Operation: Bali Body
With an offer I couldn’t refuse invitation to visit Amankila and Amandari in Bali, Indonesia, I’ve got only seven days to go before my first tropical luxury vacation!
As I start to pull out the bikini’s I haven’t worn since summer it hits me – only seven days to go until Bali! Gasp. My skin’s winter pale is in full effect, the insulating layer of fat I allow during winter to keep warm is in full force, and I probably don’t have the upper body strength to paddle out, let alone into an Indonesian set of waves.
I spend my days as a fitness expert and an outdoor hiking guide. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t do some sort of exercise. So, as my cousin reminds me, who am I to whine? But here’s the thing – that concept of ‘sport-specific training’ really comes into play at times like this. I am a woman who has to sport a bikini in seven days, after all, and I’d like to rock that bikini, if you know what I mean!
Operation: Bali Body
I’ve got seven days to do something each day that makes me feel and look more confident. Seven days left to prepare all the practical requirements an overseas trip demands. Here goes:
Day 1. Take a hike
In this case I need to hike steep hills that make me work my butt in the hip extension phase – like doing step ups in a gym. The more varied the terrain the better. Give me steep hills, sandy slopes, and all the crumbly slickrock I can handle. Limited to the gym? No problem: find your nearest stair climber or Versa Climber and start stepping!
Practical Travel Tip: Confirm flight details and share contact information with family and friends.
Day 2. Jump rope and tone up with weights
Nothing firms up the inner thighs and butt like a good jump rope session. I do intervals of 150 jumps between cycles of my weight workout to keep things interesting and my heart rate thumping. Not a fan of jump rope? Try a mini-trampoline. Or sit down and place a basketball-size ball or pillow between the knees and squeeze. For more on weights, see Day 6.
Practical Travel Tip: Scan passport and credit cards to the computer and email them to myself and my travel buddy. That way if they get snatched or go missing I’ve got backup to get back into the country.
Day 3. Go for a swift walk and perform some good old-fashioned manual labor
That’s right, manual labor, as in, tools in hand and going to work. In my case it’s ‘cleaning’ the 150,000,000 year-old dust and boulders on Amangiri’s newest via ferrata route. I’m a lady who likes to keep my pants clean, so that means hours of sweeping and scooping prehistoric dust and dinosaur dander. Perfect timing! In your case it might mean going on a mad tear through the house, tilling the garden, or even manually washing your car inside and out. It doesn’t matter what it is, just get back to your caveman roots, get down on all fours, and get to work. Trust me, you’re going to feel it tomorrow, and you’re going to have the instant results you crave. Even if it is a clean car and not the tight butt you dream of…
Practical Travel Tip: Confirm arrival and departure details, and activity itineraries with the reservation agents at each of the hotels.
Day 4. Get a massage with energy work and go for another hike.
I checked in to the Green Valley Spa in St. George to indulge in the mystical Prana Nada body treatment I’ve been hearing about. This body work special combines lomi lomi massage and vibrational energy to open the energy channels in the body and enhance flow. Donell, the therapist, is a master of playing the Tibetan bowls and gong, and had me feeling transformed into a light, supernatural being dancing to the rhythm of the vibrations. It was exactly the treatment I need to open my heart, body, and mind to the rich spiritual culture and beautifully-scented ocean air my Bali paradise promises.
Practical Travel Tip: Widdle my long list of places to visit in Bali to my top 3 – including a Buddhist temple, the artisan workshops in Ubud, and the best location to rent stand up paddle boards.
Day 5. A core workout and more jump rope.
The core workout: my favorite on-the-road workout to challenge the muscles of the entire body. All I need is a flat surface, a towel, and a little creativity to flow from one glorious stomach tightening, butt firming, back strengthening, shoulder stabilizing move to the next. Bridges, hundreds, back extensions, planks, and squats – bring it on baby!
Practical Travel Tip: Call the banks, cell phone provider, and credit card companies to tell them I’ll need service overseas and exactly what my travel plans are.
Day 6. Total body strength training and a bike ride
Nothing firms muscles like lifting weights. Ladies, did you hear me? Nothing. If you want firm, lean, toned muscles, you have got to overload them using strength training. I’ve been lifting weights since I was 14 years old and I still haven’t ‘bulked up.’ It’s simply not in our DNA as females. So knock off the excuses, get over those fears, and start pumping some iron! You may not see the outside results immediately, but rest assured, there are plenty of physiological adaptations happening, particularly to the muscle cells, where outside changes originate.
Practical Travel Tip: Do laundry, pick up clothes from the cleaner, and pack my bags before the last minute. This leaves me 1 day to pick up anything I’m missing.
Day 7. Jump rope, core workout, and flexibility training
The controversial stretch. At one extreme yoga wants me to believe I must do it every day; at the other extreme Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) insists it must never be done. I err somewhere in the middle, following a 15 second static stretch protocol with self-myofascial release foam rolling (SMFR) only on the places I have knots. Be careful with this one – you really do need expert instruction to implement this type of flexibility training the right way.
Practical Travel Tip: Grab that novel I’ve been wanting to settle into and get a good night sleep. With 30-hours of travel coming up, I’m going to need the rest!
As for nutrition, the entire week I pounded the water, laid-off the ice cream, and ate all the fruits, vegetables, and delicious proteins I could find. I feel and look great!
Operation: Bali Body – success!