Skip the gym!

This week’s trend started for the exact reason last week’s trend, “perpetual snacking,” began: less time! Say goodbye to expensive fitness gadgets, commutes to the Pilates studio or 5-star gyms because we’re heading back to the basics. Think pushups, squats and jumping rope!

With the holidays ahead, working out may challenge most thanks to the shopping, parties and travel, which is why it’s more crucial than ever during the upcoming weeks of annual food and stress-athons to commit to this trend! And the beauty about going back to traditional exercising is it only requires 10 minutes to be effective.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, (ACSM), WebMD, AskMen and Shape Magazine, our body is the only equipment needed as good old-fashioned exercising tops the trend charts in 2013. Also known as “a body-weight workout,” it’s been around for centuries as a form of resistance training, but this is the first time it has ranked so high to reach “trend levels.” Evidence of this is that gyms are beginning to include it as part of their exercise programs. And for those interested in trimming back costs as well as a few pounds, the good news is the financial investment isn’t near the costs of a Pilates reformer workout or gym membership.

Hotel guests can easily incorporate pushups, pull-ups and squats in the comfort of their room, but for those desiring a visit to the hotel fitness center, inexpensive basics such as padded mats, pull-up bars, jump ropes and a chart reminding us of the basics will more than suffice. Keep in mind, it’s been a while since the simple exercises have been factored into workout routines, so refresher visuals are timely and useful. A printed copy in your guestroom directory would be inexpensive and valued by your exercising guests who find a few minutes during their stay to burn some calories.

As a side note, during my research I stumbled across some excellent workout advice supporting this fitness trend: The top requirement for muscle growth is essentially stress the muscle hasn’t encountered before. The key factor is the stress doesn’t need to come from weighted plates. It can come from your body weight, gravity, instability or momentum, and if you look at professional athletes (gymnasts being a prime example), they are not in a weight room every day. They develop their strength through workouts on the beam, rings and the floor “without the weights.”

To give you a head start in participating in this week’s trend, what follows is an example of a body weight circuit where you complete one exercise after the other without stopping and repeat two to three times. Guaranteed to burn fat and build muscle, it’s a great option to provide quick fitness satisfaction while traveling. As always, make sure you are cleared by a physician for physical activity before attempting these exercises.

  • 20 body weight squats (It’s okay to put your hand on a support to maintain balance. Think of it like sitting in chair. If you can sit down onto a chair and then stand immediately back up without having to lean forward, you are in balance.)
  • 10 pushups
  • 20 walking lunges (Keep your eyes ahead and upper body vertical.)
  • 10 dumbbell rows (Use something challenging to lift 10 times in a row)
  • 15-second planks
  • 30 jumping jacks

Remember, you don’t build muscle exercising; muscle is built when you’re resting, and diet is 80% of your success or failure! If you have a minute to spare, let us know if you’ve incorporated a quick back-to-basics body-weight training trend into your own exercise routine, and if so, how is it going?