You know the feeling. Holiday season is here and you are finally getting away from routine. Whether you’re staying home or travelling abroad, you’re bound to feel more relaxed. And that includes your exercise and healthy eating regime, too.
Enjoying too many fried goodies, because you know, comfort food or sugary treats because you’re on holiday after all; or having a happy hour most hours of the day. Lounging by the pool all day and not having any time to exercise because, well, it just seems like way too much effort for this new you, new relaxed you, and…you get the point. A holiday can truly wreak havoc to an otherwise smooth regimen.
So how do you ensure you stay in top form while vacationing?
As the saying goes, if there’s a will, there’s always a way. And the way comes in the below 7 tips.
Watch those not-so-happy drinks
No one said anything about enjoying a drink or two but unless you want to throw all your recent fitness and health right doings away, do watch your intake. Alcohol packs empty calories but that’s not even the worst news.
If you’re on holiday for more than a week and drink a few every single day, then that might well turn into a habit you’ll have a hard time shaking off once back home. And while I don’t suggest you’ll end up in your local rehab shortly after your holidays, you might lose your motivation to exercise after work and reach for that relaxing glass of your favourite tipple instead.
So go ahead and say no to that second glass while still on vacation. Now take a deep breath and feel your liver’s gratitude.
If you can’t run, WALK.
If you’re a fellow runner like me who sometimes needs a push to actually go for a run at home, then finding the motivation to go for a run while in a new location might be that much more difficult. If you relate to this, then be like Johnny – start walking. Walking while on holiday is a great way to engage in a fitness activity without it disrupting your and your fellow holiday partners in crime daily plans. Make sure you use your app tracking how many miles you got through in a day.
Keep an eye on odd activities
If you’re staying in a hotel or a resort, there’s bound to be some fitness activities you can sign up for like yoga by the beach or a 5k fun run for holidaymakers.
Or if you’re feeling exceptionally brave, find out if they have an unusual activity like a mountain hike or swimming with dolphins. Anything out of the ordinary as you’ll be more likely to stick with it. And what a great story that would make for your catch up with your pals post-holiday.
Indulge in moderation
No, I’m not saying you can’t eat what you like while vacationing. But being mindful of each meal is helpful in many ways. Firstly, getting back home wouldn’t feel and taste so bland. Secondly, fast food or overeating will make you feel sluggish and lethargic and that is not a good recipe to enjoy a holiday. Sure, if you’re in Italy you should eat the pizza and enjoy it too but make sure your next meal is something healthier like a protein salad. And yes, you can have a dessert after. Just make sure you stick to only one and try not to make it into a daily habit while on vacation.
Always eat breakfast like a king
I do try and follow this rule even when I’m home. Or maybe that’s because I’m pretty starved after my usual morning run. Either way, eating a hearty breakfast filled with all main food groups fill you up for longer. It leads to making smarter food choices throughout the day. Plus, imagine all that extra energy you have for your holiday needs.
Drink it, that is, not splash with it. Sure, you can splash all you want but make sure you drink some before doing so. Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated is crucial in keeping your energy levels and weight in check while vacationing. A good tip would be to buy smaller bottles of water throughout the day and take note how many you’d drunk while you were out and about. And if you feel you’re feeling hungry too soon after eating, then you might be dehydrated and needing some water as soon as possible.
Practice basic moves
Use the time following waking up or before sleeping to do some basic stretches and stretching exercises. This will help keep your muscles relax if they had a more intense day filled with walking or activities. Or if you’re more sedentary during your vacation, will warm your muscles up and give you a boost of energy. Let’s not talk about all the prevention of aches and pains that will bring considering you’re carrying more stuff than usual.
The best thing about being away from routine is that unwillingly, you start following your body’s needs and wants. So unlike eating lunch at the same hour every day at work, you can really relax and tune in your physiological needs.
I find it quite interesting that when on holiday and when tracking my daily activities, I discover I’ve actually been more active than what I imagined. Or what I usually am at home.
Either way, you only live once. You should relax and recharge your batteries when on vacation. I’m only trying to bridge the gap between feeling superbly great when returning back as opposed to you beating yourself up for overindulging way too much.
Moderation is key when on holiday. Always remember:
a) Aim to gain cool experiences, not extra pounds
b) Enjoy yourself, don’t overindulge to the point of self-hatred
And if this hasn’t made you cancel your holiday plans yet, hurry up! You’ve a holiday to enjoy.