By Shauna Harrison
Life gets hectic. Travel, whether for business or pleasure, can make life more hectic. Travel during the holidays makes life crazy. I get it, trust me. I’m writing this from 35,000 feet up in the air right now. So, how do I make sure I still get my sweat on amidst the chaos of travel? Well, let’s just be completely blunt from the start: It’s my job to train. So, there’s that. And it’s also my favorite thing to do. So, there’s also that. But, regardless, life is life and sometimes there are limitations, obstacles, and challenges to getting in adequate sweat time, ESPECIALLY when you’re out of your normal routine (physically or mentally!). The sweat struggle can be real when traveling or just super busy, but there are some ways you can set yourself up for success.
1. If you’re flying, HYDRATE.
If you’re on a road trip, HYDRATE. If you’re at home and just busy, HYDRATE. Even if you’re sitting around doing nothing, for the love of your cells, HYDRATE. We know that air travel can really leave you dehydrated, but altitude and recycled air or not, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to hydration levels. The thirst is real. Stay hydrated every damn day.
2. Schedule travel so that it gives you the best opportunity to get your sweat on.
For me, that usually means taking a flight or planning to take a road trip AFTER I’ve already had my workout that day. On top of assuring that delays don’t steal your sweat time, it also makes sitting still for an extended period of time more bearable. For instance, I took a reformer class early this morning before this current cross-country flight.
3. BYOE: Bring Your Own Equipment.
Obviously first and foremost, bring your workout gear. Think about whether you will be running, cycling, yoga, interval training, or whatever. Bring the appropriate gear. Aside from that, I also travel with fitness equipment. I never travel without my jump rope. I rarely travel without some gliding discs and/or a TRX. I have been known to bring an agility ladder and if I will be doing a lot of yoga and don’t want to pay for mat rental, I will bring my own mat too. These pieces of equipment all have an extremely favorable space to sweat ratio; they are well worth the little space they require. (Please believe they go in my carry on bags — I can’t risk having my equipment in potentially lost luggage!) If need be, you can always turn hotel chairs, beds, and floor space into equipment. Use what you’ve got.
4. Get a little stalkerish with your new city.
If I’m traveling somewhere, I get online and check out all the studios, gyms, parks, trails, and playgrounds I can find in the area. Get outside and explore if the weather and safety permits. Google, Yelp, find local fitness bloggers (um, hello… The Sweat Life) and even some platforms like Class Pass (select cities) or ZenRez (currently in SF, coming soon to other cities!) to find studios or classes in the area. If you’re lucky, maybe there are even fitness events like those that Wellthily Co. puts on at hotels in New York!
5. Have a go-to routine.
When all else fails, have a go-to routine that you can use. I have a jump rope workout that uses nothing but a jump rope and bodyweight exercises. The format (or what I call the skeleton) of the workout is very basic, but the exercises can be switched up easily to create a new workout focused on specific body parts, available equipment, or amount of time. This is clutch when you really don’t have much to work with. (See photo for Shauna’s routine!)
6. Use the Internet to get workouts, ideas, or even take classes.
There are tons of Instagram challenges that provide daily exercises or poses (*cough cough* like my #SweatADay). Platforms like YogaGlo (check out my girl & Under Armour Teammate Kathryn Budig and Taylor Harkness), Share It Fitness (check out my own Muscle & Flow classes), the new Radius Fitness (see my Under Armour Teammates Natalie Uhling & Keoni Hudoba) and others offer online content.
What if you know that there is just ZERO way you can get some sweat time when you go home for two days for Christmas? Guess what. You’ll live. Schedule those two days as rest days. Take time off. Let your body rebuild, and then get back to your regularly scheduled sweatiness when you get home.
Shauna Harrison is a self-proclaimed nerd, hip-hop head, jock, and yogi. After playing sports throughout her childhood, she segued into the fitness and yoga world just as she started her academic path at Stanford University and hasn’t stopped since. Simultaneously pursuing academics and fitness, Shauna taught a wide range of classes including step, hi/lo aerobics, Pi/Yo, indoor and outdoor boot camps, mat Pilates, Hip Hop Cycle™ (which she owns), core, yoga, and aerial yoga all while completing her undergraduate and multiple graduate degrees. This included teaching in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and even in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Shortly after finishing her PhD in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, Shauna also secured a sponsorship with Under Armour, a major brand in sports and fitness, proving that she could excel in both worlds. As a perpetual student and teacher, Shauna is always looking for new things to try and new ways to intellectually and physically challenge herself and others.