Traveling is tough on any sort of routine, but anyone who has tried to keep a workout regimen while on a vacation or a business trip has experienced the difficulty of fitting in training on the road. But for people like Warren Miller Entertainment athlete Jess McMillan, who travels a lot and must stay at the top of her game as far as strength and fitness, on-the-go training is not an option, it is a necessity.
McMillan, who travels for both big mountain competitions and for filming, has been so busy this season that she only spent 37 days at her home resort of Jackson Hole. So she recently adjusted her training schedule to make sure she stays in top shape no matter where she is. The pro skier and Pilates instructor offered us a few tips and insights on how to make the most of your time on the road, and get the training in-without any excuses.
In the past, I’ve just relied on skiing while traveling to stay strong, and supplemented it with some stretching [and a little Pilates]. But this year, I have spent so much time on planes: I went to Europe three times, and then to Alaska, and Revelstoke, Canada, and I spent three weeks in Telluride, CO. I had to do something else.
I got this iPhone app – it’s actually a mobile workout from Men’s Health magazine. It has different workouts, like a quick 20-minute one, or an elite athlete one, or my favorite, the Spartacus one, which kicks your butt. It doesn’t use any weights or machines, so you can do the in your hotel room, or if you are not to embarrassed, in an airport during layovers. You can always find a quiet spot to do it in an airport. You feel so much better when you land if you do a little workout.
On planes, I sometimes get up and do like 50 squats in the back, by the flight attendants galley. They might look at you a little funny, but then I don’t show up with creaky knees. What started that idea for me was I was flying to Japan, and I saw a girl doing yoga back there! I figured well, if she can do that, I can get up and do some squats. You have to be okay with yourself – just own it!
You have to use your time. Everyone has 20 minutes a day for a quick workout. Or if you don’t, get up 20 minutes earlier. I could just sit down and have a cup of coffee, but I stay motivated. I want to make sure I am feeling my best when I get where I am going.
When we are filming, and we have to wait for the camera crew to set-up, or find us a new zone, it would be so easy to just take a nap or sit and chill. But Dav [Chris Davenport] and I have had push-up contests, or we do lunges. Sometimes we’d even find a small boulder and stand back to back, passing it around to each other. That’s an awesome core workout. And then you are ready to go when it is time to ski a big line.
If I only have a little time, the essential exercises are pushups for sure, and squats or squat jumps, and lunges. I also do the pigeon stretch, from yoga, which gets your glutes, and piriformis, IT band; everything that gets super tight on skiers. Lastly, I do something for my core, like T pushups. That uses practically every muscle in your body. It’s awesome.