Tropical Sweat

Happy 2016! I've been in Akumal, Mexico for the past week with my family, which has been truly wonderful. Vacation should definitely be an opportunity to relax, indulge and take a load off. But I usually can't go more than a couple of days without getting my sweat on. Since traveling with weights and gym equipment is out of the question, there are countless other options for getting a little exercise. Resistance bands and jumpropes take up almost no room in your suitcase, and one of my favorite travel companions, The FitKit, comes with both of those things, plus a booklet with several exercises and stretches. Here are just a few of my favorite vacation exercises that can all be done with little to no equipment. Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional or an expert on exercising, these are just exercises that work for me. Consult a trainer if you have questions.

Start by warming up a little bit, either with a run on the beach or down the street you are staying on, or some jumproping, or on the treadmill/elliptical in the hotel gym. I try to do at least a 5-minute warm-up.

ROUND 1: 3 exercises, 3-4 times through.

ROUND 1, EXERCISE 1: BANDED SQUATS. Grab a resistance band with some medium to heavy resistance. This blue band is by Serious Steel. Step onto the band with feet about hip-width distance apart. Bring the band up and hook it around the back of your neck. Stand up straight, then lower down into a squat, making sure to keep your head up and your back straight. Do 10-12 reps, then move on to the next exercise. If you don't have bands, normal squats are great too! 

ROUND 1, EXERCISE 2: BANDED SHOULDER PRESSES. Grab a band with lighter resistance, like this red one from Serious Steel. Put one foot on it, then grab it with one hand, palm facing up. Start with your palm at about shoulder level, then bring your palm up toward the sky until your arm is fully extended. Bring it back down and repeat 10-12 times on each arm.

ROUND 1, EXERCISE 3: MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS. These can be done either in a plank position on the ground, or using a chair or something elevated as demonstrated above. Start in plank position, then bring one knee up to the elbow or armpit, then alternate knees, so that you are "climbing." This should be done as quickly as you possibly can. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

REPEAT ROUND 1 3-4 times through.

ROUND 2: 3 exercises, 3-4 times through.

ROUND 2, EXERCISE 1: BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUATS. Stand about 2 feet in front of a chair or something elevated. Place one foot on the chair, keeping the other foot where it is. Lower down into a squat position with the planted foot, bringing the knee of the elevated foot down toward the ground. Raise back up and repeat 10-12 times on each leg.

ROUND 2, EXERCISE 2: DECLINE PUSH-UPS. Begin in a plank position with both feet up on something elevated. Lower down into either a tricep or a regular push-up. If this is too difficult, switch to regular push-ups or modified push-ups with knees on the ground. Repeat 10-12 times.

ROUND 2, EXERCISE 3: BURPEES. Begin in a plank position. Quickly hop both feet up toward your hands, then raise your whole body and jump up, as high as you can. To make this more advanced, do a push-up each time before you hop up. Repeat 10-12 times.

REPEAT ROUND 2 3-4 times through.

DRINK WATER AND STRETCH!

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! On vacation this is especially important because we are busy sight-seeing, indulging in adult beverages, maybe eating poorly... drinking water is generally not top of mind, so make sure you get your H2O. Since we didn't do any heavy lifting, go ahead and stretch whatever feels tight. For me, it's usually my shoulders and my quads and hamstrings. And this view doesn't hurt, amiright?

Photos by my patient hubby.

PANTS | Lululemon, no longer available, but loving these and these
TOP | Under Armour
SHOES | Nike
SUNNIES | Ray Ban
HAT | NFL Shop