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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #207. Stay fit on your vacation.
July 15, 2017

July 15, 2017

In this newsletter . . .

On the road again

Food folly

On the road again

It’s summertime and probably those of us in the northern hemisphere will be taking vacations of some kind. Our getaways could be as extensive as travel to another continent. Or they might be modest journeys to nearby attractions on long weekends. But it’s fun time, either way.

One dictionary defines a vacation, simply, as “an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or traveling.” Whatever form of vacation you’re taking, mental health experts say that periodic breaks from the daily routine are healthy and important.

For me, road trips are my favorite kind of travel. But I learned years ago that without a little advanced planning they could lead to sacrificing fitness and putting on some unwanted pounds, in all the wrong places. So I came up with a couple of ways to maintain fitness on my trips, while at the same time not letting concern about where to get my workouts become an interruption in the fun and leisure.

On long days on the road, I would make it a point to stop once every hour. At a service station or rest stop I would stretch my legs a bit, and then do a set each of pushups and bodyweight squats. So what if I got a few stares from other travelers? It took only a few minutes and I'd resume driving feeling fresh and wide-awake.

Motel “fitness centers” is another way to stay in shape. But unless you are staying at a five-star resort, the facilities usually amount to a multi-station exercise machine, a treadmill or stationary bike and a wall-mounted TV in a converted motel sleeping room.

It’s not Gold’s or 24-Hour Fitness, so the equipment may be meager. But the upside is that only twice in my travels have I had to share a fitness room with another exerciser. Spartan though it may be, it’s probably going to be your own private gym.

My tactic is to rise half-an-hour early, go to the exercise room and do a circuit of five movements for 20 to 30 minutes. The workouts look something like the following:

  • Begin treadmill jogging or bike pedaling two minutes. Stop.
  • Quickly, move to lat pull-downs or rowing, 10 to 12 reps, on the multi-station exercise machine. Stop.
  • Move back to the treadmill or bike for two minutes. Stop.
  • Drop and do 10 to 20 push-ups. Stop.
  • Quickly, hop back on the treadmill or bike for two minutes. Stop.
  • Do sit-ups, 20 reps. Stop.
  • Jog or pedal again for two minutes. Stop.
  • Do 20 bodyweight squats.

That completes one circuit.

If you keep moving, 20 minutes should take you through the circuit twice. Thirty minutes, three times. You’re in and out of the exercise room in half-an-hour or less. Do it at least every other day and you’ll maintain your strength and fitness while not interrupting your vacation fun one iota.

If you don't like the exercise room idea, bring along resistance bands. A good complete set is feather light and takes up about as much space as a laptop computer. Perfect. Even plain old bodyweight exercises right in your motel room can work, too.

Or, if your motel has a big enough pool, and is not inhabited with wall-to-wall kiddies, you can always swim some laps.

Yes, vacations are meant to be fun. With just a little planning ahead you can have your fun -- and fitness, too.

Whatever forms your getaways take, enjoy yourself.

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Food Folly

On a morning walk some time ago, my dog and I passed three older, overweight ladies near the entrance to a golf course pro-shop.

I overhead one of them say how good she felt being on a sugar- and wheat/gluten-free diet. I caught only a fragment of the conversation but wondered to myself how long she had been eating that way? She, like her two friends, was very overweight.

Nonetheless, she was right about getting the sugar out of her diet-- but wheat? Maybe. And maybe not. Highly processed wheat products should be avoided. But whole grain wheat isn’t a problem for most of us.

And what’s all this about gluten? Gluten-free this. Gluten-free that. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. People with celiac disease often do well on a gluten-free diet. But many people who probably don’t have wheat intolerance have been jumping on the wheat/gluten-free bandwagon, too.

They say, “I'm gluten free and have lost weight.” So they attribute the elimination of gluten, for their good fortune. When their weight loss is more likely because they’re simply consuming fewer calories.

Suggestion: If you think you may have celiac disease, or are otherwise wheat/gluten intolerant, ask your doctor for guidance. It is estimated that about one percent of people have celiac disease. Another small percentage has some other sort of wheat intolerance. Maybe you are part of those narrow percentages. More likely you’re not. Most dietary experts say eating whole grains is good for most people. If you want to lose weight, cutting back total calories is what does it.

My thoughts on good nutrition, in general, are here.

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Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines and television, this newsletter and my web site contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.

Your comments and questions are always appreciated. Simply click on the "Reply" bottom.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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