Sunday, 24 May 2015

Staying Active and Healthy on Holiday

WAIT, WAIT! Don't move on just yet!!
I'm not about to tell you to live a fully healthy and exercise filled life while on holiday.

But... there are a few groups of people out there (me included) that might wish to just keep things ticking on holiday and also limit the damage to their hard work which has been taking place leading up to the holiday.
People that actually enjoy exercise (yes, they/we exist), people that are a long way from their goal and want to avoid as many backwards steps as possible, people that don't want to "start over" when they get home (remember the pain of last time) or people that simply enjoy feeling healthy and active - read on.
If you want to travel light but take the odd piece of equipment with you while you're away and without a gym then there are a few great options.
TRX: While it may seem costly, the TRX (or similar suspension training equipment) are extremely versatile. They allow you to work the entire body and have progressions/regressions for most exercises meaning that everyone from an experienced exerciser to a gym-novice can challenge themselves. There are also a number of great apps with free TRX workouts on them so, if you're unsure what to do, you can have someone walk you through a workout step-by-step. They're also lightweight to pack and don't use up much valuable luggage space. A few quirky ideas here if you want to try some tougher exercises: 
or 15 other exercises here: 
GLIDERS: There are a few options available to you, personally I pack the purple disks below as most places on holiday will have a tiled floor for these to work on. These particular disks aren't that cheap so an alternative is to use two small hand towels/flannels. The majority of the exercises that you can do with these are core based exercises but they're easy to pack and offer you some challenging workouts that you can even do in your room.
if you want cheap disks that can be used on carpet and astroturf, I tend to use furniture moving disks from Amazon. Very cheap and do exactly the same thing. If you're on holiday and forget your disks you can even use an upside down Frisbee - no excuses now!
RESISTANCE BANDS: These take up a little more space and are a little heavier BUT... offer you a chance to do standard resistance work on the move. Again, they are really versatile and can offer you a different workout with improved time under tension if used correctly.

Alternatively, body weight workouts can be highly effective and challenging too. Plus, it's probably something a little different to your normal exercise regime so it might be a refreshing change for a couple of weeks while you're away.
There's loads you can do and plenty of people on YouTube have pieced together workouts for you to follow too. Check this one for a few bodyweight ideas: 

Or, if there's a kids park nearby you have even MORE exercise options available to you. Like this park workout:

Whether you decide to have structured "workouts" on holiday or not, it's important to try and stay active on holiday. Walk, swim, climb, play, crawl and play. Rest is important but stopping your body from moving freely as it should is an absolute no-no.

If you're on holiday it's usually hot (you'd hope) - which might be bad for exercising. However, the gym hotel is usually empty - which is good for exercising. Why not make the most of this rarity and put together quick gym circuits? You can blitz through a number of exercises quickly and have the rest of your day to relax and enjoy your holiday.
Be creative: recently on holiday I set a timer up for 30 secs work, 15 secs rest. I had a spin bike, my body and a single dumbbell that was about 10kg. During the working 30 seconds I simply alternated between the spin bike and a bodyweight or dumbbell exercise. I soon worked up a sweat and covered all major muscle groups and movements in 20 minutes or so. Then a recovery swim in the sea - beautiful start to the day!

Remember: "you can't out train a bad diet". So while cake and pudding might seem tempting at breakfast, lunch and dinner, aim for a MINIMUM of 50/50 as a good/bad food ratio. Be aware of what you're consuming. Try to avoid unnecessary sugars and aim for the high protein options at all times.
Also: remember to drink plenty of water. Not JUST when you're dehydrated by sip it throughout the day and remain hydrated; especially with the increase in temperature and alcohol levels that you might be consuming.
Don't let health and fitness ruin your fun. But likewise... don't let your fun ruin your health and fitness!
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@MichaelD_PT) and YouTube

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