The Star Early Edition - - LIFESTYLE VERVE -

From the push-up po­si­tion, lower your up­per body so your fore­arms are flat on the ground, par­al­lel to each other. Keep your core tight, and for ex­tra chal­lenge, al­ter­nate lift­ing each foot up, or try a side plank.

This ex­er­cise is es­sen­tially the op­po­site of bird dog. It’s great for your core and min­i­mally stress­ful for your spine.

Flat on the floor, raise your arms straight up, fin­ger­tips point­ing to the ceil­ing. Lift your legs so your hips and knees are both at 90 de­grees. With a tight mid­dle, slowly lower one leg and the op­po­site arm to­ward the floor, with­out arch­ing or flat­ten­ing your back.

Tone the back of your arms with tri­cep dips, which you can do off a park bench or even a step.

Sit with your palms on the edge of the bench, be­side your legs. Scoot your bot­tom for­ward un­til it’s off the seat, with your knees at about 90 de­grees. Slowly drop your hips a bit un­til up­per arms are par­al­lel to the ground (bend­ing your el­bows more can strain your shoul­ders). Re­turn to the start­ing po­si­tion.

The far­ther out you move your legs, the greater chal­lenge for your arms.

“Peo­ple roll their eyes at me all the time about bal­ance,” Gil­lan­ders told me. “But so many things we do –trav­el­ling or oth­er­wise – re­quire bal­ance: walk­ing, climb­ing stairs, hik­ing.” Just like strength and flex­i­bil­ity, he said, we lose bal­ance with age. But with a lit­tle work, it’s pos­si­ble to main­tain mad skills in the sta­bil­ity de­part­ment. Stand on one leg and en­gage your core, quad and glute. If you’re wob­bly, stand in a door­way for sup­port. Once you can stand like a flamingo for 30 sec­onds with­out los­ing bal­ance, progress to swing­ing your leg for­ward and back, like a pen­du­lum, then left and right in front of you. For a more ad­vanced ex­er­cise, turn your head side-to-side and up and down, close your eyes or stand on a folded towel.

Gil­lan­ders rec­om­mends ded­i­cated stretch­ing time af­ter your work­out, when mus­cles are warmed up. “Peo­ple don’t like the idea of stretch­ing,” Gil­lan­ders said, “but think about your non-va­ca­tion habits (hunch over a com­puter screen, any­one?) and ar­eas where you’re prone to tight­ness, such as your ham­string, back and hip flexor.”

Stop. Lis­ten to waves crash­ing or birds chirp­ing. Wan­der. Get lost. Sit in the sand and breathe deeply. “Most folks think of ex­er­cise as go-go-go,” Gil­lan­ders said. “The prac­tice of mind­ful­ness and med­i­ta­tion demon­strates the up­side of slow­ing down.” He sug­gests ditch­ing de­vices and scrap­ping sched­ules. “Stay­ing fit doesn’t have to be mov­ing. It can be go­ing into a field and med­i­tat­ing.” – The Washington Post

While keep­ing fit dur­ing a stint of trav­el­ling is vi­tal, prac­tis­ing men­tal fit­ness, like med­i­ta­tion and mind­ful­ness, is also im­por­tant, says the au­thor.

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