Let’s face it – when we travel on business, we often skip the fitness routine. Most hotels today offer fitness centers; however, after a long day in meetings, we may not have the time or inclination for a full workout or to head to the gym for a quick run on a treadmill. Or, we may prefer to simply tone and stretch and not do a full aerobic workout. Unfortunately, hotels rooms often have very little space for exercise. If you bring a fitness ball with you, you have another option.
With a fitness ball, you can turn a few situps and stretches into a workout that includes stretching, strengthening and toning. In this article we’ll show a few examples of exercises using a large fitness ball that can be deflated for packing and reinflated at the hotel. Either bring your own personal pump or ask at the hotel if they will blow it up following your arrival. Often resorts with swimming pools have aircompressors for swimming inflatables and are happy to accommodate their guests with blowing up a fitness ball.
Stretching and warming up will help get your circulation going, ease jetlag and work out kinks from long flights or hours at a desk. This move can be done with or without an exercise ball. If you don’t have a fitness ball, use the side of the bed or a chair for similar effect.
This exercise tones your abdomen, buttocks and back of thighs and can be done while watching TV or listening to a newscast so you won’t miss out on any productivity.
For this exercise, lie on your back on a yoga mat or bath towel with legs together securely placed over the fitness ball. Press calves down into the fitness ball while raising your abdomen. Hold for 20 seconds, lower back to ground and repeat.
SINGLE LEG LIFT
This exercise is similar to the Torso Lift; however, it provides more lift and toning to the outer thigh and buttocks.
Start in the same position as the Torso lift, then raise your left leg straight up. Press right calf into the fitness ball firmly while lifting your torso. Hold for 20 seconds, lower and repeat 10 times. Alternate leg.
This exercise tones the back of the thigh.
Place both feet near the top of the fitness ball, pressing firmly downward to keep the ball in place by pressing it toward the floor. Pull your left knee towards your head while lifting your torso and pressing your right foot into the ball, squeezing your buttocks and thighs. Hold for 20 seconds, return left foot to fitness ball and repeat. Alternate legs.
This exercise stretches the spine and eases muscle tightness through the shoulders and upper arms.
Lie on your back with your legs in the air. Your arms should be at your sides holding the fitness ball. Lift your legs over your head while continuing to hold the fitness ball for stability. Allow your feet to descend over your head toward the floor as shown until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for 20 seconds, then lower back to ground and repeat.
BALANCE AND ABDOMEN TONING
Exchange the uncomfortable hotel chair or chair at the office with a fitness ball for all day benefits. Sitting on a fitness ball firms your core as your muscles naturally work to keep you balanced. You can also bounce slightly while working at the desk, using your legs for lift while squeezing your buttocks to help tone the backs of your thighs and improve circulation.