Thursday, June 4, 2015

Exercising on the Road...How To Live Longer? And A Summer Recipe

Tips For Exercising On Vacation Its June, and that means summer vacations are just around the corner.  Do you look forward to the time away with family & friends, but do you dread the weight gain that seems to accompany your trip?

Here’s some ideas on how to get your exercise on the road:

First, plan some activity into your trip….the selection of a locale that affords plenty of walkable vistas and attractions can help.  Just be sure to pack the right shoes for wherever you wander.  Europe may require sturdier shoes to handle those cobblestones than say, a cruise vacation where you’ll be doing laps around the deck or attending exercise classes.  Work in your exercise session first thing in the morning, or say, before dinner so you have a plan.

Exercise tubing or elastic bands are light, and can easily be tucked into a corner of your suitcase.  Not sure what to do? See this ACE handout on my website.  Likewise, a jump rope travels well.

Check out gyms where you are going – often hotels will have courtesy privileges at Clubs nearby.  Or see if there are running/biking/walking trails nearby.  Tourist information bureaus often will list recreational activities on their websites, and provide maps.  Many hotels are also upgrading their gyms or pools, even providing exercise clothes & guidance. 

Try body weight training in your room – here’s a quick routine:
       20 jumping jacks
       1 minute of wall jogging (hands on wall, leaning forward)
       25 mountain climbers (one or each side)
       10 side shuffles  (hold your carryon for some resistance)
Add some crunches or bicycles, and repeat for as long as you wish.

For more variety, throw in some push ups, triceps dips, chair squats, or lunges to round things out.   End with some stretching – you’ve probably been sitting too long to get to where you were going anyway, and it will feel good.  Here's a routine using that jump rope (or a belt).

Another alternative:  Remember the Scientific 7 Minute Workout?  It provides a short, high intensity workout that is primarily body weight & can be adapted to a small space.  Knees can’t handle too much bouncing?   Modify the aerobic moves to keep one foot on the ground - OR see a trainer or exercise physiologist for modifications.  Here's a link
that gives background information, and here's where you can find the workout.

With a little planning, you won’t return home completely deconditioned.

From The News:  
Just 2 Minutes an Hour   Want to add years to your life? A recent study from the University of Utah School of Medicine released in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reported that just 2 minutes of light activity every hour reduced the participants chance of dying from kidney disease by 33%.  The study observed 3200 people, who wore tracking devices that measured the intensity of their activities for 3 years.  Standing was found to have no effect on longevity, but 2 minutes of light intensity activity lowered the risk of premature death by 33%.

However, the researchers emphasized for optimum health benefits, one should keep up with your regimen to achieve the recommended 2.5 hours of moderate activity a week, but adds another argument for setting that alert to break up long periods of sitting which has its own health risks.  (see blog on sitting too much here)

No time to exercise - how about 5 minutes of running? 
A study of the medical records of 55,137 men & women in a data base maintained by the Cooper Institute, and published The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 
last August found that the 24% who self identified as runners lived longer by about 3 years.  Death from any cause was 30% lower in this group, and 45% lower from heart disease.  The researchers found that these benefits accrued no matter how fast, how much or how little people ran. 

The results even applied to overweight runners, and those who ran as little as 5 minutes a day at 10 minutes/mile (a very leisurely pace).  The mechanism for this effect was not examined, nor if running was the only activity to have this effect.

Bottom line - if you're not a runner, consult a doctor before trying this. Bad knees?  Try pedaling a stationary bike - but vigorously...or any other strenuous activity that you will do & enjoy.

A Summer Recipe:
Here’s a healthy, fast, & light 180 calories per serving) dinner entrée for the summer months.  It could easily be adapted to other kinds of fish.

Five-Spice Tilapia
·     1 pound tilapia fillets
·     1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
·     1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
·     3 tablespoons light brown sugar
·     1 tablespoon canola oil
·     3 scallions, thinly sliced

Step 1
Sprinkle both sides of tilapia fillets with five-spice powder. Combine soy sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl.
Step 2
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tilapia and cook until the outer edges are opaque, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, turn the fish over, stir the soy mixture and pour into the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until the fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes more. Add scallions and remove from the heat. Serve the fish drizzled with the pan sauce.

For more complete nutrient information:  see here.

Coming up next time – eating on the road.  Like & share on Facebook!  Thanks!

References for 2 Minutes A Day:  here  and here
References for 5 Minutes of Running:  here  and here

©  April 2015, Fitness Spark Personal Training.

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