20 September 2011 ~ 2 Comments

Tips from the Road #3 – Be Flexible (In Your Attitude)

Was thinking about all the “little” things I observed or experienced while on the road; and how to write about them in a way that would be interesting.  It occurred to me that while the observations were really interesting to me – they may fall in the category of ‘you had to be there’  or the category of ‘so what’!  Thus my initial procrastination. 

Well I have a bunch saved up.  The ‘snippets’  can all be grouped under a general heading/observation of “Be Flexible”  – and I don’t mean your body but rather stretching your mind and attitude.  And if one or two are interesting as you read this – then great.    To help you navigate I will list the snippets upfront; then you can skip to any topic that intrigues you, and skip past other topics: 

  1. Routine is Everything – Not!
  2. Training Schedule – Day/Night preference
  3. Some new machines/tools
  4. The ‘tightening’ training program
  5. What when you have “no weights”?
  6. The 24-Hour Fitness “Lite”
  7. 20 minutes in a Hotel Room

A Note:   I do not work out every single day.  I believe in taking time off as well as working out hard.  Thus if I discuss “missing a workout”, it implies missing a workout on a planned workout day.

1. Routine may be everything when you are at home, with your set schedule and favorite gym.  We have been told to have a schedule for training so that it fits into the rest of our planned day and is not an afterthought.  We also have our workout routines so we know what body parts we are working each day.  But what happens when your day is simply a series of events not in your control?  Maybe making it to the gym is just not in the cards.  I know this can be frustrating.  And this is when you need to be flexible:

  • if a beach is near, go for a jog and enjoy the outdoors;
  • If all the hotel has is a treadmill, a bike and a stair stepper, pick two of them and spend 20 minutes on each.  For me this is such a great opportunity to take time to read, and with smartphones and a radio app or Pandora, the time can be different and enjoyable.
  • If you have a jump rope or bands, use those for a modified workout.

By the way, I am the first to admit that when my schedule is thrown, none of these options is particularly appealing.  However, it definitely beats the alternative – not working out at all for a couple of days. 

2. Selecting your standard training time  (either in the morning or at night) is all part of the routine.  We also are told to work out at the same time every day – for better results and to help keep to a routine.   Personally, I don’t work out at the “same time every day”.  Currently, I  mostly work out in the evening because  the dance classes I take are in the evening, so my routine is either to take a class or go to the gym.  On the road, I tend to work out in the morning since staying late at work is almost a given.   But more than once I have had an early morning meeting when I planned a workout, and on that day I will head to the gym in the evening, or make it a “skip” day.   The trick is to switch workout times or even days without letting it upset you.  There are no “schedule police” waiting to give you a citation for either of these actions (switching or skipping); so why beat yourself up about it?   Yet we do, right?  If you are reading this and nodding, take this as permission to change your routine as needed.   The effect will be positive, since you will enjoy the workouts without the guilt.

3. Going to a ‘strange’ gym can sometimes be fun and other times be annoying – especially if you waste time wondering around  trying to find that familiar piece of equipment that you need for your shoulder routine…..!  In a new gym, if I have time, then I will look around and maybe discover new pieces of equipment that my gym at home doesn’t have.  If I don’t have time I will head for the free weights – which are what I mostly use for working out anyway.  You can always find enough exercises with dumbbells, and then look forward to your favorite machine when you get home.   The benefits of a new piece of equipment or a switch to free weights can be many:

  • You worked out differently and your muscles are sore – something you perhaps have not experienced recently;
  • You find a machine you so love, you recommend it to your home gym (and/or you look forward to being on the road again).  

I have newly rediscovered Hoist machines; they make a line called “Roc-it”, and all I can say if you haven’t seen it, is that the seat and backrest move with you, so the whole exercise is ergonomically awesome!  I haven’t independently researched the science behind it, but in using the machines I have no complaints! 


4. Going to a ‘foreign’  gym you have visited previously and like, is always a treat.  Especially when they have something that your home gym doesn’t.  When I am in Northern California I love visiting the Gold’s gym in Mountain View.  The equipment may be older, but it is well maintained and just works well.   It needs to, because there are some serious body builders who are members.  (Your first clue is the “no steroids”  warnings in the restrooms).  I also really like the kettle bells that are available for general  use just like dumbbells (not many gyms put the kettle bells out in general workout area). 

The last time I was there I happened to take note of two guys (obviously serious body builders) working out and not using particularly heavy weights.  So of course I asked….  One of them explained they were doing sets of 20 reps and going for at least 5 sets.  Their objective: “tightening”.   I liked that.  Not only did I now have a new option for training, but it was something to make my time on the road more interesting when I found myself in a “strange” gym that perhaps offered a smaller selection of machines.  Guess what I did the rest of the week, and boy was I sore!

Since I like to keep the posts to a ‘readable’ length, look for the points 5, 6 and 7 in the next installment of Tips from the Road #3 – within the next 4 days.

2 Responses to “Tips from the Road #3 – Be Flexible (In Your Attitude)”

  1. My response 23 September 2014 at 6:52 am Permalink

    Tips from the Road #3 – Be Flexible (In Your Attitude) | Workout and Diet Advice for Women over 45 Hermes Kelly Caleche

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