Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you have to give up your exercise routine. New York City-based yoga instructor Sunina Young provides tips on how to stay trim while on the go.
Fit Tip #1: Stretch Post-Flight
Whether you’re on a business trip or on vacation, stress can creep into your body in the form of muscle tension and mind fatigue. De-stress from jet lag with an easy spine lengthening and side opening movement. Sitting cross-legged, inhale, lift the arms up, grab a hold of your right wrist, lift the rib cage in and up to lengthen, then exhale and bend to the left. Saturate the body’s right side with breath. Take five full breaths, then switch sides. Repeat to release all muscle tension. Time commitment is approximately two minutes.
For the ambitious: Take a moment to close your eyes and mentally say a fit-focused affirmation as you stretch, like “I always find time for self-care.”
Fit Tip #2: Be a Morning Person
Rise and shine! Wake up a little earlier than normal — just 15 minutes should do the trick. In your commitment to stay fit, starting early is important, especially since you most likely have a set day-to-day itinerary for your trip. Make no excuses and keep the mornings your time to work out to ensure that you set the tone for the day.
For the ambitious: Wake up an additional 30 minutes earlier to meditate so you can start your day with a clear and fit-focused mind. Yogis recommend daily meditation for 30 minutes in the morning for a balanced life no matter where you are.
Fit Tip #3: But First, Water
Drinking water within 10 minutes of waking up in the morning not only speeds up your metabolism it hydrates and detoxifies the body, clearing out internal impurities and making the skin glow.
For the ambitious: Add lemon to your water for a multitude of benefits, including clear skin, a natural energy boost, vitamins C and B-complex, potassium, fiber, iron and magnesium.
Fit Tip #4: Work Your Core
As soon as you wake up, do leg lifts from the comfort of your bed — no equipment, no excuses! Lying down, interlace hands behind your head, deep inhale, exhale, lift the chest up as you flex the feet and lift your legs 20 degrees. Inhale, then keep the chest lifted and core engaged as you lift the legs up energetically to a 90-degree angle. Exhale lower for six breaths, inhale lift for five breaths. Try 12 slow reps. Time commitment is approximately four minutes.
For the ambitious: Add bicycle crunches, scissor kicks and bridges.
Fit Tip #5: Full Body Toning
Start in child’s pose by standing on the knees wider than the shoulders. Bend down so the rib cage fits perfectly between the thighs, and reach your arms out in front of you, forehead to the ground. Breathe in for five counts, breathe out for six counts.
Flow into plank pose: Tuck the toes, slowly shift forward while lifting the knees off the ground. Engage the core, tuck the tailbone, puff up through the upper back, keeping the entire spine in neutral alignment. Breathe in for five counts, breathe out for six counts. Transition to fallen triangle pose by bringing the right knee in towards your chest and then kicking the right foot out to the left side and placing the outer edge of that foot to the ground. Lift the hips high, shift the weight to the right side, engage the core, and reach the left hand up to the sky as you open up the left side of the body. Breathe in for five counts, out for six counts. Step the foot back to plank position. Repeat the positions in order, left and right, four reps per side. Time commitment is nine minutes.
For the ambitious: Add a chaturanga push-up after plank pose.
Fit Tip #6: Do Cardio Anywhere
Pack your sneakers — you can jog, run, sprint anywhere! Get your heart rate up any chance you get. It’s the most efficient way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Other forms of cardio include jumping jacks, plank mountain climbers, jump squats and burpees.
For the ambitious: Plan a full day committed to fitness by going hiking, biking or swimming.
This story originally appeared in Audrey’s Summer 2014 issue. Get it here.
A hot yoga instructor in New York, Sunina Young grew up in a Korean American household in Bayside, N.Y., with parents (her father was a taekwondo grandmaster) who always encouraged her to follow her heart. She obtained a master’s in communications and worked in fashion and beauty PR. It was during those years that she developed a love for yoga. After realizing that, despite a “picture perfect life,” she was unfulfilled, she left her job to pursue yoga. She wants to share with the world, both in her classes and on her blog, how to experience a dy- namic sense of self-love through movement. Check out her yoga and beauty blog at sunina.com and youtube.com/suninatv.