Anyone who travels knows it can be hard to keep up an exercise routine on the road. Even if you’re a runner, which I haven’t been for many years, there are places where you don’t want to just head out the door and run the neighborhood, especially with my crummy sense of direction. I know that when I’ve traveled for work, even when I brought the right shoes and planned on hitting the hotel gym, the shoes usually stayed in the bag.
For many years I’ve been a regular gym-goer, an avid summer cyclist, and for the last few years, yoga. So when we left on this year-long adventure—no problem: I brought my yoga mat and we brought bikes. And after a slow start, we’ve been cycling a couple of times a week, which has been great. But after an initial burst of effort trying to track down a YMCA or a good yoga studio when we pulled into a town, I quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen. We’ve been in cities sometimes, but more often we’re staying near small towns and parks. Not that many yoga studios in state parks, I’ve found.
So for the first couple of months on the road my yoga mat took up room in the back of the truck and I slowly started to feel slug-like, in spite of the cycling. Finally I made myself get out the mat every morning and at least do the floor exercises—sit ups and push ups and such—that I used to do at the gym. But I’ve been a little stumped on going beyond that in the face of the limitations of our tin can home.
We have about 4’ x 15’ of free space down the middle of the Airstream—perfect for the yoga mat and floor exercises, but only if Bruce isn’t up and taking up space (just kidding honey!); so I do them before he’s up in the morning. I think I know what you’re going to say: why not put on the yoga video you brought? That’s a good idea. I’d need to stick to the long skinny poses, and do it with the sound off if I’m trying not to wake Bruce up. So far it hasn’t happened.
But this seems like a cool solution: I recently came across a New York Times piece on The Scientific 7-Minute Workout app (developed by Gretchen Reynolds)—“12 exercises deploying only body weight, a chair and a wall”—that claims to fulfill all the mandates for high-intensity effort, based on science. And I have to say, this timed series of jumping jacks, wall sits, pushups, step-ups, squats and the like in fact does feel like exercise. Best of all, I’ve already been doing the ab crunches and planks—now I just need to build on that and push harder.
So, let’s say I actually do make the switch—some of this I have to do outside since jumping jacks in the trailer would probably knock it off its jacks. (Which means at times I’ll have to ignore the gaze of our state park neighbors as I’m out there doing my thing!) If I get bored with this little workout, I can also take advantage of The Advanced 7-Minute Workout, which downloads with the same app; it’s a more complicated series of exercises that incorporates weights. I haven’t tried this one yet, and not just because Bruce says I have to get rid of a comparable amount of weight in the trailer if I want to bring the weights on board.
But if you’re going to travel, live in a tin can, or both—for a year—this seems like a great way to solve the exercise routine disruption of going on the road. I’ll let you know if I actually stick with it. If I don’t you probably won’t hear about it from me.