I hope you enjoyed my uber in shape, personal trainer cousin Jen’s, last guest post on 15 Workouts for the Car! There were such great ideas in it that I know I am going to try next time I go on a long car trip. BUT, the next trip we are taking is on an airplane, so I asked Jen for some great tips on staying active in the airport! Thanks to Jen here are some great airport workouts
But first…. a little bio on my cousin, Jen – Jennifer Jones has been in fitness for 15 years. She is a Chicago based personal trainer and owner of “Bootcamp with Jen”(original name huh?). She is the mother of two beautiful little girls and workouts every day but Sunday. Even if she’s sick. She does not recommend that however. Her clients have no idea she hates vegetables and eats a lot of candy which she also does not recommend. Her goal is to weigh negative 9 but will settle for looking good in a bathing suit.
The world is your oyster when it comes to working out at the airport if you don’t mind looking silly. I don’t. When a guy pounding a Yoohoo and feasting on an Auntie Anne’s pretzel makes a sideways glance at me, I don’t mind. I know I’m doing something healthy and I feel much better knowing I burn some calories before I park my ham on an airplane for hours. Getting some activity in is good for relieving jet lag as well.
The recommended minimum for cardio activity is about 60 minutes. While you may not have 60 minutes you may have 20 minutes which is better than doing no minutes. 20 minutes is easily achievable in an airport. Walking is the most obvious way to exercise. Just take off down the terminal and keep walking. When you get to the end, turn around. Repeat for as many times as you like. Make sure to walk at a brisk pace. What’s that you say? You have a carry on and can’t just leave it at the gate? Nice excuse but it won’t work. Carry it with you. It burns more calories! Have kids in tow? I’ll address that later.
You can also get a strength training workout as well. You can use your body weight as resistance. No dumbbells needed. You will really call attention to yourself with these exercises but most people will just feel guilty instead of thinking you’ve just downed a 2 liter of Mountain Dew.
If available, opt for an uncrowded or empty gate. I do push ups, squats, lunges, crunches and dips. I alternate these exercises with jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers and quick walks around the gate area. You can even incorporate these exercises into a terminal walk to make a circuit workout. Walk to the end of the terminal than do a set of push ups, squats, lunges, crunches and dips. Walk to the other end and do it again. And again.
Push up: Get in to a straight armed plank position with hands set apart shoulder width apart. To make it a bit easier you can spread legs or come down to your knees. Try starting on your toes though. You may be surprised! Make sure your butt isn’t sticking up and your head isn’t drooping. Lower yourself so you are a few inches off the ground than push back to start. Do three to four sets of 15.
Squat: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Push your hips back and lower your tush toward the floor as if you are attempting to sit in a chair that is a bit too far behind you. Lower until your butt is in line with your knees. Hold your carry on for added resistance. Do 3 to 4 sets of 25 to 30.
Lunges: Stand up straight. Step forward with one leg lower your hips until both knees are best at about a 90 degree angle to your ankle. Make sure your knee does not go forward over your ankle and your other knee doesn’t touch the ground. Push back up keeping weight in your heels. Continue for 15 reps than switch legs. Do three to four sets. You can also do a walking lunge. Start with the basic lunge but as your rise to the top step forward with your back leg.
Dips: Sit on in a chair, on a bench or a ledge. Place your hands next to your tush curling your fingers over the edge of the seat. Lift your hips, roll your shoulders back and walk your feet out. Lower yourself until your elbows are parallel to the seat. Hold for a beat and than return to the top. Make sure to keep your shoulders back and your head up. Do 3 to 4 sets of 20 to 25.
Crunches: Lay on your back with your knees bent and hands behind your head. Pull button towards your spine and flatten your lower back against the floor. Slowly contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about two to three inches off the floor. Keep your next straight and chin up. Hold at the top for a beat and than return to start without relaxing your abdominals all the way. Continue for 25 to 30 reps. Do 3 to 4 sets.
Many airports have stair cases that lead to nowhere. The stair case can be a very valuable tool when it comes to exercising. Walk briskly up the stairs two at a time. Make sure to place your entire foot on the stair and push straight up through the heel of your foot. Make sure to maintain good posture. Do not lean forward. Repeat as many times as you like. You can incorporate stair climbing in to a terminal walk as well. Walk for 5 minutes, climb stairs for 5 minutes do each one again and you’ve done 20 minutes of cardio and worked your butt and legs! Add pushups, dips and crunches and you’ve worked your entire body.
If you’re not interested in an airport full of passengers watching you workout, I understand. Kind of. It’s hard to disguise strength exercises so focus on walking the terminal and climbing stairs if a stair case is available. You can also use the abdominal and glute exercises explained in my car workout.
Have kids in tow? If they are old enough, they can walk with you. Wringing some energy out of the kids before confining them in a traveling tube is always a good idea. If not, set yourselves up at an empty gate, and create an obstacle course. You can weave between the rows or posts, sit on every seat in the next row (you’ll be doing squats!), bunny hop from the ticket counter to the window or jumping jacks at the end of each row. You can add push ups, lunges or dips at any point along the course. There are so many things you can do. Your kids will have ideas as well. If “Pinky Princess Girl” would like, I will write a couple of obstacle courses for everyone.
Skip the Yoohoos and get moving!(which should be easy as I’m pretty sure Yoohoos are only sold exclusively at 7 Eleven. You’ll be less restless during your flight and feel better when you research your destination.
Traveling by car – check out this Great Car Workouts post to help make the time go by faster and more productively!!
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