AKTour. Ariel Hoffman’s Diary. Week 1.

Tip #1: When planning a vacation and traveling outside of the country, or to unfamiliar territory, do your research on where you are going, and find out the basics, such as weather, food and local cuisine, farmer’s markets, outdoor activities, etc. This will guide you and motivate you to keep a balance of relaxation and activity when you travel and throughout your vacation.
(Photo of New Zealand Guide book)

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Tips for swollen ankles post flight:
1. during the flight, get up in regular intervals when the seat belt light is off, walk a bit, stand and stretch for 5 min.
2. Do ankle exercises regularly while in flight, and while sitting in your seat.
3. Stay hydrated, drink water!
4. Once you arrive at your destination, and depending on whether you need to catch a few z’s first, go ahead and take a short walk, or go for a light run.

Holy cow! My ankles were the size of melons when I finally got off of the last leg of my 20hr journey. I drank a lot of water while in the air, but due to the air pressure, and being in the sky for such a long period, it is common for your blood to pool by your ankles, causing them to swell up like balloons!
My remedy: Once on the ground, I continued to drink lots of water, and after I caught up on some sleep, I went for a light run, and my ankles immediately looked better! This type of swelling normally needs several days of normal activity to finally go away, however my short run was enough to get my blood circulating again to relieve the swelling which ended up going away quicker than if I had done so otherwise. (photo of my feet in the grass: quote “ankles almost back to normal after my light run!)

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Tip #3: The Farmer’s market.
What I always find intriguing when traveling outside of the US is discovering what the locals eat and finding out what is indigenous to the land and the local culture. One of the ways in which I do this, which also helps me maintain a higher quality intake of food, is by finding the local farmer’s market. Whether you are staying in a hotel where restaurants are available, or you choose the apartment option where you can cook your own food, exploring the farmer’s market gives you an insight into what fruits/veggies are abundant in the area in which you are, so that you can make wiser choices regarding the food that you eat on a regular basis. The farmer’s market is always a great source of information regarding any produce that looks new and unique to you, or of any produce that you never knew existed and would like to try.
Subtropical fruit is popular here in New Zealand such as avocados, date palms, figs, pomegranate, and a wide variety of citrus. I was amazed that I could get fresh avocados here for $0.50 where back home they are $2.50 each! With nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including omega 3’s per 1-oz. serving, avocados are a great nutrient choice and add a satiating flavor to any meal. There is no fresher place to shop for a wide range of local foods than the farmer’s market!
(add photo here of the farmer’s market)

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Tip #4: Mixing it up
Most of you know me as someone who is happy to be dancing all day long. However, when I am traveling on a vacation or work, to a new place I have never been, especially one with good weather, i.e. New Zealand in the summertime while NY is in subzero degree arctic weather, (sorry, I didn’t mean to rub it in) I really love to put on my running shoes, and just RUN! Running can be so rewarding, and it’s also a great way to explore a beautiful new place! Finding that trail that leads you to the undisclosed, quieter beach, or finding that off road path that takes you through areas that you never would have discovered otherwise, while also being able to hear nature all around you, I find can be motivational, meditative and real.
One of the ways in which I make a run more interesting and challenging (let’s face it, I get bored very easily and it doesn’t take long before I need to start adding some chases) is by stopping at a bench, adding in that AKT strength circuit in between running intervals, or by finding those hidden stairs where I can do repeats, all in an effort to mix things up, kick up the heart rate, get a good sweat going, which all in all just makes you feel good.
I have attached an example of circuit that I did on my most recent run, try it yourself next time you are on a vacation, and let us know how it goes!

There are 6 exercises. You can either do ex’s 1-6, 3x through, after a 30min run, or you can do ex’s 1-6 after 10min running intervals, and repeat this 3 times. Try to move from one exercise into the other without breaks, and I guarantee that you will be dripping with sweat by the end.

Exercises:
1. Knee ups (20x each leg)
2. Squat jumps
3. Jump twists (10 twists each way)
4. Tricep dips
5. Single leg bridges ( 20x each leg)

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