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28 August 2011 ~ 2 Comments

Healthy Tips from the Road #2

This is the second in the series of posts I call “Tips from the Road”.   They were inspired by my extended travel during July, when one business trip started just as another finished.  And while my regular workout schedule and time were disrupted, I got ideas for exercise and or diet, which I thought would be great to share.

There are occasions when I just could not get to a gym (time or circumstance left me feeling a little frustrated in my hotel room).  Perhaps I had only 15 to 30 minutes – which is not long enough to drive to a nearby gym – and the alternative is to use the bike/stairstepper/treadmill in what passes for a “fitness center” at the hotel, and then do some abs in my room.

If you are like most people, the thought of lying on the carpet in the room to do sit-ups or even the side plank, is not the most enticing.    (Though I have been known to lay out the bedspread on the floor (few hotels have these nowadays).

Recently I had come across and saved a “Standing Abs Workout” article.  Not only does it save one from the whole carpet thing, but these exercises work the entire core.  I had tried them out in the gym where I had access to dumbbells and really felt they were targeting the core.  It was being on the road that gave me impetus to blog about it.

Standing Abs Workout

The drawings and description are quite comprehensive.  And I will just add a couple of pointers:

  1.  What to do if you don’t have weights?  Dumbbells are useful, but not imperative.  
    • Hold your abs tight; keep your focus on the abs as you do the exercise; blow out air as you ‘crunch’ (toward the leg or the knee etc per the exercise guidelines), and you will feel the benefits even without weights in your hands.   
    • Note:  you can hold a filled bottle of water in each hand for the sensation of holding a weight, but the effort and benefit comes from your focus, from tightening and from blowing out air and pulling in the abs on the ‘crunch’ movement.
  2. In exercise 3 keep the knees and toes aligned and don’t extend the knees beyond the toes.  In the exercise as described, the knees stay pointed forward as the body turns. 
    • I also extended this a little as follows.  As you hold the weight/bottle of water over your left thigh, lift the right heel and bend the right knee further (and very slightly in toward the left) to allow you to twist your body a bit further.  Caution: don’t twist too far or bend too much – you will feel it in the knees and this is not the objective.  Just bend-twist sufficiently to feel the left side abs working.  Do the reverse when you perform the exercise on the right.  (I really feel this one working)
  3. To end the session here is exercise 4:  Standing straight up – as in the very first drawing – take a deep breath then open your mouth  and exhale ( blow air out) as though you are laughing “Ha! Ha! Ha!”.  And as you do each “Ha!” tighten your abs.   Repeat a few times or for a couple of minutes.   You will feel as though you have exercised your abs!

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