3-2-1 workout ideal for summer travel

Insider's fitness: summer edition

Written by Cathy BortzSummer is officially here and now that the kids are out of school you have found yourself with less time to fit in exercise. Driving kids to and from camp, as well as various vacation trips, may have you missing some of your favorite fitness classes. Mothers all over town are fretting about how to stay in shape over the summer.

No worries, as there are many ways to maintain your fitness level without having to go to a gym.

My favorite travel workout is the three-two-one workout. It consists of three minutes of strength exercises, followed by two minutes of cardio, ending with a minute of abs. You go through this five-minute cycle a minimum of four times. The routine can be done even if you do not have access to free weights or cardio equipment.

Three minutes of strength: Examples of strength exercises that can be done without weights: planks, squats, lunges, pushups, wall sits, and tricep dips.

Two minutes of cardio: Easy two-minute cardio exercises include jumping rope, sprinting, jumping jacks, burpees, and jump squats.

One minute of abdominal exercises: Try a variety of sit-up variations like low flutter kicks, v sit ups, and bicycles.

This is just one idea about how you can set up this workout, you can modify the intensity by choosing harder or easier exercises,and also by changing how many times you go through the cycle, just remember the minimum number of cycles is four. Don't forget to always do a quick active warmup before you start and to stretch after you have completed the routine. Please do not minimize the importance of the stretching and try to hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Stretching is one of your biggest helpers in preventing injuries.

An active warm-up can include marching in place, knee lifts, heel kicks to the back, arm circles forward and backward. Some helpful stretches include a straight leg sit reaching for the toes, downward facing dog pose, childs pose, and a good quad stretch.

Good luck and have fun!! I will be sharing more summer workout ideas, including downloads and DVD's to use over the summer.

Cathy Bortz, a mother of 4 teenagers, is a native Charlottean. A fitness instructor for the last 25 years she has taught at the Dowd YMCA, Exercise Plus, Workout of Charlotte, and is currently teaching at The Cornwell Center.