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Orbitz Worldwide just launched Strengthen the Core for its employees, an inventive, in-office fitness program developed to counteract the effects of sitting on your butt all day at work. Fitness guru and chiropractor Dr. Mark Baker of Elite Healthcare helped us out, creating a series of simple, low-impact moves that people can do anywhere.

“It basically boils down to ‘move it or lose it,'” explains Dr. Baker. “If you limit yourself to such a small range of motion—including sitting at your desk for eight hours straight—your body slowly adjusts to that, and soon you won’t be able to move beyond that posture without pain. That’s what Strengthen the Core is designed to combat.”

More than 500 Orbitz employees have already taken the training classes for our Strengthen the Core program and we can see them incorporating new routines into the workday, such as stretching with resistance bands at their desks or managers conducting one-on-one meetings outside while walking instead of sitting in a conference room.

Seeing our employees embrace the program has inspired us to share these insights so that our customers can use them during those long travel days and jam-packed trip itineraries, to help them stay fit while traveling. For example, instead of waiting at your gate for your flight or connection and downing some fast food, you can take a stroll around the airport. Or perform small exercises and stretches that keep your blood flowing while you’re stuck on a long flight, holed up in your hotel room, in line at the Louvre, or just relaxing on the beach.

Dr. Baker created the following full-body workout to help folks stay fit anywhere, anytime. Best of all, these five moves require no equipment, so all you need is about 10 minutes and a bit of floor space.




The push-upWhat area it works: Chest, arms, core

How to do it: There’s a reason this one’s a classic—it’s a great upper-body conditioning workout. To perform a proper push-up, get into a high plank position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep the feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten the core. Bend the elbows until the chest almost reaches the ground, and then push back up, making sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body.

How to modify it: If this position is too hard, try performing some bent-knee push-ups until you’re strong enough to do 4-5 regular push-ups. If both of these are too easy, try lifting one of your legs off the ground for half your reps, then switch to the other. Still too easy? Elevate your legs on a bag or a piece of low furniture.

Bicycle crunch

Bicycle crunch


The bicycle crunch

What area it works: Upper and lower abs

How to do it: Lie down with your knees bent up. Pull your feet off the ground, and place your hands behind your head. Twist at your core to pull your right elbow toward your left knee, strengthening your right leg at the same time. Repeat on the left, and continue alternating sides.

How to modify it: To make this more difficult, press the elbow and the knee against each other and hold for one second with each repetition.




The YTW Superman

What area it works: Lower back, rotator-cuff muscles, upper back

How to do it: Lie down on your stomach with your arms straight in front of you and your legs straight behind you. In one movement, pull your arms and legs as high off the ground as you can get them, arms overhead and palms facing each other. Move the arms into each letter formation (Y, T and W) for 10-15 repetitions.

How to modify it: If this is too easy, hold two things of equal weight (soup cans, shoes, etc.) in each hand and perform the movement.




The forward-reverse lunge

What area it works: Quads, glutes

How to do it: Stand with your hands on the hips and feet hip-width apart. Step the right leg forward and lunge, slowly lowering your body until the right knee is close to—or touching—the floor, and bent at least 90 degrees. Return to the starting position. Try stepping backwards into the lunge for a reverse lunge with the same movements, then start the whole thing over again.

How to modify it: When coming up from your lunge, maintain your balance without touching the lunging foot to the ground.


Bridge pose

Bridge pose

The bridge

What area it works: Glutes, hamstrings

How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent toward the ceiling and feet hip-width apart. Place your arms at your sides and lift up your hips and lower back. Only the head, feet, arms and shoulders should remain on the ground. Once you’re here, lift one leg upwards, keeping the core tight. Slowly bring the leg back down, then lift it back up. Try to do 10 reps on each leg, then bring your feet back to the starting position and slowly lower your spine back on the floor.

How to modify it: To make this more difficult, lift onto the toes of your supporting foot, pulling your heel off the ground. You should feel your hamstring really start to work.

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Mike Goldwasser

Mike Goldwasser

Goldwasser is SVP of Human Resources at Orbitz.
Mike Goldwasser

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