FitShaped Travel Day Exercises

airplane sardines

 

If you travel much, you likely have struggled with sore/aching body parts, feeling cramped, eating nonsense food you really didn’t want, and just being  run-down upon arrival.

Over the past couple of years I have developed some habits that help me avoid some or all of those issues. Today, I want to focus on the soreness and cramped feeling that comes from the amount of time we sit still when traveling. For many of us, the only movement we get on a travel day is sprinting from gate to gate when you are about to miss your connecting flight, climbing over your neighbors to pee mid-flight, and walking through the security line (hoping to not get frisked… Or maybe you are secretly hoping for that from the hot TSA agent).  Regardless, there’s not a lot of movement or exercise in a full day of travel.

One way to help with tight, cramped muscles is to stretch and stand while waiting to board a flight. I do a lot of basic stretches that help, but they don’t really increase my overall energy level after a long day of travel. I find that putting weight on my muscles and doing some real exercises really helps me burn off excess energy between flights and helps level off my overall energy for the rest of the day. When I arrive at my destination, I still have energy and I don’t feel like I have been sitting in a shoebox all day.

The exercises, below, can easily be done with minimal space and without breaking a sweat. Personally, I don’t want to be the sweaty, stinky girl on the plane. I did a set of 10 of each of these at both airports today.

I managed to find that gem of a healthy rice bowl in a small healthy fast food type place in the airport. It was so good I didn’t use the sauce. They even had BAKED French fries! 

1- Body weight squats or chair sits

2 – Wall sit (for 30 seconds to 1 minute, not 10 reps)

3 – Bulgarian Split Squats or Lunges

4 – Push-ups

5 – Tricep Chair Dips

6 – Crunches, sit-ups, or almost any ab exercise would be appropriate as well…if you are OK lying on the airport floor

Next time you find yourself waiting at an airport or really any waiting area, try out some of these basic exercises to keep your body moving. It’s amazing the difference they make in how you feel.

#Travel #Exercise #Airplane #LegRoom #Lift #Weights #Fitness #Progress #BodyBuilding #Workout #Healthy #FitGirl #Gym #GymRat #GirlsWhoLift #GuysWhoLift #WorkHardPlayHard #FitLikeFlint #TeamFitLikeFlint #TeamErgoGenix#ErgoGenix #ErgoGenixAthlete #brandambassador #bodybuildingcom #bbcomexclusive #Nashville #MusicCityFit

 

Things that may be holding back your weight loss. 

I like to preach “Eat All The Food”…that fits your dietary needs and health & fitness goals.  Regardless of what your goals are, tracking food is the key to ensuring accuracy and the best results. It is far too easy to assume you are eating “healthy” and still not hit your needed calories.  

This article provides a glimpse of a few things that can derail your caloric intake quickly, even if you think you are tracking pretty accurately. 

Take a look and see if you are guilty of some of these. It may help you reset and refocus. 

10 Ways You May Be Consuming More Calories Than You Think

Injured to New & Improved

ACL blog_knee brace
My lovely full leg brace pre-surgery

I want to share a piece of my fitness journey with you. This particular time in life changed me and my view on my health and fitness quite a bit.

I had gotten back into workouts regularly and was eating well for a solid 2 years by this point. I was likely in the best shape of my life.

In February of 2013, I went on a ski trip with friends to Park City, Utah. I was pretty “green” to skiing, but took a lesson each time I went on a ski trip.  So, I was getting better, but still a newbie.  On the 2nd day, we went out to Brighton. On my 1st run down the slopes, I took a fall and could tell that something wasn’t right with my knee. I wasn’t in pain, but my knee would buckle if I completely extended it or tried to pivot on it. So, I spent the day hanging out with the locals in the bar while the rest of my crew played on the slopes (not a bad consolation prize if you ask me). That night I bought a cheap knee brace so I could ski the next day…which I did. I actually was skiing better than I had been. I think it caused me to really focus on my form.  Anyway, the rest of the trip was fantastic and I thought I just irritated my old patellar tracking issue that I dealt with all through collegiate bowling (Yes, I bowled in college but that’s for a different blog day).

ACL blog_ski crew
My ski crew!

Upon returning home, I made the smart decision to have my knee checked out by a Dr.  When he said “well, your ACL is really lose and I’m pretty sure you tore it, but lets run an MRI to find out”, my heart sank. What?!?! A REAL INJURY?!? I don’t even know what to do with that. I’m in good shape and I’ve put a lot of time into getting to this point. I can’t have an injury!  Needless to say, a week later I learn that I have, in-fact, torn my ACL completely through. The good news: nothing else showed any damage.  The Dr was surprised that I had no swelling, full range of motion, and zero pain at all. He even asked if his Vanderbilt student interns could come in to perform the tests on my knee to see what a fully torn ACL actually feels like without any barriers to it, since I had no pain.  Since it was a learning experience, of course I obliged.

At this point I had a decision to make, either have ACL replacement surgery or live a less active life because my knee wouldn’t hold up to the things I had been doing. This wasn’t even a decision. I immediately said “schedule me in as soon as possible”. I made the choice to use cadaver tissue, instead of my patellar tendon for a couple of reasons. But the main reason was to get me back to work and back to normal life and rebuilding my strength as quickly as possible. I was determined to not lose momentum on my health and fitness…and go skiing on the trip the following year.

Surgery was a breeze. Best. Nap. Ever.  And I had some fantastic nurses taking care of me after surgery.  Thanks mom and dad!!! Overall, I didn’t have much pain. I remember one instance of pain where my pain medication wore off in the middle of the night, but it quickly subsided after taking the pain medication. I started physical therapy a mere 24 hours after surgery. Let me tell you what isn’t fun… trying to rock stationary bike pedals back and forth with a knee that has just been beaten up through surgery. Through recovery and physical therapy, the PTs and my Ortho kept telling me that I was the “model patient” because I was doing my exercises multiple times at home and never missed an appointment. Every time I was there, I was asking if I could do more. They were worried I would push too far and cause problems, but I followed their orders strictly and progressed much faster than they anticipated.

 

Along the way, I learned so much about myself and my mental struggles. Being stationary when you are accustomed to being extremely active is VERY, VERY exhausting. When you can’t release stress and you aren’t around your normal friends, you start to feel lonely. No one seems to understand what you are going through, no one really cares that you are “bored” or “bummed” or whatever…and honestly, they shouldn’t have to deal with it. I needed to learn how to manage my own mental struggles, so I did some searching about recovering from ACL surgery. One of the biggest struggles and most common complaints was the lack of support and how hard it was to get through each day being less of a person than you were before. At least that’s what it feels like to most that tear their ACL, because most are very active athletes. The very thing they live for has been ripped away from them (for a fairly extended time). I decided to search social media for like-minded people. I was surprised to find that there was a large #ACLFamily on twitter. I very quickly immersed myself in this group and chatted about the struggles, good days, bad days, how to overcome the mental challenges, etc…  This twitter group was such a huge part in my recovery!! It made me realize how important support from like-minded individuals really matters in everything that you do.  I owe such a great deal to these amazing people for being there for me and for allowing me to attempt to help them as they dealt with their own challenges.

ACL blog_PT
Physical therapy or circus clown for their entertainment??

A few months later, I was released to start doing basic exercises. Shortly after, I was released to do my normal workouts. Soon after I was released for regular sports, including skiing!!! Yes!!! Success!!

Now it was time for the real work. Time to get ready for ski season! Stability work and strength were going to be very key. I amped up my workouts and stressed my body like I hadn’t ever before. By the time the ski trip rolled around, I wasn’t necessarily in better shape than before surgery, but I was definitely stronger. My balance was incredible and I could certainly lift quite a bit more than before.

Having this goal really pushed me to make changes in my approach to fitness. I was working toward strength, instead of weight loss or looking a certain way. It made the gym fun again! I was no longer working against something (fat), I was working with something (muscle).

Since then, I have modified my workout regimen, goals, and approach in the gym many times. More to come on some of those changes in future blogs. The injury allowed me to completely shift my focus and realize that even in fitness, change is the way to growth. And with those changes, support is always needed.

Regardless of your challenge or goal, find other people that like to see you succeed, have similar goals, have similar passions, and keep them close. You will need them and they will need you. You will challenge one another and grow from it.

 

Just a side note:

I did gain about 10lbs through my “down-time”, but I lost that weight quickly when I was back to being active and eating properly.

 

ACL blog_brighton
The beautiful scenery at Brighton the following ski season. Mission Accomplished.

Deadlift to Curl

 

 

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Compound exercises challenge your body & mind. I love when I can work on the feel and form for multiple exercises in one.
This Romanian Deadlift to Bicep Curl forces you to lower the weight on the deadlift, so you can curl the bar. By lowering the weight on the deadlift you can get an intense stretch during the activation of your glutes and hamstrings. On the bicep curl, focus on the squeeze at the top.

Add this to your next leg day. At first, you won’t think these are too hard. After a set of 10-12 of these your heart rate will be elevated and your muscles will be pumped & burning.

#Lift #Weights #Fitness #Progress #BodyBuilding #Workout #Healthy #FitGirl #Gym #GymRat #GirlsWhoLift #GuysWhoLift #WorkHardPlayHard #MyGymBrain #FitLikeFlint #TeamFitLikeFlint #TeamErgoGenix #ErgoGenix #ILiftErgoIAm #ErgoGenixAthlete #brandambassador #bodybuildingcom #bbcomexclusive #Nashville

A fun little HIIT circuit

HIIT Training_box jump

Yes, I said fun! I do love HIIT work. I know that sounds ridiculous, but you can create all kinds of combinations and do whatever you want with it. I love that!  It also keeps me from getting bored.

I did this particular HIIT work the other day and liked it so well that I wanted to do it again today and share it with you.  It takes ~2 mins to complete the circuit. I did this 3x before moving on to another set of HIIT exercises.

Circuit:

Side x Side low box step overs – 10 each side

Front to back box step overs – 10 front 10 back, each leg

Incline push-ups with leg raise – 1o each leg

 

Landmine: Push-up, Squat up, Press

Landmine combo

I enjoy unplanned gym days. Some people call these “rest days”. I actually prefer being active on those days.  So, I will sometimes go into the gym to try new things or just work out my extra energy, even if it’s not a planned workout day.

The other day I decided to play around with the Landmine and combine a few exercises.  This turned out to be a great strength/cardio combination.

If you want to try this, I recommend using the bar weight only at first. You will want to work on the grip and feel before adding weight. To hold the bar as you squat up from the uneven push-ups, use an overhand grip. Then, you can flip the bar into the neutral press position as you squat up. Go slow until you have the motion and form spot on. Then, increase weight and/or speed.