We’ve all been there - you’ve been counting down the days, going to every gym class within 10 miles of your house and eating super healthy to fit into your new summer dress and skimpy bikinis - until, finally, your long awaited and well-deserved break arrives. While you should absolutely enjoy the food and take a break from hardcore workouts – you are on holiday after all – there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure all of your year round efforts won’t go to waste.
If your holiday involves all-day trekking and walking then this advice won’t be necessary – you’ll be getting all the exercise you need already!
If your dream holiday involves lounging by the pool of your fancy Air b’n’b villa or sipping cocktails on the beach, don’t worry, there are still some things you can do to stay active, no matter where you are.
Swim – While this may seem intuitive, not many of us actually do it on our holidays. You don’t have to turn into Michael Phelps; 10 to 20 minutes per day of splashing around and swimming in the water will do. Any physical activity burns more calories when done in water, as your body has to work against the water’s resistance.
Beach Walks – Walking and running in water are great to strengthen all your muscles, and are especially beneficial if done waist deep in the sea, as the salt water will also help stimulate lymphatic drainage, leaving your legs feeling lighter. If that sounds too intense for you, walking briskly on the shore is also a good workout and provides a natural sand massage that activates circulation. The iodine and magnesium you breathe in by the shore are proven help to reduce stress and induce a general sense of wellbeing.
Be creative – Throw in a few items while packing your suitcase; sportswear, resistance bands and a jumping rope, that will allow you to work out wherever you are. Once you arrive, you can use plastic water bottles as dumbbells, stairs or a chair as a step platform and paper plates to exercise and tone up your arms, core and glutes.
Bodyweight workouts – Tabata and HIIT workouts won’t take more than 20-30 minutes in total and can be done anywhere. It’s just about choosing exercises you can do using your own body weight or the above-mentioned items and repeating them in circuits, or for a set amount of time, alternatively. Several phone apps (Sworkit, 7 Minute Workout, Seven) have pre-timed circuits with explained exercises that are easy to follow.
Make the most of the activities available to you wherever you are – whether it’s stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, surfing, canoeing, dancing, cycling or horseback riding – anything that keeps you moving (and you enjoy as well!) is a great form of exercise, especially if it’s not something your body is used to.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, especially if you’re somewhere where it’s hot and humid. Drinking water will help you stay hydrated and aid your body to flush out all the excess sugar and salt from those poolside margaritas and chips’n’dips.
Last but not least – don’t forget to enjoy your holidays!