Adidas Climachill Official Website

Mobile Exercise System Gets Kickstarted

TaoLast month the TAO WellShell, which was demonstrated at this past CES, recently launched as a Kickstarter campaign. TAO-Wellness is looking to develop the world’s first mobile, isometric exercise system for a fall 2014 release.

“We received a great deal of interest from the tech and fitness community as a result of our launch at CES,” says Philo Northrup, president and co-founder of TAO-Wellness. “But the question we kept getting asked was, ‘When and where can I get a TAO?’ We decided to optimize TAO for manufacturing and turn to Kickstarter to deliver them to our supporters as quickly as possible.”

The Kickstarter campaign will run through April 17. Video after the jump

Mudders Leave No Warrior Behind

The Wound Warrior Project is ready to get dirty. This weekend a team of wounded warriors will take on a new challenge- Tough Mudder Arizona. Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Alumni will travel from around the state to participate in this mud-filled obstacle course.

The WWP Physical Health & Wellness team will take a group of wounded warriors to participate in Tough Mudder events across the country at no cost to the WWP Alumni as well as training beforehand. As a team they’ll climb through mud, dive into freezing water, climb 15-foot walls and weave in and out of electrically charged wires.

While the wound warriors face this challenge, hundreds of others “Mudders” will be raising money for WWP. Each Tough Mudder participant is asked during enrollment if they would like to donate or fundraise for the organization. So far, Tough Mudder has raised $6 million for wounded warriors!

Wounded Warrior Project Official Website
Tough Mudder Official Website

Time to Walk

WalkaboutGiven the seemingly endless winter that is still going strong in many parts of North America and it might be a tall order to get people out and walking. However, Dr. Andrew Weil in partnership with Vionic Footwear and celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska kicked off the annual Walkabout – a 28-day quest for good health – this week. The Walkabout campaign encourages the public to make a commitment to their health and start walking as little as 30 minutes a day.

“Walking is what your body is designed to do. It strengthens almost every major organ in the body, promotes bone density, and boosts the immune system,” says Dr. Weil. “There’s no special skill, training or equipment needed, just the right footwear.”

Hopefully Mother Nature will let up a bit and let more people get out and get walking, as research has shown that walking as little as 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 40 percent.

Participants in the Walkabout will receive fitness tips from Juliet Kaska to increase the walking challenge from Juliet Kaska and healthy recipe ideas from Dr. Weil via weekly emails and social media in addition to the chance to win prizes. The grand prize winner, who completes the walking challenge will win a trip to L.A. and train with Juliet Kaska to get ‘Red Carpet Ready’ and be well on their way to achieving fitness and improving their odds in beating heart disease.

2014 Walkabout Official Website

Boxing Gambling: How does Fury get fighting fit?

Tyson-FuryIn the boxing world, the upcoming clash between Tyson Fury and Joey Abell will be one of the most one sided fights of the year, that’s if you believe the bookies. Fury is the bookmakers’ favorite, with some placing him at 1/20 for the win. But how does Fury get himself to the top of his game before a big fight? Does his training regime make him the formidable favorite? Read the rest of this entry »

Sole(us) to Go

Soleus-GOSports watch and GPS maker Soleus has introduced a fitness tracker wristband. The Soleus GO! works much like similar devices and can track daily activities as well as sleep cycles. It can tack steps taken and calories burned, while a vibration alert can notify wearers when it is time to get moving. It can sync with a mobile device, while an app can log activity, plus it even show incoming calls and messages on its OLED display.

“At Soleus, we started the company around meeting the needs of the athlete with quality performance and style at an affordable cost,” said David Arnold, founder and CEO of Soleus. “Our core values are attributed to supplying athletes the most advanced tools they need to achieve their goals. At the same time, we want to help people everywhere enhance their life with activity. We spent a lot of time and research to develop the most comprehensive activity tracker that monitors and records the most important aspects of daily life while incorporating the wearable technology features for everyone on the go.”

The device arrives in retail today.

Soleus Official Website

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