My family is a wealth of knowledge! We have it all – dentists, doctors, a chef, a slew of teachers, social works, rabbi – but my next guest blogger is of particular interest to me – personal trainer!! My cousin, Jennfer, is not only one of the fittest people I know, but she is hilarious too! When we got to talking at our annual Hanukkah party, she was telling me stories of her airport workouts (check that post out here!) – got me thinking – what a great article this would make! I had NO idea how smart I am because not only did she do an airport workout article, but she did one for car workouts too!!! Hope you enjoy Jen’s words of wisdom, I will be eating my bon-bons and reading People magazine – KIDDING!!!!
A little info about Jennifer – 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.
It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year…to gain weight. If you’re anything like me, you make a vow “I, Fatty McFat Pants, will not indulge this year”. I stay strong for ohhhh…about 77 seconds. Then things go downhill. And fast. It goes a little like this (this may or may not be a true story). It starts with one average size sugar cookie at my daughter’s kindergarten holiday party. It’s only one cookie. Right? I pat myself on the back for such self control. Well, since it IS such a reasonable portion size why not swing by the cookie decorating table and smear on a little frosting? A really thin layer of course. Than something catches my eye. What? There are colored sugars and M&M’s to decorate with? Hell yeah…“Max! Give me some of those.” Well now I’m going to need more frosting to hold the M&M’s. “Samantha! Hand over another cookie to slap on top!”. One cookie cannot contain the awesomeness of my cookie creation. What happens next is a lot of yelling to quit hogging the frosting and chucking M&M’s at my daughter’s classmates (“what’s the big deal, Teach? It melts in your mouth not in your hands!”). When it is all said and done I have eaten enough cookies to make a Girl Scout proud but stopped short of frosting the class pet.(maybe next year)
I am able to maintain my weight over the holidays but only because I don’t skip a workout. But I recognize the time it takes to travel over the river and through the woods really cuts into workout time. Here are some exercises you can do in the car and in the airport. Don’t fool yourself into believing this is a substitute for your normal workout. But as long as you’re moving, you’re burning calories.
Exercises for the driver of a car are limited. Passengers however have many options. Here are a few for both:
- Pretend you are trying to zip up a tight pair of jeans. Pull your belly button in towards your spine as you try to pull your lower abdomen away from the waistband of your pants. Hold here, engaging your abs, breathe out 20 times quickly. As you breathe out, contract your lower abs even harder to pulse your abs in and out.
- You can also lift your butt off the seat by tensing your abs and butt. Lift and then hold for three counts at the top. Try 60 seconds on then 60 seconds off for as long as your butt can take it. You’ll be able to feel a nice burn even though this is a very simple exercise. Impress your kids and do one butt cheek at a time.
- To work your arms and back hold the steering wheel at 10 and 2. Act as if you are pulling the steering wheel towards you by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Squeeze hard until your shoulders are as far back as they can go. Hold for two to three counts and then release. Do a lot…and then do some more.
- You can work your shoulders by holding the steering wheel at about 3 and 9. Bend elbows as much as you can while still holding onto the steering wheel. Lower the elbows until parallel to the ground. Lift back up to start and repeat until it hurts.
- Raise one arm up to the side and to shoulder height. With your palm facing forward, raise your forearm up to make an L (or a backwards L on the right). Keep your arm at shoulder height and use your shoulder muscle to lower and raise your L shaped arm. You’ll be tank top ready by the time you arrive in Columbus.
Passengers have many options. Especially if you don’t care what passers by or other car mates might think. Perform these exercises in succession for a decent circuit workout. The circuit can be done two or three times for extra fun. You can make it a game for the kids in the back. Write down the exercises on separate pieces of paper and place them in a bag. Each person pulls out an exercise (or two or three) but keeps it secret. One person reveals their exercise and everyone performs that exercise for 60 seconds. The next person reveals her exercise to be performed and so on and so forth. Skip the holiday tunes and listen to upbeat music.
- Run in place: Move your feet really fast as if you’re running. Get your arms going as well.
- Steam engines: Sit up straight, place hands behind your head lift one knee and twist body to touch opposite elbow to your knee. Alternate sides.
- Punches: Sit up straight and alternate jabs as quick as you can. If it is safe to do so, rotate your torso and punch out to the sides
- Side bends: Sit up straight and place hands behind your head. Bend to the side keeping your spine in alignment and aiming your elbow toward your hip.
- Chicken wings: Make a flat L with your arms by raising your elbows straight out to the side and at shoulder height. Palms should be facing the ground. Wrists should be in alignment with your elbows and elbows with your shoulders. Lower elbows until they almost hit your sides and then raise them back to shoulder height. Make sure your wrists stay in alignment with your elbows.
- Drivers: Grab anything small (nothing longer than the length of a water bottle) that has a little heft to it. The heavier the better. Grasp each end as if you were holding onto a steering wheel. Turn the steering wheel side to side. Keep your arms out in front of you at shoulder height.
- Toe Touch: With abs contracted and spine straight, lift up both legs. Touch one toe down while continuing to hold the other leg up. Alternate legs.
- Seat Lifts: Place hands under your thighs and lift yourself up. Hold for a second at the top.
- Ceiling Lifts: Place both palms on the ceiling of the car. Sit up straight, contract your abs and push up on the ceiling while at the same time contracting your abs and squeezing the muscles just underneath your arm pits (your latisimus dorsi). Squeeze for two counts and repeat.
- Jump and push: Jump your feet up and down while at the same time pushing both arms out in front of you.
- Rotate: Bend arms and place hands in fists under your chin, sit up straight and rotate back and forth.
- Pray: Push palms and elbows together in a prayer-like manner. Keep your elbows at chest height. Straighten and bend your arms tomahawk style trying to keep your elbows pressed together.
- Chest squeeze: Raise arms straight out in front of you. Turn your arms so your palms are facing out. Pulse your arms in and out by squeezing your chest.
Hope these are helpful. The most important thing to do is keep moving. And watch what you eat!! Good luck!?
Traveling by air – check out this Great Airport Workout post while you wait for your plane!