Doing handstands in the park! (Ignore my horrible form, please) #FitnessGlo #Results
My First Official Colorado Workout didn’t go so well. Last week I tried running a couple of miles and felt like my lungs were popping bubblewrap. I was breathing so heavy that 900 numbers were threatening to sue me for copyright infringement. Mile High City paging Charlotte: Reality check! The altitude combined with no gym and no childcare means no formal workouts like I’m used to but once I let go of any fitness expectations – at least for now, during this transition period (we’re still in a hotel) – things got better fast.
First up, we’ve done several gorgeous hikes. We all love hiking and even carrying one of my kids, it still doesn’t make me feel like I’m dying. Plus walking is a great way to learn all about a new place so we’ve done a few walking tours of various Denver area hotspots (including the impromptu kayak show I wrote about earlier). I’ve also been doing a lot of “park workouts” meaning that I chase my kids up, down and around the equipment and work in some push-ups, squats and pull-ups (lie: pull-up, singular) while they build sand castles or poke each other in the eye with sticks (you’d be amazed what passes for “fun” with my kids).
And of course there is always our famous airplane workout! You may recall that on a recent vacay, due to plane difficulties we ended up with an unexpected two-hour layover on the trip home. Just me and four tiny tots in an airport terminal that boasted one working bathroom and a newsstand. So what did we do? Boot camp! I had them all lined up next to the moving sidewalk doing sit-ups, push-ups (you should have seen the 4-year-old’s interpretation of these – he laid on his back and literally “pushed up” the air), jumping jacks, and pretend double dutch (the baby’s favorite). I even showed them how to hang underneath the metal benches and use them to do reverse push-ups. After that we cooled down with a bit of yoga – airplane pose was the hit of the day although happy baby came in a close second – and some gentle stretching. So what was I doing during all this? Doing it right with them, of course. And to anyone who stared I just said, “At least they’re not crying and screaming – we’re saving that for the flight!”
Doing “fast feet” in the parking lot of the rental car place (except for the one looking for bugs).
As I thought about it, I have exercised in many odd places. On a cross-country road trip I insisted everyone get out of the car at every rest stop to run laps and do box jumps on the picnic table. At gas stations I got out my trusty kettlebell and impressed the truckers. And best of all, whenever we stopped at a McPlayland – say what you will about the evils of the Golden Arches, the person who invented the Playland is a saint in our household – I insisted on running up and sliding down… not necessarily with the kids.
Other venues besides the playground (they don’t call it the Monkey Bar Gym for no reason!) include my kids’ soccer games (squating on the sidelines either makes you look like a crazed cheerleader or like you have to pee), church (my second son required non-stop deep knee bends to calm his colic) and the parking lot of a movie theater (I had an IBS attack during a movie and the fastest way to calm my gut is to bust out some sun salutations).
Airplane Pose! Although in real yoga you don’t get to run around while you do it. I like our way better.
The Gym Buddies and I even got in one last exercise session at my “farewell dinner” back in Minnesota:
Doing some handstands with my girls! (In my high-waisted “mom jeans” that are my new fave thing ever! I don’t care that they are so universally mocked that SNL has an entire skit dedicated to them – I can stand, sit and do cartwheels in them with no muffin top or crack action! Sooo comfy.)
But one vacation workout woe I’ve never really had to deal with before is what happens when you’re confined to a teeeny hotel room? I can’t leave to go to the hotel gym or go outside or even run laps around the parking lot (unless Child Services feels very forgiving) but the past week or so I’ve found myself on several occasions jonesing for a little sweat action and stuck with naught by my laptop and a small patch of carpet. Enter FitnessGlo! They’re a web-based service that offers fresh group-fit style classes (minus the group) that you can do anywhere your laptop goes! Click through to my review post to read all about them and enter a giveaway to win a free 90-day membership! (Sorry for the extra step but that’s the rules for this particular giveaway. I don’t make them up, I just follow them!)
In the meantime, here are some of my best tips for Taking Your Workout Out of the Gym:
1. Be okay with people staring at you. This is the toughest one for most people so I put it first. Consider: people will stare at you for all kinds of reasons – your haircut, your goth mani-pedi, your visible pantylines – so why not enjoy yourself. It’s up to you whether or not to acknowledge the starers but I prefer to give them a brief smile and a nod.
2. Get creative. Use what you’ve got. A big open space is ideal for running, cartwheeling, dancing, etc. Stairs are great for jumping. Railings work well for pulling up on. Chairs are good for Burlesque. (Kidding! I wouldn’t do that… in public.)
3. Invite others to join in. The level of your dorkitude is inversely proportionate to the number of people doing it with you. (Feel free to quote me on that.) One person doing Zumba moves to no music looks mentally ill but three people makes it a party!
4. Bring props. Gym Hubby and I, being the hyperactive types we are, usually have something in our car we can use. The frisbee is a family favorite. A plastic rainbow-colored jump rope has lived in our trunk for years. And you know my hula hoop goes everywhere with us these days! Just chuck a soccer ball in your backseat and you’re ready for everything from kickball to dodgeball to, I guess if you’re boring, soccer.
5. Don’t be afraid to try it. Trust me, once you do a couple push-ups on the picnic table at the park and realize that nobody’s really watching you anyhow, it gets a lot easier.
What’s the strangest place you’ve ever exercised? How do you handle vacation workouts – do you just skip them and enjoy your well-earned relaxation or do you get creative too? Do you have any tips for exercising outside of the gym or with kids?