Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog!
Today we are talking workouts...something I am honestly not very consistent or good at. Personally I have really struggled with finding the time (and motivation) to work out while travelling. While you're on the road it sometimes feels like a full time holiday, and who wants to exercise on holiday? NOT ME! However, if like me you're abroad long term then exercising is definitely something to be considered. It will get you back into a normal routine, and perhaps even make you feel more like you are living than holidaying 24/7. I am no coach, or expert. My diet is nowhere near perfect, in fact, I would consider myself the queen of snacks. I am lucky enough to have a very fast metabolism and I do not put on weight easily so this post isn't really 'weight loss' exercises as such. I simply enjoy doing a little bit of work to keep me toned and in shape. Getting into a routine can be hard, but once you're there the improvements may not just be physical. Exercising is a great form of stress relief, and when you're travelling that is something that may come in handy. Personally, I have found that doing a little daily work out keeps me happy, healthy(ish) and kills any homesickness I have been feeling by keeping me distracted. It ain't easy, particularly when you're in Australia and every beach is filled with stunning aussie surfer chicks with banging bods and a killer tan. But hey, gotta start somewhere! So today I am going to share with you my simple, quick and easy daily workout - enjoy!
With a few exceptions (when I am extremely hungover or feeling under the weather) I do these abdominal exercises every morning and evening of everyday. I tend to do my leg and butt exercises every second day. Not only does this keep me feeling in-shape but it gives me a nice bit of structure to my day. If possible I think it is good to do something similar at least once a day. It only takes 10 minutes!
I am a fairly little person, and my arms are extremely weak. At the moment I am not aiming on improving my strength as such, just simply keeping my tummy and legs toned. When you are always in new locations, it is hard to do a 'proper' work out with limited access to weights and other equipment. Instead I just keep things simple. For my legs, I have 4 different resistance bands. These things are perfect for travelling as they virtually take up no space, but they are super effective.
My Ab Workout
Time: 10 - 15 minutes
Equipment: If you have access, a small weight and matt
Rundown: My ab workout is basically just a selection of my favourite movements which will hit almost all area's of your abs - winner! If you struggled to do all of the reps, split them up into sections or work your way up as the days go on. Equally if you find this way too easy, add some extra bits on there. When I am feeling extra motivated I will add a few different ab movements onto the end of my workout, I have included these at the bottom.
1. 30 sit ups (with or without weight)
Nice and easy. Take them slow. For extra impact pause for a couple of sections when you are half-way up and half-way down on your sit up.
2. 40 heel reaches
Again, take these slow. Pause at your heel for a couple of seconds to feel the full impact.
3. 100 cycle crunches
A slow and controlled movement will give the best results. Ensure your shoulders are slightly lifted from the floor.
4. 30 full extensions
This one took a while for me to master. Go slow and keep your back straight. Use your arms to balance yourself. To begin with, it make be easier to do the simplified version - put your arms behind you as you push up and out.
5. 40 russian twists
My absolute favourite move! This is most effective with a weight. Keep your back straight as you sit back on your tail-bone. Really reach high in the middle, and far out to the sides for the best result.
6. 20 regular crunches
Take these slow and pause as your reach the top of your crunch, squeeze and release.
8. Scissor Legs
Lie on your back and raise your shoulder and head. Use your hands to support your neck and slowly kick your legs as if swimming.
9. Leg raises
Lie on your back with both legs straight up in the air, so your body is effectively a right angle. Slowly release one leg down, bringing it back up just before hitting the floor. Repeat with the other leg. Slowly release both legs in the same action.
10. Crunch pulse
Lie on your back with your knees raised and shoulder width apart. Lock your hands together and place in the space between your knees, slowly bring your head and shoulders up in a crunch like action but stay here, pushing a little further with each pulse. Use your hands to 'reach' forward each time.
My Leg and Butt workout
Time: 15 - 20 mins
Equipment: You can do all of these without equipment but I feel they are much more effective with resistance bands. Also if possible, a matt and a small weight.
Rundown: Over the months of travelling I have collected my favourite leg moves from a bunch of videos and Pinterest pages. They are all simple movements and easy to do indoors. Make sure to put your weight in your heels when squatting, and push that booty out!
1. 20 squats
2. 20 sumo squats
Legs further apart, feet facing slightly outwards, push knees outwards
3. 20 ski squats
Feet very close together. Make sure your knees are behind your toes and push back. Keep your back straight.
4. 15 backward leg raises right / left
Put resistance band round your ankles. Stand up straight, supporting knee slightly bent, do not lock knee. Clench your hands together for support. Breath in, and as you breath out slowly push your right leg in a diagonal direction backwards until you feel the tension in your leg. Slowly resume the beginning position and repeat.
5. 15 donkey kicks left / right
Place the resistance band round the arch of your feet. Position yourself on all fours. Slowly push your right leg upwards and backwards, pushing on your heel. Ensure your left foot does not raise from the ground. Pull knee back in and repeat.
6. 15 side leg raise left / right
In the same position slowly raise your right leg to the side, keeping your knee and foot in line and your leg parallel to the ground. Again ensure your left foot does not move. Pull leg back in and repeat.
7. 20 bridge
Turn over onto your back. Put the resistance band round your lower thighs, just above the knee. Position your legs shoulder width apart and pull knees up, feet still touching the ground. Make sure your knees do not reach over your toes as you push your hips upwards, you should feel the stretch in your legs and butt. Keep your hands by your sides. Lower hips and repeat. For better results lift the top part of your feet and push completely on your heels and use a weight on your hips.
8. 15 static bridge leg squeeze
Keep your position but this time resume the raised bridge pose, hips up at the top of the movement. Steady yourself and slowly push your legs apart keeping your position strong throughout. Slowly pull back in, and repeat.
9. 15 leg raise left / right
Lie on your side with the resistance band round your ankles. Use your art to support your head (paint me like one of your french girls style) and slowly lift your whole leg upwards. Release and repeat.
10. 20 Upright leg raises left / right
Standing up straight, with solid support if needed, resistance band round your thighs. Push your leg straight out to the side. Keep leg straight and slowly release, bringing your leg back to initial position. Repeat with both legs.
11. Upright backward kick left / right
Use a chair or wall for support, leaning forward slightly so your back is not completely upright but still straight. Resistance band remaining around your thighs. This time push your leg backwards and slightly outwards. Keep leg straight and slowly release, bringing your leg back to the intial position. Repeat on both legs.
12. Upright backward pulse left / right
Resuming the same position as the previous movement. Push you leg back and this time pulse you leg gently in the height of the exercise.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this slightly different post. Let me know what you think, and feel free to leave any suggestions for future posts.