Back in flight attendant training whenever questions about commuting
from your home city to your base city came up, our instructors always responded, “Have a back-up to your back-up plan”. We all know that our ever changing schedule requires us to “bend like bamboo,” or be a “palm tree in the wind,” but what about our fitness routines? Do they also need back-up plans? I learned very quickly that a fit-flying lifestyle
requires a lot of flexibility, and I am not talking about a deeper ‘downward dog.’
Every week I plan out my workouts in advance. When I am not flying, I follow my plan strictly, 95% of the time. However, all bets are off when on a trip that is full of delays, bad weather, crabby passengers, and exploding tomato juice
cans as the cherry on top. (Yes- that all happened this week). Those mentally challenging work days tend to ironically also be the days that you forgot to pack your running shoes,
severe thunderstorms ruin all chances for your planned beach run, or you find a massive tear in the crotch of your one and only pair of packed yoga pants. So, how do we deal with these common travel fitness setbacks? Go to that back-up plan! One of my favorite workout back-up plans are *equipment free* workout apps. No running shoes are needed to workout in your hotel room, and no one can see/judge you on your crotchless yoga pants.
Double win! To make it a triple “win“, my go-to workout Apps are all free!
The Wherever Workout
is simple to use, and easy to understand– perfect for days you feel like you have been sucked into the Bermuda Triangle. The exercise sequences range from simple to medium intensity cardio based on what effort you [have left to] give. You choose from categories such as “In The Office”, “Travel Workouts”, “Anytime, Anywhere,” and “Some Equipment Required”. Exercise sequence times vary. This app has very clear videos, a timer, and voice instructions.
This yoga app is similar to the Wherever Workout when it comes to time, focus, and energy. Simply Yoga
allows you to choose between a 20, 40, or 60 minutes yoga sequence workout at level one. ($3.99 for the upgraded App/view level 2) This app has a video, and countdown timer. The voice instructions are clearly explained, and you can follow along visually with the woman on the video. Is it past midnight, and you don’t have even 20 minutes, but you want to stretch before bed? No problem! You can skip through movements in the sequence.
(Available for iPhone, iPad, Android devices, & Kindle Fire devices)
This “catch-all” exercise app offers a combination of strength training, yoga, cardio, and more. There are variations of each workout between 5-60minutes to choose from. Not only does this app have a timer, and photos, but there are videos to demonstrate exercises that may be new to you. Sworkit
also has a Sworkit Pro version available for purchase ($0.99). The pro version offers customizable sequences, access to a workout log, and daily/weekly goals. In addition to Sworkit/Sworkit Pro, their sister app Nexercise is also great! Nexercise is an app that uses friendly competition, and rewards to motivate busy people to lose weight, and stay fit. It allows users to log past activities or activities in real time to work their way towards earned prizes. For more information on Nexercise visit nexercise.com
This app is a catch-all app as well. However, in this case, a “catch-all” can be a little overwhelming at first. I advise that you play around with this app first before you use it for a workout. When you sign in, the app allows you to choose from the following:
- Get Lean (High interval cardio drills to slim down),
- Get Toned (Light weights and intervals to add definition),
- Get Strong (Increased weights and reps to build strength)
- Get Focused (15Minute workouts to target specific areas).
Each category allows you to choose a fitness level: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. There are more than several workouts to choose from in each category, ranging from 15-45minutes. Once you download the specific workout of your choice you will see a screen that tells you the Duration, Approx. Fuel, and Approx. Cal [burn]. You can set music, review your workout, etc. Like I mentioned before, this app may be intimidating at first, but once you get it, you will never be bored.
Nike Training Club
(Available on all phones, some updates only available for Ios7.)
is my #1 go-to app collection. I have several of their apps downloaded on my phone and they are what I most frequently use while traveling. Abs Trainer, Butt Trainer, Arms Trainer, Chest Trainer are my top favorites. They have very easy to follow videos and voice prompts as well as timers. There are several variations of each workout available regarding fitness level, time available (workouts range from about 7-20minutes), and focus. You also have the option to scroll through individual movements to create your own workout. Some workouts and individual movements require equipment (such as light weights), and others are bodyweight only. Fitness Buddy/Azumio brand apps are incredibly easy to use and always leave me feeling accomplished. Another great app related to the above mentioned is Argus. Argus is a free app that not only automatically tracks your steps, but also allows you to take food photos, log cardio activity, water intake (great for flight crew/travelers!), and more. For more information on these apps you can visit azumio.com
I challenge you to test these free apps out at home, or on your next layover, and let me know what YOU think. Feel free to leave me a comment on your favorite workout app! Check back next Fitness Friday to see what simple workout gear & equipment I keep in my layover bag at all times without packing on extra pounds!