On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
Here’s a fact: the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, likes to run through airports in her Converse sneakers.
In a 2018 interview with The Cut, Harris described her collection of Chuck Taylors, where she seemingly had a pair for every occasion, “I have a whole collection of Chuck Taylors: a black leather pair, a white pair, I have the kind that don’t lace, the kind that do lace, the kind I wear in the hot weather, the kind I wear in the cold weather, and the platform kind for when I’m wearing a pantsuit.”
In between supporting Joe Biden as his running mate for his presidency bid, and serving as a Senator for California, a role she’s held since 2017, Harris certainly has her plate full, which would explain the running through airports in Chuck Taylors. Not to mention she’s also jugging family responsibilities — she’s married to attorney Douglas Emhoff and is the stepmother to his two children, Cole and Ella.
In order to find balance, I feel very strongly about two things in particular in terms of routine. Work out, and eat well.2 Simple Ways To Keep Healthy At A Demanding Job | HuffPost
On a typical day, Harris wakes up at 6am and squeezes in a workout every morning. “Usually it’s half an hour on the elliptical or SoulCycle, and on the weekends Soul Survivor,” she told The Cut. “Sometimes I swim if it’s not going to create an issue with my hair.”
In an interview with Lena Dunham’s email newsletter, Lenny Letter, Harris spoke more about prioritising a healthy lifestyle, “I work out every morning. Only half an hour. I get on the treadmill. That’s it. Every morning, I don’t care what time. It gets your blood flowing. It gets your adrenaline flowing.”
More recently, in an interview with Barack Obama for Twitter, Harris described her workout routine during the COVID lock down, “I had liter water bottles that I filled, of course, with water to use them as hand weights,” as well as her workout playlist, “You know I love some Mary J. Blige.”
Speaking with Men’s Health, Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff described his wife’s commitment to exercising every day and their makeshift arrangements.
“She works out every morning, Now I’ll just tell you a funny story. Kamala usually likes to do weights when she does cardio. In the beginning we didn’t have any weights in D.C. Of course everyone was trying to order weights online in March and I couldn’t find them anywhere,” Emhoff said.
“So I filled two bottles of water, a couple pounds each. They were her weights. She’d be watching the news, getting ready for her day, lifting a pair of weights made of water bottles and biking on a bike I put together.”
After her workout, she’ll eat breakfast (Raisin Bran in almond milk) and drink her tea with honey and lemon, while reviewing her schedule for the day. On the way to the office, Harris will catch up with her senior staff on the phone and review any issues that have come in overnight and plan the day ahead.
I really love working with my team. My process is to gather my senior staff, who are all very smart and thoughtful and trusted, and I go around the room and ask each person for their perspective. Being a leader means that you’re going to have to make difficult calls.How I Get It Done: Kamala Harris | The Cut
Daily life as a U.S. Senator can be overwhelming at times, with non-stop travel adding to the mental and physical toll. For Harris, reading cookbooks and preparing meals for her family is how she finds balance in her life. “Everything else can be crazy, I can be on six planes in one week, and what makes me feel normal is making Sunday-night family dinner,” she told The Cut. “If I’m cooking, I feel like I’m in control of my life.”
In a 2020 profile for Glamour magazine, Harris described her method for turning roast chicken into three meals:
I put it in at 325°F for a couple of hours, I make a sauce out of the drippings, and we eat that for dinner. Then whatever we didn’t eat, I’ll carve that and put that aside because I’ll make chicken salad with that. So that’s two meals. Then I take the carcass and put that in a pot of water with some carrots and celery and bay leaf and some peppercorns. If I’ve got some parsley, I’ll put that in there. And then I cook that for like four hours on the stove. I strain it, and it makes the most amazing chicken broth. I use that in soup, like a split pea, which is just delicious. And that’s three meals.What’s Cooking, Kamala Harris? | Glamour
At the end of a long, busy day, Harris will usually have a hot bath and drink some chamomile tea to unwind. She also likes to read recipes, “I have a whole collection of cookbooks, so if I’m at home, I read them. It could be Marcella Hazan or Alice Waters. Sometimes I just do the New York Times cooking app if I’m on the road, or I try to get past the paywall on Bon Appétit.”
Before you go…
Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.