It’s officially holiday season with many of us jetting off to parts unknown over the next few months. But just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean that your fitness journey has to be too. Keeping fit on holiday (whilst still having fun) just involves some mindful choices throughout. By staying consistent with your diet and exercise, you give yourself a much easier job once back to your old routine. That said, a holiday can also be a great time to try new activities and ways of keeping fit and healthy.
Now here are some ideas to keep you on track.
1. Explore on holiday
This is my favourite activity on holiday and it can burn some calories too. You only really get to know a place by walking or cycling around it. Anything faster and the hidden gems will pass you by.
Exploring different areas on your holiday is something the whole family can be involved in. We’ve climbed up mountains and jumped around rock pools before as a family – it’s something my daughter enjoys too. Plus, it can be a good way to stimulate children’s imaginations!
You can also be adventurous when it comes to your activities. Try something you’ve never done before and work your body in different ways. Mountain biking, swimming, diving, hiking, climbing and watersports are good options. Of if you’re staying in a hotel that offers fitness classes, try some of them.
2. Be careful of extra calories
Extra calories can soon add up. So if you are concerned about packing on the pounds over the holiday, be mindful about how much extra stuff you could be consuming. Alcohol is often the biggest calorie culprit. If you’re drinking throughout the day, try swapping some out for water or similar low calorie soft drinks. It’ll help with the impending hangover too! Or you can swap higher calorie options (like wine and cocktails) for drinks like vodka with Diet Coke.
Similarly, be careful of some food choices (especially if you’re at an all-inclusive). It can be tempting to load up on lots of pasta, bread, and sweet treats. But try to eat as many vegetables and get as much protein as you can too.
3. Use your bodyweight
Beef up your knowledge on bodyweight exercises before you go on holiday. Even if a hotel has a gym, it’s often an overlooked part of the resort without much equipment. I often prefer to forgo the gym altogether (unless it is very nice) and stick to bodyweight exercises and my own equipment to get me through. Plus, it mixes up your usual fitness routine a little bit. Variety is the spice of life!
To make your workout ultra-effective, I’d recommend compound exercises and combining different moves to work different muscle groups at the same time. We probably all know about push ups and sit-ups, but to make them harder why not try a crawl out into a push-up or a sit up into a Russian twist? Burpees are a favourite of mine because they are so versatile. Try squat jump burpees, switch lunge burpees, or (if you’re feeling ambitious) corkscrew and one-legged burpees.
Of course, if you’re not sure about how to perform any of the exercises get a professional to check your form before you fly off – a personal trainer or gym instructor can help.
4. Pack lightweight equipment
If bodyweight exercises don’t appeal then you can always take your own equipment. Obviously weights are out of the question (unless you have a very generous baggage allowance). However, investing in some resistance bands or a TRX suspension trainer can offer you some variety and really take your exercises up a notch.
Resistance bands come in various strengths and are relatively inexpensive on eBay and Amazon. A TRX is slightly pricer but you can find some good options also online. There’s a ton of different exercise videos out there to give some inspiration on how to use a TRX – the manufacturers themselves post up regular Instagram videos with new exercises they’ve dreamt up.
Alternatively, you can get a personal trainer to write up a programme for you whilst you’re away, incorporating the equipment you have plus some other exercises. Cheeky plug here, but if you do want to go down this route, my inbox is always open!
5. Remember it’s all about balance
This is an important one. It’s called a holiday for a reason! Vacations offer you a chance to get away from the usual rat race and recharge. Make sure you listen to your body and mind. If you do indulge at the hotel buffet, then just remember to do a bit more moving around the next day. Likewise, if you’ve gone on a long hike and wake up with DOMS all over your body, then there’s nothing wrong with chilling by the pool for the day. If drinking all night, stock up on water during the day.
Your health and fitness doesn’t have to take a back seat on your holiday, but it also shouldn’t be in the driving seat (unless you’re on a sports/activity holiday, which is a whole different thing). Take your time off to focus on you. After all, your mental health is just as important as your physical wellbeing.
So, bear these tips in mind when you head off on holidays this summer and you’re sure to have a well-balanced and healthy time. I’ll see you by the pool.