Flat Stomach to Go Please

I’ve spent a lot of the last year flying up and down the West Coast for work. One of the hardest things about being on the road is maintaining an exercise routine.

For starters, I don’t really like traditional exercise. Dance, yes, especially out with cocktails. Running? Only when chased.

For me, getting into a routine is vital to making exercise happen. Throw me out of my routine and I would rather sleep in, go out with friends or read a book.

Travel poses a risky proposition. If I don’t do some form of exercise on the road I rarely slide back into a routine when I return home.

When ambitious –and delusional – I pack tennis shoes and workout clothes when I travel so I can hit the hotel gym in the mornings. But, I rarely wake up early enough and if it’s the difference between bringing running shoes and carrying on my bag – the shoes stay home.

So for years, I’ve toggled between regular exercise during months of travel hiatus and no exercise when my travel schedule kicks in. My body, as a result fluctuated. STRONG. weak. STRONG. weak. . .   Until I discovered I could take a flat abs weapon on the road.

After taking private pilates lessons for two years and watching the price go up and up and up, I discovered The Mari Winsor Pilates for Pink Core Challenge. Four 10 minute workouts you can do all at once or not.  The stomach series on the DVD is the same as the one I was guided through at the pilates studio. So, the DVD started to supplement my pilates studio sessions and then replaced them altogether.

When I needed flat abs fast for the Nudie Foodies photo shoot, that DVD became my morning ritual.  Finally, the lightbulb went off and I realized I could take it on the road.

Now, I load the DVD into my laptop before departing on a trip and start my days on the road with a core strengthening routine that flattens my abs, blasts my lower body and strengthens my upper body, all in the privacy of my hotel room. No shoes required.

What’s your tip for staying fit on the road?

Yoga Discoveries

In May I was a yoga fanatic and then . . . life interrupted. Most of my summer was spent traveling back and forth from Orange County to Seattle and back to Orange County for work. I flew nearly 18,000 miles in three months repeating a sub-2000 mile roundtrip.

I missed yoga. That said, I found myself spending my limited exercise time on less-fun and less-body-friendly activities – hello dreadmill – thinking I was maximizing my calorie burn. You see, even though I felt I was getting more toned and I was losing weight practicing yoga (and in fairness, playing tennis 2+ times per week), Sparkpeople.com and similar websites told me I was burning a lowly 200 calories per hour. Less than 1/2 a Starbucks scone. So I kept skipping yoga in favor of known, but less enjoyable, calorie burners.

Finally, Monday I got it together and headed to a 10 am yoga class. I thought it would be a good toning supplement to tennis and the dreadmill. I also decided to attempt to discover the real burn of hot hatha. With my big ol Polar watch strapped to my wrist and chest strap tucked under my sports bra I headed off. I recorded the calorie burn from both my walk to/from the yoga studio (about 1 mile) and the 1-hour class. The result? . . . .wait for it . . .

A Hell yeah! inspiring 739 calories. 587 calories from the class and 152 from the one-mile speed walk to/from my office and class. This beats tennis class by more than 200 calories for the exact same amount of time.

So guess where I’m headed today?