Stay Fit and Healthy on Holiday!

Are you getting beach-body ready? So many of us work hard to get in shape for our holiday and why not? It gives us an aim, a focus and the motivation to reach our health and body goals. But a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be start-stop, it should be a way of life because we act in accordance to how it makes us feel and make decisions based on the benefits of healthy living. It shouldn’t consist of cycles of ‘indulge and deprive’ but an ongoing state of mindfulness of what we eat, keeping active and loving our bodies. So then, why should it stop as soon as the holiday begins?

All too often, a change in routine sees us from going one extreme to the other. I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t relax and enjoy your downtime but I know how an all-inclusive holiday can end up, especially if you’ve been slogging yourself to get there. Overindulgence, feelings of guilt and being unwell are things we need to avoid and ensure we don’t set ourselves up to suffer. Don’t let the change in environment stress you out or leave you feeling flustered with decisions of what to eat and when – you can still eat in a health-conscious way and have a good time but it doesn’t mean deprivation – it might however just require a little more thought. I believe a few small considerations can help you to find a good balance for an enjoyed holiday but one that is also healthy and stress-free. Since I am preparing for my own holiday next week and figuring out how to keep my own exercise regime and nutrition on track (because it makes me feel good), I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some effective ways to stay healthy during your own holiday.

Nutrition Tips

1. Take healthy snacks – Having healthy, nutritious snacks to hand will definitely help as you’ll be less tempted to eat the unhealthy snacks on offer at those hungry moments. Take nuts, fruit or your favourite protein/snack bars in your hand luggage for the journey and duration of your holiday.

2. Choose eggs for breakfast – Eggs remain a popular option for us health-conscious individuals as they are packed with protein, good fats and essential nutrients. They have been proven to keep you feeling fuller for longer and keep those sugar cravings at bay. Eat them boiled, poached, lightly fried or in the form of an omelette with some wholemeal bread and plenty of spinach for a balanced, nutritious start to the day.

3. Don’t skip lunch – We often lose our appetites in the heat but don’t skip your lunch. Try to eat something cold and refreshing or made from fresh ingredients as they may be more appealing. A fresh fruit smoothie or whole fruit, natural yogurt or salads with protein in the form of meat, grains or nuts are good options.

4. Enjoy treats guilt-free – Try to resist the feeling of over-excitement when it comes to treats. Rather than going on a mad 3-day binge, enjoy some treats in moderation. This way, you get to enjoy that burger or ice cream knowing that you’ll follow up with plenty of healthy, fresh foods too.

5. Drink plenty of water – When the weather is warmer than we’re used to, we will sweat more. Therefore, it’s so important to ensure we drink plenty of water to ensure adequate hydration and optimum health. By drinking plenty of fluid, we’re in a better position to ward off any illnesses or chance of dehydration headaches. It’s easy to forget when you’re too busy enjoying yourself so this is something we need to work harder at.

6. Go easy on the alcohol – Ok, so you’re guaranteed to want a drink at some point on your holiday – it’s all part of relaxing and enjoying yourself. A glass of wine with dinner, a cocktail on the beach or a couple of drinks with your loved ones in celebration are absolutely fine but simply be mindful of how overconsumption of alcohol might make you feel in the morning. Drink in moderation and keep it healthy girls!

7. Be You – Keep up your normal eating routine if that’s what makes you feel good. Remember, just because you’re in a different place doing different things, it’s unlikely we have to stray too far away from our usual habits. Focus on all those things that you enjoy doing and don’t change them.

Exercise Tips

1. Exercise first thing – A food tip is to exercise first thing in the morning whilst it’s not too hot. The boost of endorphins will make you feel good and set you up for a day of relaxation. It also means you can hit the breakfast buffet, eat up and sample some of the local cuisine.

2. Interval training – Interval training is a brilliant form of exercise and an effective fat-burner because you can get a lot done in a short space of time. You only need to do 20-30 minutes for a really good, effective workout so you can complete it quickly and make time for other plans. Try sprints or circuits incorporating active recoveries to improve your fitness levels and get a good sweat on.

3. Go equipment-less – If you don’t have access to a hotel gym, then access to one can be very difficult and expensive abroad. However, you really don’t need treadmills and dumbbells for a good exercise session. Beach-running, swimming and high intensity circuits are amongst the options for the perfect holiday workout.

Try It!

‘Playing Cards Workout’

All you need for this workout is a pack of playing cards. Assign an exercise to each suit and split the pack into 4 sets of 13. Turn the cards over one-by-one and perform the exercise that the suit represents for the number of reps shown on each card. Try to perform the exercises in quick succession to keep the intensity up.

After the first set of 13 cards, either take a 90 second recovery or complete a short cardio burst made up of 10 burpees, 30 spotty dogs, 30 mountain climbers and 30 high knees to keep your heart rate up. Once you have turned over the whole pack, the workout is over! Simple.

For example:
Clubs = Jump squats
Hearts = Press ups
Spades = Ab crunches
Diamonds = Tricep dips

So, in relation to this, the 8 clubs would be 8 jump squats or the Queen of spades would be 12 ab crunches and so on. Remember, you can assign any preferred exercise to each suit. You can also assign different exercises to the ace and picture cards if you want.

Cardio Circuit
If you’re struggling for exercise ideas, here’s a simple cardio circuit which can be done any time, any place:
10 Burpees
20 Spotty dogs
10 Power Squats
20 Mountain climbers
10 Jump Lunges
10 Power Star Jumps
10 Press Ups
20 High Knees (on the spot)

Perform the circuit 5 times through with a 60-90 second rest in between each set. It is a tough circuit which is effective and works the whole body. You can decrease the intensity by performing them with less impact or change it up by adding some resistance bands movements.

Please remember that a holiday shouldn’t be viewed as a set-back or something that ruins your normal healthy routine. Try and find that balance between doing those things that make you feel good and enjoying the rest. Focus on making memories and new opportunities to see different places, sample different cultures and trying new foods. It shouldn’t be about extremes or a negative cycle of guilt or worry. Enjoy your holiday, do the things that make you feel good and the rest will take care of itself.



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