Life is too short to be counting calories when you’re on holiday. Your annual break away will most likely only account for 7-14 days out of the 365 in the year…so you shouldn’t feel guilty about having that big blow out meal when you’re on vacation! However you can still stay in shape on holiday and it might just be easier than you think…
The main purpose of a holiday is to rest and relax. It is a chance to do something different. In turn you want to come back to your normal day to day life feeling rejuvenated.
However, as you prepare for your holiday you might be secretly thinking that you don’t want to completely undo all the hard work you have put into your fitness or weight loss regime thus far.
It’s all about finding a balance when you’re away. You don’t want to deny yourself that ice cream and equally you don’t want to eat so much food you end up feeling bloated, sluggish and guilty!
Exercise in disguise
There are plenty of forms of ‘exercise in disguise’ that holiday environments can provide. Even walking around exploring your new surroundings can work wonders. A lengthy and brisk walk sightseeing can burn calories equivalent to that of going for a jog.
In previous years, I have taken part in all sorts of activities and classes on holiday. On my last holiday abroad I tried pilates in a morning. You might think I would want a rest from exercise! But it’s nice for me to do something for my self and I like trying new things (it makes a change not to be the instructor!) Pilates is a different type of workout to what I’m used to and out in the fresh air under the sun I found it both relaxing and invigorating.
You have the gift of free time when you’re away. For example, you can go for a nice long swim at your leisure at any time of the day. This is very different to trying to squeeze in a workout at the end of a working day when you’re tired and feeling rushed off your feet.
If you do enjoy swimming and are visiting a hot summer holiday destination you definitely won’t associate hopping in the pool with working out. Swimming is hugely beneficial as it counts for both cardio and strength training. It’s also highly effective for toning up. Staying balanced and level in the water helps you develop the deep stabilising muscles in your core and lower back that women often miss.
If you are going on a family holiday then there are many opportunities for burning off some of the extra calories you will have consumed. Frisbee on the beach is good exercise but we think of it as family fun. Most resorts abroad and holiday sites in the UK will offer a range of activities and have leisure facilities. Ball games, golf, tennis, badminton or aqua aerobics – there will be something for everyone and spaces to run off energy. There’s a real feel-good factor attached to being out in the fresh air and not sat behind a desk indoors. Not to mention you can give yourself a pat on the back knowing you won’t be back to square one when you return from your jollies!
Make time for meal times
Whilst getting some exercise while you’re away can be easy, sticking to healthy eating habits may seem virtually impossible!
However, one benefit of being on holiday as I have already mentioned is time. Rather than rushing about, skipping meals or eating quickly to fit in with our hectic daily schedules, we have the time to enjoy our food on holiday. Eating slower allows our body time to tell us when we are full. We tend to be better at staying hydrated in the summer holidays too, especially if the weather is hot, allowing us not to confuse hunger with thirst.
Whether you are going all-inclusive or self-catering, there is more importance placed on breakfast and eating well in the morning to keep you going for the rest of the day’s activities. It’s a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but this often gets overlooked when we are rushing to get ready in a morning. Warm weather also triggers a desire for healthier, lighter foods such as fruit and salad.
You shouldn’t worry about indulging a little in food and drink or reducing the amount or intensity of exercise you normally do for a week or two. You’ll get back to your current fitness level pretty quickly when you return to your normal routine. Just don’t stop exercising altogether, that’s the key.
And don’t forget, have a wonderful Summer!