Category Archives: Fit Travel

Healthy Business Travel: Exercising on the Go

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of National Car Rental. 

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterNational Car Rental wants you to be a healthy business traveler, so today Steve and I are going to give you everything you need to Go Like a Pro and be a healthy business traveler – even if all you have is a little hotel floor space.

If you spend many of your days in cabs, planes and hotels, you probably have already experienced the challenges of maintaining some kind of fitness routine. Luckily, most hotels have some type of fitness room – some smaller than others. But, at least you normally have the option of getting on a treadmill or elliptical, if nothing else.

Before smart phones, people had a difficult time going for a run without knowing how far they were going. Now, with handy dandy apps like the RunKeeper or MapMyRun, you can throw on your tennis shoes and go for a productive run even if you have no clue where you are or where you are going. With the help of the built-in GPS system in our smart phones, you can know exactly how far you went, and how to get back to your hotel if you get lost.

Learn Your Go-To Exercises

Hotel workoutFirst, let’s talk exercises. There is cardiovascular exercise, which we use to burn calories and stored fat, and there is more traditional strength training to tone muscle. If running outside or working out in a hotel gym isn’t an option, what can you do? Plenty! The problem is, most people don’t have a big enough exercise library in their head to pull from. This is where Steve and I come in! We are going to give you a list of 20 exercises you can do anywhere – and all you need is a little floor space.

Click on the links below to see video demonstration of each exercise. Once you get familiar with each one, then we can talk about how to put them together in a purposeful, and effective, workout.

20 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do In Your Room

  1. Burpee – Full body/cardio
  2. Double Unders – cardio20 Bodyweight Exercises
  3. Jumping Jacks – cardio
  4. Heismans – cardio
  5. Butt-kicks – cardio
  6. Mary Catherines – cardio, legs & glutes
  7. Crisscross Squat – cardio, legs & glutes
  8. Skater – cardio, legs and glutes
  9. Air Squats – legs and glutes
  10. Static Lunge – legs and glutes
  11. Curtsy – glutes
  12. Bridge Crunch – hamstrings, glutes & core
  13. Push-up – Chest and arms
  14. Squat Thrust – upper body, core & cardio
  15. Triceps Dips – upper body
  16. Bicycle Crunch – obliques & abs
  17. Plank – core
  18. T-plank – core
  19. Superman – core, low back, hamstring and glutes
  20. Seated Glute Stretch/ Sciatic Stretch – great stretch for people who sit, for long periods of time (like being on the road) to help or prevent sciatica.

Create a Workout

create a workoutTo simplify things, I listed each exercise into categories, A (cardio), B (lower body conditioning), C (glutes), D (upper body) and E (core).

Now you can create a simple workout by choosing the right combination of exercises to help you reach your goal. Before you can do this, you need to know what your goal is. Do you want to burn calories? Do you need to just work a specific body part (like upper body, lower body or abs)? Once you determine your goal, you can follow these programming tips to create your very own custom workout using this simple graph below.

A B C D E
Cardio Lower Body Conditioning Glutes Upper Body Core
Burpee Air Squats Static Lunge Push-up Bicycle Crunch
Double Unders Mary Catherines Curtsy Squat Thrust Plank
Jumping Jacks Crisscross Squat Bridge Crunch Triceps Dips T-plank
Heismans Skater  Glute Stretch* Superman
Butt-kicks

*The Glute Stretch should not replace a regular exercise. It should only be ADDED to the day you do glutes to help stretch out your glutes to help, or prevent< sciatica.

5 Workout Formulas

First, choose your workout (below). Then, using the workout formula, choose the exercises from the assigned categories to customize your workout. Write down your workout so it’s easy to follow. Next, you’ll choose your time.

#1 Full Body Conditioning Workout:
Choose 1 exercise from each category:
A, B, C, D, E
Do each exercise once and repeat 3-5 times. #2 Cardio Workout:
Do all the exercises in A only.
Repeat 3-5 times.#3 Lower Body Workout:
Do 1 exercise from A
Do 1 exercise from B
Do 3 exercise from C
Repeat 3-5 times
#4 Upper Body Workout:
Do 1 exercise from A
Do all exercises in D
Finish with 1 plank exercise in E
Repeat 3-5 times#5 Ab Workout:
Do 1 Exercise from A (preferably one that
works your core, like mountain climbers)
Do ALL exercises in E
Repeat 3-5 times*The Seated Glute Stretch can be added to the end of any workout to help sciatica – but especially on lower body day.

Choose Your Time:

timeEach of the above workouts are based on 5 exercises that you will do for 1 minute each. This means, each circuit will take 5 minutes to complete 1 time through. This way you can curtail your workout around your schedule. If you only have 15 minutes, then you will do it 3 times through. If you have more time, you can add more rounds, sets, exercises or additional workouts.

While I am allotting 1 minute for each exercise, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will be exercising for all 60 seconds. Depending on your fitness level, your work time may vary. Here is a suggestion: 

Beginner: 30 seconds of each (30 seconds rest)
Intermediate: 45 seconds of each (15 seconds rest)
Advanced: 60 seconds of each (no rest) 

Sample Workout

costa d' esteTo make things even easier for you, we came up with a simple workout you can do in your hotel, along with a video demonstration for you! Just to prove it, we went to the lovely Costa d’ Este Beach Resort to demonstrate the workout for you. You can start with this workout, and then build your own with the tools I gave you in this blog. Let me know how you do!

Here are the exercises. Watch the video for instruction & tips!

Couplet #1: 10 Tuck Jump & 10 Air Squats (3 X)
Couplet #2: 10 Mountain Climbers & 10 Push Ups (3 X)
Couplet #3: 10 Roll Ups and 10 Bicycle Crunches

Stick to Your Routine

2013 stick with itNow that you have some workouts to choose from, your next question might be “how often do I do these workouts?” How often you workout is all up to your schedule and personal preference.  If you are able to do all 5 workouts each week, you are doing pretty good! A day off here and there is not bad either, but if you miss a few workouts in a row – you could completely fall out of your routine altogether.

Here are my simple rules to helping me stick to my routine.

Rule #1: Never go 3 days without exercise. This will help you stay consistent, keeping your fitness ball rolling. Take a photo or fitness magazine with you to remind you of your goals and to keep you motivated to stick to your routine.

Rule #2 Workout at least 3 days a week. This will keep you healthy. Knowing there is a minimum of workouts you will allow per week helps keep you accountable too.

Rule #3: Never miss a Monday. This will help you start fresh, even when you have failed. The same way people like to start fresh at the first of the year, Mondays are sort of our “new week resolution” day – the perfect day to begin again.

Rule #4: Do the workout you need the most first. We tend to put off the exercises we need the most. For instance, if you need to burn calories, then you should tackle cardio first – whether the first of the week or first in your day. If you have a certain body part that needs work, that should be one of the first workouts you do that week. The more you put off the workouts you don’t like, the less chances you have of getting it done.

Rule #5: Never give up. Start fresh every week no matter what.

Be on the lookout for my next healthy travel blog coming July 2nd!
Continue conversation on Twitter with the hashtag: #HealthyBizTravel

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Stop the Fatcation: 6 Tips to Prevent Vaca Weight Gain

Fatcation/fatˈkāSHən/ (n) While on vacation, you do more getting fat than sightseeing.

I just got back from a fatcation, I mean vacation. ;) Vacations can be scary for dieters, but just because you go on vacation doesn’t mean you have to take a fitness vacation too. You can still have a ton of fun, try new foods and “cheat” while not completely losing your mind – and your progress.

Here are 6 tips to help control your vacation eating – and help you bounce back quickly once you get back home.

tasting1. Taste, don’t gorge. More is not always better, but when you are on vacation, it’s fun to taste foods you normally don’t eat. Key word: Taste! Grazing all day is actually better than pigging out a couple of times a day. When you are on vacation, share plates and appetizers so you can taste more, but eat less.  

2. Be picky. Just because something is sitting on a plate in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat it. I actually ordered 3 meals that were a disappointment to me. After I tasted it and discovered it wasn’t what I hoped, I just opted to skip it altogether because it wasn’t worth the calories to me. If you are trying to lose weight, it pays to be picky. If it’s not worth 1-2 hours in the gym to burn off, then it’s not worth eating.

 hotel gym3. Make room for more calories. When I say “make room”, I’m talking about making room for more calories. We typically consume a lot more calories on vacation than we do when we are back in our normal routine at home. However, many times people workout less. If you are watching your weight, account for the extra calories you are eating and try to stay active so you can “afford” the extra calories. Whether you hit the hotel gym, go for a jog, or you just try to walk everywhere instead of taking a cab, increasing your activity while on vacation will help you decrease your chances for vacation weight gain.  

4. What happens on vacation stays on vacation. What I mean is, the overeating, drinking, laziness, etc ends when your vacation ends. It’s very easy to let your vacation habits come home with you. Instead, make a mark in the sand and decide to jump right back to your normal routine as soon as you get back. So, as soon as you get home, hit the grocery store and start planning and cooking for the week so you are ready to eat clean again.

oops5. Forgive yourself. I’ll be honest, I feel fat as a cow right now. That’s how I FEEL. Is that reality? No. I know good and well there is no way I can erase months of training and hard work in just a few days. Can it set me back? Sure, but if I hit it hard (with both diet and training), I’ll be right back where I want to be in no time. That’s the reality. No matter how bad you feel, forgive yourself. Realize, it’s just a vacation. You deserved the break and, often times, you will even hit it HARDER when you get back. Ironically, it’s those kind of cheat days that can make you double your intensity and the drive you need to take your routine to a new level.  

fitness goals6. Set new goals and guidelines. In order to reach a goal, you need to have a goal to strive for. Once you’ve set a goal, you need to plan to get there and that requires setting some rules. Often times people set some pretty stiff rules but they have just as many exceptions as they do rules. For instance, they diet and train hard all the time except for special occasions or weekends. The problem is, many people have a lot of special occasions. Between dinner dates, birthdays, Holidays, events, etc – someone can easily have something that interrupts their routine every week if they are ont careful. My suggestion is to not allow for any cheating for 3-4 weeks so you get a really good powerful start. Then schedule one cheat day. Then go right back at it. Once you get closer to your goal, your cheat meals can be closer together. Setting rules like this keeps you accountable and on schedule to reach your goal.

Vacation from Work – and Diet

It’s been so quiet here at PFITblog for the last week. Why? Because I was on VACAAAATION!! Woo Hoo! But now I’m back and I’m ready to type until my fingers bleed! ;)

NPC Southeast Classic

Carnival CriuseAfter our Team Max group (pictured above with me in the center) competed in the NPC Southeast Classic on April 6th, Steve and I jumped on a cruise ship and headed for Mexico. To be honest, I was a little nervous about going on vacation. Not because of the recent Carnival cruise disasters, but because I was afraid of the enormous amount of food I’d be facing and I didn’t want to blow all my hard work. Cruises are known for their never-ending buffets and all-you-can-eat gourmet meals.

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterOn prior cruises, I remember the amazing food and knew I’d be tempted to go crazy. Surprisingly, either my taste buds have changed or my emphasis on food has changed. I honestly missed clean eating and was craving a simple grilled piece of meat and steamed vegetables. Everything was so oily and saucy. The chefs were clearly not concerned about my waistline.

Searching for the “Food High”

Everyone does it – it’s the search for a new “food high”. That’s that moment you’ve tasted something new or more amazing than ever before. The problem is, when you aren’t dieting, that food high can be harder to reach. But, when you eat clean (simple, healthy whole foods), you taste more of the actual food you are eating and rely less on all the sauces and fillers to entertain your tastebuds. As a result, even a little goes a long way. However, if you are eating rich foods all the time, you almost need even richer foods to wow you. It’s almost like a drug. The more you are used to, the more you need to taste to get your food high. However, if you eat clean, it takes very little to excite you.

ALBERTO'S Although I admit, I had enough chips and salsa to kill someone, the other thing I missed was smaller portions. Since I ate more than I would at home, my belly was constantly fuller. I am not just talking about my stomach, I’m talking about my entire gut. The more you eat, the more you digest. This alone makes you feel fat, even if you don’t gain one pound of fat. I tried to graze all day, but when it came to Mexico, I couldn’t stop eating the guacamole! ha!

three amigos restaurantAfter a day exploring Cozumel and tasting every pico, salsa & guac they had on the island, we ended at Three Amigos Restaurant, where we finished the night eating even MORE chips – and posing in this fun Three Amigos prop (left). :) Left to right: Dawn Borders, Christopher Borders & the last happy face is ME!

Lastly, sometimes it’s just best to say no. I don’t know why we feel the need to try everything. It’s almost like we are scared of missing out. I believe it is healthy to have limitations even when eating out or on vacation. Despite how much food I DID eat, I still had rules and still tried to improve my choices. For instance, I had 1/2 a burger with no bun, I tasted some fries but didn’t finish them. Cozumel MexicoI ordered some spinach stuffed mushrooms but didn’t eat them all. I tasted desserts but only ate what I loved and ditched the rest. Most mornings I skipped over pancakes and greasy breakfast items for egg white omelets, ham and fruit. I still had PLENTY of goodies, and STILL overate, but my “going crazy” still had limits.

So, here I am, back at home sharing my experience with you. Although I am no longer on vacation, part of my vacation came home with me –  and it’s time to shed my vacation fat and jump back into my healthier routine.

See: “6 Tips to Recover from Fatcation“!

Bonnie Pfiester

Do you take a vacation from your diet when you go on vacation? Or do you still try to be good?

Gym Time! Are You Packed for Success?

Livewell360One of my favorite sayings is “if you fail to plan, plan to fail”, and it is SO true – especially in the fitness world. Proper diet and training takes preparation. And, as soon as you find yourself unprepared, it is easy as pecan pie to go off plan.

Eating on the go and going to the gym takes a certain level of preparation. Your food needs to be portable, and packed up in Tupperware with all the utensils you need. Also, your gym gear has to be loaded up and ready before you head out the door each morning. That means my Live Well 360 bag needs to be packed with all my favorite fitness accessories, healthy food and apparel ahead of time. I suggest packing everything up the night before so you don’t run out of time, and run into excuses to go off plan.

20 Items in my Bag RIGHT NOW!

  1. Tilapia, a sweet potato & a banana
  2. Shoes, shorts, tank and socks
  3. iPad (for watching TV on the elliptical)
  4. Yurbuds earphones
  5. Wrist Wraps (PR Wraps)
  6. iPhone Arm band
  7. Voss Water bottle
  8. Supplements
  9. Impact Energy Gum (new to New York – and now available at our gym!)
  10. Powder & lipstick (I never use it, but I have it just in case)
  11. Body Lotion (just in case I am smelly or dry! ha)
  12. Hair ties & head band
  13. iPhone charger (gotta have enough juice for my tunes!)
  14. Hoodie (stays in my bag just in case)
  15. Wallet (because I don’t carry a purse during the week)
  16. Speed rope
  17. Camera (yes, because you neeeever know when you’ll need to make a fitness memory!)
  18. Bath & Body Works Body spray
  19. Protein bars (I had Designer Whey bars in mine right now!)
  20. Macbook Pro (because it goes everywhere I do!)

Packing for the day is just one of the ways to prepare for fitness success. Check out my blog “5 Ways to Prepare for Fitness Success” at LiveWell360 for 4 more tips!

About My Favorite Bag

I have 2 LiveWell 360 bags. This is the CORE bag. Totally comfy and not bulky. My other bag is the Luxx bag, with a built-in padded laptop case!

Live Well 360 Core gym bag

Million pockets! Ok, not really ..but a LOT! Yes, I’m TOTALLY organized!

Live Well 360 Core gym bag

I plan to succeed with a well-packed bag! Take a peak of what I can fit inside!

Live Well 360 Core gym bag

Built to last.

You can find bags cheaper, but I promise I will still be using my Core bag after you go through your next 3-4 cheapos! If you are a gym rat, it’s worth the investment to buy a gym bag that is perfect, high quality and that won’t let you down!

Live Well 360 Core gym bag

Pillow Talk: What Happens in Bed Stays in Bed – NOT!

neck painHave you ever thought about what happens while you sleep? Have you ever thought about how important our sleep is? Not just how good we sleep, but how our body is aligned while sleeping – our pillows, our mattress, our bedding. We may get out of our bed in the morning, but if we don’t have the right bedding, the result of poor bedding may not get out of us.

technogel A little over a week ago I received a Technogel pillow to try out. I have to admit, I was SO ready to get rid of my other pillow. Although I thought my old pillow was comfortable, I felt like it was on it’s last leg and harboring who-knows-what kind of bacteria from years of sleeping on it, sweating on it, and being sick on it. When I thought of it that way, I almost would have rather slept without a pillow at all.

I couldn’t wait to come home and see that box on my doorstep. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve always used regular pillows and getting a high-quality pillow like this was something new. I picked up the box, and OMG it was HEAVY! I thought, “what the heck is in this box?!” Then when I opened the box up, I realized the pillows were what were heavy. I was intrigued.

technogel pillowsSo, I quickly changed sheets and put my new pillows on our bed. I hardly could wait to go to bed (which is totally not like me). When the time came, I crawled in bed and placed my head on the pillow. I wasn’t sure what to think. It was totally unlike anything I ever laid my head on.

Both Steve and I realized we would have to “sleep on it” before we decided if we liked our new pillows or not. We expected it would take a while to get used to, but the more we analyzed the pillows and our sleeping patterns we learned something.

The Technogel pillow was only about 5 1/2 inches tall, compared to my 7-8 inch fluffy pillow I was used to. Then it hit me, my pillow was fluffy, but once I lay my big head on it, it sunk right in. I wondered how the two compared once my head was resting on it. So I decided to do my own little test.

technogel pillowI took a big container of protein (go figure haha) and placed it on my new Technogel pillow to see how much it sunk in compared to my other pillow. Of course my other pillow caved right in, but the Technogel pillow barely budged.

Every night I went to sleep I’d think about how I was liking my pillow. Although I missed my fluffy pillow, I started to realize that many of my weird sleeping patterns were learned behavior I developed to add support to my pillow. For instance, placing my hand under the pillow or pushing the sides of the pillow up to support my neck and head. I then realized my old pillow wasn’t ideal at all – I was making it ideal by shaping it into the object I needed to get a good night sleep.

So, as I lay in bed with my head on the new pillow, realizing it needed no adjustments to give me the same support. Although it was flatter, it was actaully thicker than my old pillow when I had my head on it. It curved just right and, quite honestly, my body had no clue what to do now that it didn’t have the job of molding the fluffy object all night.

Sleep on This

technogel pillowAt first, I admit I still wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. I had years of bad sleeping habits to erase. It did take getting used to, but every night I like it more and more – and I really believe it is better for me. Soft and cushy is not always healthy. As I age, I realize my body needs more support and I need to invest more in my physical health – not just my outer appearance and being “comfy”. I need to be healthy.

I realized the same thing with my tennis shoes recently. Soft and cushy feeling shoes were not necessarily what my feet needed, but I had never thought of that same principle applying to my bedding – and I sure sleep a lot more than I run!

My old pillow was $59. This new one was $100 more, but isn’t my head and neck worth the extra $100? Duh! Funny how I don’t blink an eye on investing money in putting the right shoes on our feet, but I have never thought about how important it is to protect my neck and head? What a revelation!  I guess I learn something new every day!

Sleep Tips from Technogel

sleeping tips1. Stick to a regular sleeping routine.
2. Limit other activities in the bedroom other than sleeping and rest
3. Don’t overeat before bedtime
4. Don’t exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime
5. Stretch before you go to bed to loosen tight muscles and relax the body
6. Limit naps to 20 minutes or less

Get more tips from Technogel

Learn more about Technogel pillows.

technogel pilloq

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Burn Calories & Flatten the Tummy on the Go

The only way we can afford to eat a few extra calories on vacation is if we make room for it. And, although we’re on vacation, that doesn’t mean we need to take a vacation from fitness too!

Although our gym rocked, our workouts were really pretty simple and could be done almost anywhere. Steve shares his Cardio and Abs Hotel Workout he did this weekend, which required little equipment or time.

#GetAfterIt!

Featured Ab Exercise to LearnSnowboarder Crunch
Hotel Workout: CLICK HERE to get Steve’s Cardio & Abs 30-Minute Workout.

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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