Travel-friendly workouts

Exercises you can do anywhereOver the holidays, there’s nothing better than traveling over the river and through the woods so the entire family can be together under one roof. But the close-quarters, limited free time and lack of workout equipment can wreak havoc on your exercise regimen. How can you burn calories and stay strong without having to track down the nearest gym? Escape to the basement or an empty room and squeeze in some of the following exercises. They’ll help you stay fit until you get back to your normal routine.

Jumping Rope: This cardiovascular activity can burn 700-1,000 calories in an hour and strengthens your calves, arms and abs. Jumping rope also works your heart at the same intensity as running. When your family gathers around the TV to watch Love Actually, why not challenge your cousin to a competition to see who can keep their rope skipping the longest?

Seated Russian Twists: Tone your obliques and back muscles with this exercise, which is a great alternative to sit-ups and crunches. Sit on the ground with your knees bent and heels about a foot away from your butt, leaning back slightly with a straight spine. Straighten your arms in front of you with stacked hands, keeping them level with the bottom of your rib cage. Keeping your abs engaged, twist slowly from right to left. (If you need help visualizing the exercise, check out this video.) You can make seated Russian twists more challenging by holding a weight or lifting your feet 3 to 4 inches above the floor.

Burpees: This move might be the bane of all athletes, but it does wonders for your strength and endurance. It combines a squat with a push-up, and requires minimal space and zero equipment. From a standing position, simply squat down, dropping into a push-up (sorry, but you’ll have to do the full push-up too). Then, hop back into the squat position and jump as high as you can from there. Repeat until exhaustion. Need to see burpees in action? Click here.

Full-Body Squats: The traditional squat is an excellent move to tone your glutes and thighs, but neglects your upper body. That’s why we love full-body squats using a resistance band. Stand on the middle of the band with feet parallel and shoulder-width apart, holding the ends of the band in each hand with your elbows slightly bent. Squat like you’re sitting back into a chair while simultaneously pressing your arms directly over your head. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat 20 times. Real Simple shares helpful images to visualize this move. Adding the exercise band not only incorporates your arms into the workout, but also requires you to work in a full range of motion, which targets muscles that you might otherwise miss.

What’s your favorite indoor exercise to burn calories when you’re away from home? Let us know in the comments!


Photo credit: pernillarydmark

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  1. I do a forearm to toes plank and hold it for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I love these suggestions. Thanks for providing the links to instructions.

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