We often approach holidays as if they’re our dream lives, and shouldn’t bear any resemblance to our everyday lives, and for the most part that’s true. But when you return, the post-holiday blues start to kick in, and it doesn’t help when you realise you’ve gained some weight because all you did was eat pasta and gelato, and drink wine.
Life is about balance, and the same goes for travelling, if maintaining some level of health and fitness is important to you. And it doesn’t have to be hard. Here are eight easy ways to do it.
Pack exercise clothes.
This may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many people don’t pack exercise clothes (I’m guilty). Working out in your fashion sneakers is not a good idea, for your feet or for the shoes.
Hit up the hotel gym.
This is a given if you’re staying at a hotel, and the gym amenities are usually amazing. It’s also a great way to beat jet lag. Can’t sleep? Work out!
Schedule workout time.
Just as you schedule workouts in your everyday life, you’re more likely to stay on top of it if you work it into your holiday routine. We know you’re “on holiday,” but it could be as simple as waking up an hour earlier to go for a pre-breakfast run or walk. Bonus: it’s a great way to explore the neighbourhood you’re staying in.
Bring a fitness DVD.
Not all accommodations are equipped with a gym, so if you need extra motivation pack a fitness DVD — this is something Michelle Bridges does. “I always take my fitness DVDs with me,” Michelle told The Huffington Post. “I use them all the time because it saves time; I roll out of bed and work out. I’ve built them so that you don’t need much space. You don’t have to have a gym to get a work out. Five exercises: squats, push ups, crunches, burpies, and shuttle runs. I’m going to do each for one minute. Run to the park, do each exercise for a minute, have a breather, do it again, breather, repeat. Run yourself home. Done! Or run to the beach, take yourself for a swim, run home. Done!”
Luckily, because 90% of us mere mortals aren't fitness-focused enough to remember to pack a workout DVD for our holidays, some hotel chains already have us covered. JW Marriott hotels & resorts have partnered with America's leading ballet company, The Joffrey Ballet, to bring exclusive barre workouts to every Asia-Pacific hotel room in on-demand video format; Behind The Barre. They're also launching a Barre to Bar Brunch package, including a morning barre workout followed by champagne brunch at their Singapore South Beach location. Sign. Us. Up.
Do a Tabata workout in your room.
This is similar to the point above but you don’t need a DVD, and you can do them purely with bodyweight (we know you’re not going to pack dumbbells in your luggage). A Tabata circuit is a high intensity workout that generally operates on a pattern of eight 20-second exercises followed by 10 seconds of rest. It’s quick, but effective, and you’ll be tired before you know it. If you do it properly and really push yourself, you should feel like you’ve worked out after 15 minutes.
You can alternate the exercises as you please — an example circuit is squats, push-ups, alternating lunges and planks. There are plenty of circuit combinations around—just make sure you alternate so your body has time to rest between sessions.
Take the opportunity to try city-specific workouts.
I’m going to use the U.S. as an example here. Look up workouts specific to the city you’re travelling to—for example SoulCycle in the States, where you might find yourself cycling next to a celebrity — because it may be the only opportunity you get to do them. Remember to book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Eat as much fresh produce as you can.
We take our local supermarkets and always-stocked fruit baskets for granted at home. When you’re on holiday you almost have to remind yourself to eat fruit and vegies. You may think it’s the time to throw your diet, or regular eating plan, out the window, but you won’t feel so great when you return home 5kg heavier because you ate pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
One potentially good thing about eating so lavishly is that you may start craving healthy food. Stock up on easy-to-eat fruit like bananas, apples, grapes and stone fruit, and try to stick to natural nut and muesli bars instead of high-sugar processed ones when you need snacks.
Walk as much as you can.
When I went to Europe for two weeks on my own, I ate pretty badly. (I’m also not the healthiest eater at the best of times.) So I was really surprised when friends told me I looked like I’d lost weight upon my return. I can only put it down to the fact that I walked pretty much everywhere — I didn’t track it at the time, but my iPhone’s in-built Health app told me there were days where I walked about 30km. OK, I don’t know how accurate that is, and it may have counted public transport as well, but I do recall days where I walked for hours.
Same thing happened to me in Japan. I thought I’d eaten double my body weight in ramen, but I didn’t gain any weight because we walked so much.
The bottom line: we should all walk more, and try to incorporate it into our daily lives. Just make sure you’re wearing the right shoes.
From: ELLE AUSTRALIA