Just because your hotel lacks a fitness center, that doesn’t give you a pass to skip your workout and sit like a bed potato in front of the TV. You can work up a good sweat in the privacy of your guest room, using the simplest of props, such as the floor, a chair and a towel as a substitute mat.
We asked fitness expert Denise Austin for some exercises that travellers can perform in their rooms. For other moves, check her website, www.deniseaustin.com, or download her free app of on-the-road exercises.
Standing calf stretch: Place one foot in front of the other. Bend your front knee and rest your hands on your thigh. Keep your back heel flat on the floor. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
Butt blaster: Get on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift your right knee and press your heel upward until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Press the heel up toward the ceiling as you squeeze your buttocks, keeping the knee bent. Inhale as you lower the knee. Repeat; then switch sides.
Triceps chair dip on one leg: Sit on the edge of a chair. Place your palms on the front edge of the chair on either side of your behind. Press into your hands to lift your buttocks and move them forward off the chair. Your knees should be bent 90 degrees. Lift and extend your right leg so that your right thigh and calf are parallel to the floor. Inhale and slowly bend your elbows back as you lower your buttocks toward the floor. Once your elbows are bent between 60 and 90 degrees, exhale and press back up. Repeat with the other leg.
Inner thigh toner: Lie on your left side with both legs extended. Align your left side with the edge of the mat so that your shoulders, back and buttocks are parallel with the mat’s edge. Bring your legs forward 45 degrees in front of your body, keeping your buttocks, hips, back and shoulders aligned with the mat's edge. Prop your head on your left hand, supporting your head just behind your left ear. Place your right palm on the mat in front of your abdomen for support. Bend your right leg and place your right foot on the mat just behind your left knee. Exhale and lift your left leg, keeping your left foot flexed and feeling the movement in your left inner thigh. Inhale and lower. Point your toes and repeat. Switch sides.
Beginner pushup: Kneel on the floor, with your hands out in front of you. Keep your back straight, your abs tight and your head in a neutral position. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Straighten your elbows and return to the starting position.
Back extension: Lie on your stomach with your legs extended behind you, your arms at your sides and your head turned to one side. Clasp your hands behind your back and bring your head in alignment by looking at the floor and elongating your neck. Inhale to prepare, and as you exhale, reach your arms up and out as your lift your torso off the ground. Pull your navel toward your spine, and keep your feet and legs on the floor. Hold momentarily and release back to the starting position, with your head facing the other direction.
Beginner bicycle: Lie on your back with your knees bent above your hips and your feet lifted so that your shins are parallel to the floor. Press your navel toward your spine. Place your hands behind your head and rest your head in your hands, keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. Exhale as you bring your right knee in toward your chest and rotate your left elbow toward your knee. At the same time as you return your right leg to the starting position, bring your left leg to your chest and rotate your right elbow toward your knee. Continue to alternate your legs back and forth, simulating riding a bicycle.
Child’s pose: Get on all fours, with your knees under your hips and your hands flat on the mat under your shoulders. Pull your tummy toward your spine as you bring your buttocks back toward your heels. Once your buttocks rest against your heels, bend forward with a long spine, lowering your forehead to the mat and your torso to your thighs. Slide your arms along the floor and bring them behind your body, palms facing the ceiling. Take three to five deep breaths as you relax.