Author Ken Seifert: "The best way to think about this is that an airport can be a big gym."

 

(Courtesy Ken Seifert)

OK, maybe you're not looking forward to your long wait at the airport this holiday season. Or to the guilt that will nag you after you stop for a doughnut or a couple of beers on your way to the plane. Author Ken Seifert says there are healthier alternatives like, say, running laps around the concourse, or using a seat at the boarding gate to do push-ups.

Seifert, a U.S. diplomat with a home in Colorado, has written "The Complete Guide to Airport Exercise," with instructions for firming your flab while you wait to fly. Seifert tells Colorado Matters he's also included tips for cleaning up afterwards, to avoid getting the stink eye from fellow passengers.

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Read An Excerpt

Using the Airport Chairs

These little suckers can do more than rest your aching butt. You can incorporate the chair as part of your workout, from triceps dips to stomach crunches. The internet can provide you with many different ideas and options. AnytimeFitness has a blog that talks about calf, hip, and glute stretches. Here are some common exercises one can do with the chairs:

Perhaps the most popular exercise using airport chairs is the seated triceps dips. You start by placing your arms straight with your palms flat against the edge of your seat. Meanwhile, you extend your legs straight in front of you to allow your body to get a good range of motion as you dip downwards and upwards, working your triceps. The triceps are the biggest muscles in your arms and look significantly more toned when regularly exercised.

You can also combine some cardio exercises with muscle strengthening. For example, you can sit in the chair and raise your knees up towards your chest in a steady, controlled motion, one at a time, working your stomach and quadriceps. Be mindful to keep your back straight and use your arms to steady your upper body so you don’t put undue strain on your lower back. If you do this for ten minutes, and you will definitely get the blood flowing and sweat as well! You can also try to do all-out crunches if the seats don’t have armrests. The angle may be a little awkward though, so be careful not to overstrain your lower back.

Want to work those pectoral muscles? You can do chair pushups easily and effectively. Simply place both palms facing downwards on the chairs, shoulder length apart. Meanwhile, extend your legs outward behind you, aligned with your back; remember to keep your back straight. Essentially, your body is in push-up form; only in this case, you are pushing off the chairs instead of the ground. Raise your body downward and then back up in slow, controlled motions, working those chest muscles.

  Reprinted from "The Complete Guide to Airport Exercise" by Ken Seifert. Published by Telemachus Press, LLC