Jumping Jacks

in Cardio

Don’t dismiss this very powerful cardiovascular exercise which is commonly associated with children’s game or thought of as dated. Jumping jacks burn as many calories per minute – that’s 9 if you’re counting – as the whole body workout the push up. You can do jumping jacks to tone your core by keeping your back straight during your morning routine. While you do push ups during the commercial breaks of your favorite morning show while in front of the hotel room TV, you can hop up and continue with jumping jacks during the show. Assuming you can do a mere 15 minutes of jumping jacks during a 30 minute program, you’ll chop off 135 calories, all before you’ve had breakfast.

Doing jumping jacks in the morning also helps to stimulate the appetite, in turn encouraging you to eat more during the hotel buffet breakfast. Study after study has shown people who eat breakfast, within about 30 minutes after waking up, tend to be slimmer and healthier than those who put off the meal. Many people say they don’t like or feel right eating first thing in the morning, but when you’ve got an exercise routine that includes jumping jacks, you’ll shift your body’s natural circadian rhythms. In fact, doing this while traveling is a good way to get into the habit when you return home.

jumping jacksBusiness travelers can also get the edge of adrenaline and be more alert at their meetings when they walk out the hotel door. Exercise induced endorphins from intense cardio workouts help alertness and memory without the side effects of drugs or caffeine. Jumping jacks are also the kind of hotel room workout that makes breaking a major sweat easy, since you’re moving in place.

Most hotels also have floors thick enough to insulate the noise, but if it’s something you’re worried about you can throw down two pillows or couch cushions to keep the sound down. Making this modification to your jumping jacks also will improve the workout and cause your calf muscles to work harder as they adjust to the changing surface. In turn, you’ll also be greatly helping your balance but increasing the number of neural transmissions between your brain and muscles. This mind body connection helps you in older age and for frequent fliers, help fight insomnia and the blood clots associated with air travel.

To get your jumping jacks right, on the up part of the jump have your hands meet your feet (not literally but in that direction). Don’t get caught flat footed either, you want maintain your body by keeping to your toes. This gives you more lift, and actually makes the jumping jacks easier and reduces the impact on your heels and knees. Also keep your head straight with something to focus on – a nice hotel room view out the window or the television make great options. Count your jumping jacks and track roughly how many you can do on each hotel room workout so you have a number to work toward and exceed as you get in shape while traveling.

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