Working Out on the Road

Excerise on the Road FPWhen my friend Leslie asked me last year how I stayed in shape on the road, I looked at her blankly. I had just finished up my 2-year adventure and was thinking that hiking through Patagonia, kayaking Norway’s fjords, and trekking in Borneo jungles was exercise enough.

In addition to all the sportiness, I was used to hauling my wheelie suitcase and backpack between Peruvian bus stations, dashing for Hungarian trains, and schlepping myself to and from boat launches. I was also only eating about once a day, so lean and mean was sort of a given.

But now that I’m back on the road with the book tour, sleeping in nicer places and eating better, staying in shape is becoming an issue. Here’s how I’m staying fit between flights:

Boot Camp Basics

First off, I made sure I was in fighting shape before I left on this leg of my travels. During the couple of months I spent in Florida finalizing the book, I joined the Gettin’ Fit Boot Camp. I went religiously for the full 2+ months, 3 times a week. Jon my trainer concentrated the class on strength training.

And on my off days, I did cardio – riding the bike on the flatlands of southwest Florida, a bit of tennis, and the elliptical machine in a pinch. In 10 weeks, I dropped 10 lbs and got healthy before I hit the road.

Old School Approach

Yoga photo by GoErinGoOnce on tour, I turned ‘Old School,’ digging out the 7-Minute Workout article from the New York Times. This is your basic interval training with 1-minute bouts of exercise followed by a 30-second rest period. You’re supposed to complete the 7-minute circuit 3 times for an all over, intense workout. I did it several times in San Francisco and it wasn’t too bad, just a little boring.

I also started walking. The San Fran hills in Portero where I normally stay offers little bursts of cardio around every corner. And in Hawaii I went for long 2-hour beach walks that really burned my leg and butt muscles. But somehow looking at the clear blue water and majestic Diamond Head volcano in the distance took all the pain away!

Turning to Technology

I’ve also turned to technology to help motivate me. The Qe2 (Celebrity Quick Easy Exercises) app is meant for those who are living on the road and provides video clips of pilates-inspired exercises. I actually really liked the video demonstrations and emphasis on pilates vs. push ups. It was a good alternative to throw into the work out mix, especially when I grabbed a few water bottles to use as weighs.

I also tagged several YouTube video from Amy at Beyond Motion. Again I found the video demonstrations pretty easy to follow and gave me some new ideas to try out. A lot of time, I turn off the volume of the video and instead turn to the Pandora app. I just type in the music genre (‘80s pop is a favorite) or favorite artist and I’m movin’ and groovin’ in no time!

The Orange Scale

orangepantssmall11Since I’ve been on tour for the past month I’ve been able to maintain the healthy body I obtained at boot camp. In addition to working out at least 3-4 times a week, I’ve been pretty disciplined to ensure that I’m eating healthy, right-sized portions and getting lots of fresh air.

And if I ever feel like I’m slipping, I simply put on my orange pants (seen in my flying girl logo). I bought these puppies 10 years ago and I instantly know what kind of shape I’m in simply by trying them on. Difficult to button? Time to cut back on the carbs.

p.s. Know why I wear the iconic orange pants? Read the blurb: Orange You Sorry

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 and is filed under Hearth.

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