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Working on some 'Musle Ups'. Basically
they are a pullup directly into a dip from
gymnastic rings. Harder then it looks!
The kids in the park were loving
my rings and started playing around
I am very grateful that Mark Sisson posted my World Diabetes Day, "Big Blue Test" video on his website, http://www.marksdailyapple.com/. Mark's site is awesome, and I suggest anyone who has an interest in their nutrition, fitness, diet, or lifestyle to check out his page, and read his book. I got a lot of emails regarding my workouts,and how I stay in shape while I am away from home for so many months... so I decided to post this blog entry---
Hola From Colombia!
In my opinion, traveling is not an excuse to stop exercising! A few minutes a day is all you need to stay in shape anywhere. As a diabetic, I find it much more difficult to control my diabetes if I stop working out, as I start to lose insulin sensitivity. So, I always try to get a workout in, usually this is at least 5 days a week. Also, I've found it’s a nice way to see some local parks and different, less touristy parts of cities when traveling.
I've been crossfitting for over a year-and-half now. I got into crossfit at the Academy of Lions in Toronto, a really great gym that was one of the biggest factors in getting my fitness and nutrition in order. I've been to a few crossfit gyms throughout my travels, and this place by far is the best. It is a great 'family' there that cares about diet and fitness, and have fun with what they do. In addition to introducing me to crossfit, the Academy also introduced me to the Paleo diet, which has helped me tremendously in managing my diabetes.
I don't think I'll ever go back to normal workouts in the gym. To me, crossfit is way more effective and the best use of your time at the gym (most workouts are under 20 minutes!). Crossfit is easy to do while traveling, too. It’s amazing what you can do with just your own body weight, and just the most basic of equipment.
While traveling I like to bring gymnastic rings and a jump rope with me. They are two items that are relatively small, easy to carry along and I can get different kinds simple, yet very effective workouts in with them. I'll occasionally go to a local gym, which is usually very cheap (a dollar or so in some countries!), to get some heavy weight work in. At these gyms, I normally do only full body, non-isolating lifts. I usually get some funny looks at these places when I start doing these Olympic lifts--like the clean & jerk, snatch, and deadlift--but it’s well worth it!
A few easy exercises that can help you with your Travel Workouts--
- Pistols (1 legged squats!)
- Pullups (if you have rings or find a bar somewhere, soccer goal posts work great!)
- Wall handstand pushups
- Jumping (find a park bench or rock)
- Jump Rope
I've been able to stay in great shape as I travel by varying these exercises in the crossfit-style. On the occasion that I stop by a local gym I do a 'strength' workout or do some dumbel swings (in the style of Kettlebell Swings), this is a nice change once in a while, but it is not completely necessary.
I was recently in Cuzco, Peru. Our guide for Machu Picchu advised us to take the day off, and to adjust to the altitude in Cuzco. I declined, however, and went to a park and did the crossfit workout “Cindy“ (a lot of the Crossfit workouts have girl's names). The park had some nice pullup and dip bars, which are quite common around the world. “Cindy” consists of 5 pull-ups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats, repeated for 20 minutes, and you do as many rounds as possible. Most people are happy if they can do 10-12 rounds. I've actually done 26 rounds while in Toronto! (I have a video of this, which I’ll maybe post later.) Here in Cuzco I did 16 rounds in the 20 minutes...not bad for the altitude and not being at my peak training shape. Meanwhile, my friends who were traveling with me that day were having trouble walking up stairs in the altitude!
Pullups x 5
Pushups x 10
Squats x 15