No gym? You can still work out |

No gym? You can still work out

Rhonda Beckham
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune/ Rhonda Beckham demonstrates use of a resistance band - a great piece of equipment to take with you when you're traveling.

Not near a workout facility, or just not into the gym scene? Several simple exercises can be performed in less than 30 minutes a day when you’re away from home or if you don’t want to leave home.

Many of my clients are business people who travel as part of their jobs. To keep fit on the road, I’ve suggested they purchase a resistance band with handles. (Kmart carries a variety of them.) It fits nicely in any size suitcase – including carry-on luggage. Before taking off, we use the bands during their training sessions so they will be able to maximize their time on the road.

It’s best to plan and practice a travel workout so you are comfortable with a routine. If you don’t have a plan, chances are you won’t do it.

Besides the resistance bands, here are some ideas for staying healthy while out of town:

Play in the pool. If you’re staying in a hotel, chances are you’ll have access to a pool. Jog in the shallow end, swim laps or do exercises against the resistance of the water. A pool workout can be refreshing, burns calories and keeps you toned.

Walk or jog on the beach. Exercising on the beach has many advantages. The sand is more forgiving on your joints compared to concrete. The view helps to distract you from your hard work. The movement of the sand beneath your feet automatically increases the intensity of your workout because the lesser-used stabilizer muscles will be engaged.

Use the hotel stairs. The last time I went to Las Vegas it was too hot to exercise outdoors, and I refused to pay the $20 fee for the hotel’s gym. Instead, I took the 26 plus flights of stairs to my room. Occasionally I stopped at a floor, went inside where it was air conditioned and performed squats and push-ups. Stair climbing is one of the best cardio exercises. I’m not sure hotel security approved, but I didn’t see any signs forbidding it.

Use your resistance band in your room or take it on a hike. These exercises were taken from Do two sets of 16 repetitions using a variety of bands, two to three times a week with at least one day of rest between workouts. Make sure both legs or both arms are used.

1. Alternating chest press: Wrap the band around a sturdy object behind you at chest level. Begin with the elbows bent to 90 degrees, forearms parallel to the floor. Keep the right arm stationary and press the left arm out. Bring the left arm back and then press forward with the right arm. Continue alternating arms for a total of 16 reps on each side.

2. Resisted pushups: Begin on knees or toes and wrap the band over your back, holding onto the ends with both hands flat on the floor. Loop the band to add tension and bend elbows into push-up.

3. Lat pulls: Begin with arms straight overhead, holding the band toward the middle. Adjust hands closer to increase tension. Contract the back and pull the band out while bringing the elbows toward the rib cage. Raise your back up and repeat.

4. Rear delt fly: Standing or sitting, hold band in the middle, arms straight out in front of you, hands a few inches apart. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and pull band so arms are out to the sides like an airplane. Return to start and repeat, keeping tension on the band the entire time.

5. Tricep extensions: Hold the band in both hands at shoulder level with right arm bent so it’s in front of the chest, left arm straight out. Keeping the left arm straight to hold tension on the hand, contract the triceps to straighten the right arm. Return to start and repeat before switching sides.

6. Bicep curls: Stand on the band, hold handles with palms facing out. Keeping abs in and knees slightly bent, bend arms and bring palms toward shoulders in a bicep curl. Widen stance for more tension. Return to start and repeat.

7. Squats: Stand on the band with feet shoulder width apart, keeping tension on the band by holding a half-bicep curl. Lower into a squat, keeping knees behind toes, and pulling on the band to add tension. Return to start and repeat.

8. Side Steps: Tie resistance band around the ankles (make sure you wear socks) so there are a few inches of band when you stand at hip-distance apart. Take eight steps to the right, contracting the glute and outer thigh. Repeat on the other side.

9. Butt Blaster: Get on your hands and knees and wrap a resistance band around the right foot. Hold the handles in each hand and begin the move with the right knee bent and flex the foot while extending the right leg straight back, squeezing the glutes.

Tip of the week:

As simple as it sounds, be sure to stay well hydrated whenever you exercise – indoors or out. It’s also important to drink water before and after working out. Studies vary on the amount of water people need each day. But remember, water is the dominant component of your body and on average accounts for 60 percent of your weight. Every part of your body is affected by water by either flushing out toxins or carrying nutrients to cells.

– Rhonda Beckham is a nationally certified personal trainer, with teaching certificates in Pilates and kickboxing.

Beckham is owner of Help Me Rhonda and Perfect Pilates, a Pilates instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College and Sierra Athletic Club, as well as a personal trainer operating out of Sierra Athletic Club and the Tahoe Keys Marina Dance Studio. She may be reached at (530) 208-6369, and

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