10 MIX-AND-MATCH MOVES (10 minutes max!)
For many nurses who work long hours, a regular class can seem overwhelming and un-doable. These exercises, developed with the help of celebrity fitness pro Jennifer Cohen, founder of No Gym Required, work different parts of your body and can be done anytime, anywhere…no excuses!
PLIE SQUAT: Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes out, pelvis tucked, back straight. Keeping your knees aligned with your toes, bend into a squat position and hold for several seconds. Slowly return to start position and repeat 15 to 20 times.
TRICEP DIP: Sit on the edge of a stable chair, hands gripping the seat; lean slightly forward. Straighten arms and lift hips so your butt clears the chair. Keeping shoulders down, torso straight, lower your hips, bending your elbows. Slowly straighten your arms. Repeat 10 times.
CALF RAISES: Holding a railing or wall, place the balls of your feet on the edge of a step, heels down. Slowly raise your heels until you’re on the balls of your feet. Lower slowly. Repeat 20 times.
LEG LIFTS: Lie on your back, legs straight, arms at your sides. Keeping the small of your back on the floor, slowly lift your legs six inches off the floor, hold for 15 seconds. Lower and repeat 10 times.
OBLIQUE TWISTS: Lie on your back, legs straight, hands behind your head. Tighten your abdominals as you curl your torso up and touch your right elbow to your left knee. Slowly lower your torso to the floor. Repeat 10 times each side.
BUTT SCULPTOR: Lie on your stomach, arms at your sides, legs straight. With hips down, raise one leg six inches off the floor 10 times. Repeat with the other leg.
PUSH-UPS: Lie on your stomach, legs straight out, arms bent by your sides, palms down. Keeping back level, straighten arms and push body upward. Lower body by bending elbows to shoulder level. Repeat 10 times.
TAKE A BRISK WALK: To up the intensity, alternate walking and sprinting.
TAKE THE STAIRS: Pump your arms as you power your movement. Or take two at a time.
JUMP ROPE: Keep your knees soft and stay low, jumping about an inch or two off the floor.
5 GETAWAYS under $500
It goes without saying that taking a break—not coffee, but the actual vacation kind—can have a positive impact on your emotional health. A recent study conducted by researchers at Erasmus University in the Netherlands found that short, frequent getaways provide an even greater benefit than a single long trip taken once a year… which is good news for anyone whose demanding shift schedule and budget can’t accommodate a big-deal journey. “There are definitely ways to make trips cost-efficient,” says Emmy award-winning travel expert Rudy Maxa. “You just have to consider some creative options.” A few of his favorite super-savers….
TRADING SPACES Consider swapping lives for a few days with someone who lives in an interesting city that’s a relatively inexpensive plane ride away (e.g., Seattle to San Francisco; New Jersey to Miami; Charleston to Nashville). The pros? No hotel fees, in- home dining and a car at your disposal. One good site to try: homeexchange.com. They let you browse gratis, then charge a fee only if you find a home you actually want to book.
NO RESERVATIONS Book a hotel room with a kitchenette (also known as a Pullman kitchen) and keep pricey restaurant meals to a minimum— an especially wise rule when traveling with antsy youngsters who can’t sit through long dinners out. “What you’ll save on breakfasts alone will help keep your trip under the $500 tab,” says Maxa.
IT’S NICE TO SHARE…especially with a friend or another family if you’re both interested in the same vacation spot. The elegant condo or beach-home rental that’s out of your financial reach could be utterly doable if you’re splitting the fee. One resource: vacationrental.com—they boast more than 35,000 choices (U.S. and international), plus a Deals section that lists special cut-rate offers. Caribbean villa, anyone?
TRAVEL AGAINST THE GRAIN Consider visiting ski resorts in summer, beach destinations in winter… and enjoy the fact that you won’t be fighting crowds or paying hefty hotel bills. At Whistler, B.C., and Sun Valley, Idaho, you can hike, bike, swim and golf when the snow isn’t falling. Many travel websites—like cheaptickets.com— provide off-season specials as a regular service to their users.
CASH IN ON CAMPUS Looking to travel during the summer or over long holiday breaks? Some colleges and universities offer inexpensive lodging (and even dining) deals in their dorms during non-session periods. And most alumni associations offer members discounts at local hotels and car rental agencies (check your alma mater online), and even actual lodging if they own their own urban club, a la Harvard.