Thursday, November 10, 2016

Heading to Las Vegas?

Getting your workout on while traveling, EVEN IN LAS VEGAS

I’ve been traveling a lot lately.

When I travel to a new city, even one that’s in my own country I love to explore it by either going for a run or an extended walk with no particular plan in mind, other than to breathe in and experience the city in the most visceral way possible.

In this way I’ve explored Paris, Madrid, Granada, Sevilla, Nice, Chicago, Rome, Florence, Spoleto, Quito, Philly, Orlando, and many other cities and towns around the world. It’s an awesome way to travel and appreciate what a city has to offer.

But what if you’re in a place like, say, Las Vegas in August, the hottest place on earth?

Doing a little T-25 in my hotel room
There’s the food, the shopping, the crepes, the shows, the people-watching, the burgers, the Bellagio, the casinos, the buffets, all the things you've found on the page, and the throngs and throngs of people milling about and enjoying themselves twenty-four hours a days, seven days a week, 365 a year no matter how hot-as-Hades it is. Is there even space or time for a workout?

When I was in Vegas this past summer to tape Who Wants to be a Millionaire for Teacher’s Appreciation Week it was HOT! Like 107 degrees hot. It was so hot, in fact, that I felt like I was melting every single time I stepped outside of my hotel and I actually like heat. Like, I really LOVE heat. But this was too much.

Did I mention it was hot?

So what do you do when you want to get your run on or do some exercising and it’s a brick oven outside? I’m 100% a fan of exploring the outdoors, but if it’s like you’re on the surface of the sun and your body is not acclimated to the extreme, dry heat of the Mojave Desert, maybe you can go with Plan B or Plan C or Plan D which is stay-in-your-room-until-it-cools-down-and-then-you-can-run-but-it-never-cools-down-and-now-you’re-screwed

If you are dead-set on getting your workout on, you totally can! Here’s what I usually do, wherever I go:

After a session at a swank hotel gym
  1. Once I get to my hotel, I drop my stuff of in my room and head immediately for the fitness center, if there is one. I generally exercise early in the morning, so I check out the schedule and make sure I can do what I need to at an insane hour. I also check out the equipment to make sure it’s in working order, because been there, done that.

  1. If the fitness center is non-existent or gross, that’s when Plan B comes into play. I work out in my AIR-CONDITIONED room. In Vegas, the rooms are nice and spacious, so I can move around and do what I need to do.
  2. To make sure, I don’t miss important workouts, I almost always travel with the following, especially if I’m not sure about a hotel’s fitness offerings:

a yoga mat and strap
running shoes
a running outfit (weather appropriate)
and if I remember, a resistance band

These things are all light, and except for the yoga mat they don’t add a whole lot of bulk in your luggage (unless you have a fancy, expensive, foldable travel yoga mat)

In addition, since I always carry my computer or tablet with me, I can also access exercise videos via Beachbody’s streaming service, Beachbody on Demand. So if I’m not in the mood to make up my own workout, I turn to Chalene or Shaun T and his fine self.

One time, I even tried to put 10lb weights in my carry-on and they were confiscated. Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either…

So I’m all set. If it’s too hot and the fitness center is not to my liking, I work out in my room. There are many things that I can do to ensure that I get my workout in--especially before I go out and get all sun-tired and Cirque de Soleil’d out…

I can do yoga on my yoga mat. There are tons of videos on Youtube so pick one and go! (My favorite series is Yoga with Adriene. I love her!)

I put together 3-4 sets and do 8-12 reps of the following bodyweight exercises:

  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Crunches
  • Planks
  • Jumping jacks
  • Push-ups
  • Speed skaters
  • Jumping lunges
  • Leg lifts
  • Mountain-climbers
  • V-ups

If I have remembered my resistance band I try to diversify my sets by adding some strength-training to the mix with the following (obviously not a complete list):

  • Overhead press
  • Bicep curls
  • Triceps kickbacks
  • Lat pulldowns
  • Chest press
  • Boxing moves (jabs, crosses, uppercuts, hooks)

You can create cool sets and supersets, or make up your own AMRAPS (As Many Reps As Possible), create stations in your room (or hallway if you’re brave), and/or get your intense cardio in by running up and down the stairs.

There are so many things you can do to keep yourself moving, even when you’re on vacation IN VEGAS. Working out wherever I go makes me a better (and more tolerable) traveler.

Do you exercise while on the road? How do you do it?