Talk about a road warrior: Fitness personality and creator of the popular TORCH’D 28-minute workouts, Isaac Boots visited four countries during two weeks in June. “I travel every week by car, train, and plane,” says the Hawaii native. When he’s not logging miles, Boots is firing up the fitness level of celebrity clients like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kelly Ripa with his TORCH’D workout, a combination of body-weight resistance and dance cardio. No gyms, no equipment, just you — and only 20 or 30 minutes a day, he swears: “All you need is your own body to get a really great workout!”
The former Broadway dancer-turned-Ariana Grande’s choreographer will land on the Cape, doing a residency at the Wequassett Resort & Golf Club (wequassett.com) in Harwich from July 13-29. (He was last in the area for a quick stop with Grande years ago.) We chatted with this traveling trainer to get some tips on staying fit and healthy during vacation season, when many of us are in Full Indulgence Mode. Are you ready, Boots? Start talkin’.
Q. Any good snack suggestions for travelers, besides Cape Cod Potato Chips and Craisins?
A. I like to have a little bit of protein and a bit of fruit. Almonds are the best, but since I’m allergic, my go-to is Medjool dates and unsalted organic cashews — they are just an amazing combination. The dates improve digestion, promote brain health, strengthen bones, and satisfy your sweet tooth. No salted snacks, no alcohol. Drinking alcohol and taking in salt is a recipe for bloating. It’s all about making those little choices to feel better and do good for your body. When I arrive someplace, I typically have to go straight to work, so I can’t feel sluggish and miserable.
Q. Speaking of misery, readers confess they can’t poop and sleep when they’re traveling. Thoughts?
A. Hydration is everything. I finish at least a liter of water on every flight. This definitely helps with the first instance. And wherever you are, get a full night of sleep on local time. To me, CBD products are the key. (Boots launched a line of TORCH’D CBD products in collaboration with Mindset Wellness.) I sleep like a gem. I couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t get enough sleep.
Q. The summer road trip is a New England tradition. Any advice for making it more comfortable?
A. I firmly believe in rolling up a towel and sitting on it, or putting it against your lower back to relieve pressure when sitting down for long periods of time. Try it — you won’t believe the difference in how you feel. In the passenger seat, take a tennis ball and roll it under the arches of your feet or under your upper thighs. It feels amazing and releases tension. Rolling it under the thighs releases unwanted pressure on your hips. That’s a trick of the trade of Broadway dancers.
Q. Many of us are back to flying again, in all of its cramped, miserable glory. Any moves we can do in-flight that won’t alarm fellow passengers and flight attendants?
A. Yes! If you have the room, reach your arms straight in front of you with fingers spread wide, lift them over your head, and resist the air on the way down. Do this 30 times to find mobility. When you spread your fingers wide, you activate all the fibers in your arms. Then, hold your arms forward and make tight circle movements — three clockwise and three counterclockwise — and repeat the series three times. This keeps your blood circulating.
For legs, flex your feet and point your toes with straight legs 30 times, then roll your ankles in circles outward. Then reverse the direction and do that series 30 times before repeating the entire series thrice. Think point, flex, circle, reverse. This improves circulation through your lower body and activates your thighs, calves, and entire foot, so you won’t stumble off the plane.
As soon as I check into my hotel, I get in a workout. Just…get…it…done! Carve out that 20 minutes. That has served me in good stead. On my Instagram, you’ll see me in a different hotel room in each video.
Q. For many of us, travel is all about trying everything — all the local foods and beverages. Resistance is futile…
A. If it’s cacio e pepe or a beautiful gelato, I’m in! Like my grandma always said: Try everything but leave some for the angels! No need to scarf down everything. [Boots brings a photo of himself and his gran on his trips—”It makes me feel at home wherever I am.”]
Q. What are you looking forward to eating while you’re on the Cape?
A. There’s a song I’ve been obsessed with, “Old Cape Cod” by Patti Page. There’s a line in that song, “If you like the taste of lobster stew, served by a window with an ocean view…” That’s what I want! So, I guess Patti Page is responsible for my craving.
Isaac Boots is coming to the Wequassett Resort & Golf Club for his New England debut, teaching classes on the lawn overlooking Pleasant Bay on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings from July 13-29. Hotel guests, $30; non-guests, $50. He also offers private group classes for up to 25 people and one-on-one sessions. For information, visit www.wequassett.com and www.isaacboots.com.
Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at [email protected]