6 Quick and Effective Vacation Workouts

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Bent-over dumbbell rows
Bent-over dumbbell rows (Diana Anderson-Tyler )

In last week's article, I discussed ways in which we can all keep our health on track while still enjoying our vacation. From packing homemade meals and snacks for the road or plane to choosing active excursions while cruising, I explained how with a little prep work and self-control, we can all return home just as fit—or fitter—than when we departed.

In today's post, I want to give you six total-body workouts that will take you less than 20 minutes to complete. Before I go on, let me clarify that you won't be doing all six! The first set of three is for those of you who will have a gym at your disposal, while the second set is for those who won't have gym access. In other words, no matter what your accommodations, there is no excuse for skimping on exercise! 

I recommend completing one workout every other day to give the body time to recover. Also, try to do these the first thing in the morning after a light breakfast, or with no breakfast at all. Here are a few benefits of early-morning, fasted workouts, especially quick, high-intensity ones like you will be doing:

  • Research has shown that fasted cardiovascular workouts results in more fat loss than "fed" cardio routines. Stubborn fat is eliminated, in particular.
  • An early trip to the gym has been shown to result in fewer food cravings throughout the day.
  • Working out in the morning means that your body will burn calories faster and more efficiently throughout the day.
  • There's less risk of things "popping up" when you do your workout early in the day.
  • Working out in the morning can increase the impact that exercise has on your heart. Reason being, one of the ways that your body naturally wakes you up is by increasing levels of hormones like adrenaline, which causes your heart to beat faster. This means that you can obtain extra cardiovascular benefits when you work out in the morning.
  • Exercise has been proven to increase mental focus and acuity for up to ten whole hours post-workout.
  • Exercise releases feel-good compounds like endorphins that improve your mood and boost energy levels, an effect that can last well into the afternoon if you get your workout in early.
  • Working out in the morning can promote better sleep since you're not getting that extra energy boost as you're trying to settle in for the night.

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