Work hard, play even harder! You have toiled all year long, you have worked long hours and haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months. Finally you get your reward – a two week trip to an all-inclusive beach resort or a 20-day Caribbean cruise, or something like that. And the only challenge is to stay fit while in paradise.
It is a real threat, not an imagined one, say experts: 8 out of 10 people come back slightly overweight after a summer holiday. And that is not a part of your vacation dream, is it? Refreshed look – yes, replenished energy supply – of course, some extra pounds – highly doubt it.
We are here to share our personal experience on how healthy lifestyle enthusiasts behave on summer holidays and give you some insights into how to treat yourself to a holiday without severe restrictions or feelings of guilt afterwards.
How to stay fit with pleasure and without guilt on holidays
As we agreed in Sports Motivation article, the quickest way to succeed is to move step by step. Actually, we start with bite by bite and ask you the following question:
Do you really need that much of food?
We truly believe that open bars and lavish buffets could be the biggest challenge. Admit it: it is really tempting to try everything available (you have paid for it already!). Even if there are healthy options, somehow you end up with one plate loaded with fish-meat-lobsters, and another one with fruits and greenery and a few tiny cupcakes on top – to celebrate vacation.
Three ideas to contemplate:
1. Change your focus. It is a matter of pride for the hotel to offer the biggest variety of food it can afford, but is there any need for you to consume it all? Hardly. Yes, you can. It is not that you shouldn’t eat that much, you simply do not need to.
Take a moment right now and try to imagine you have been paid for a hard project at work, with food. Sounds absurd! So why should food be considered a prize on holiday? What to do instead: try to change your focus and fill your holiday time with positive emotions.
You can afford to select the best, so focus on quality, not quantity.
Try to balance an American approach to food (food as fuel) with a French one (food as art of pleasure). Usually, on holiday we do not need too much fuel and you definitely deserve some pleasure.
2. Be aware of who you are sitting with. There are, and always will be people around you who treat every meal as if it is the last they will ever eat. Your surroundings matter so be aware of what you eat when surrounded by these people. Read more for inspiration at Truth or Dare article
3. Know the tricks. Stick to a one-plate rule (but don’t be absurd and pile on 3 layers of food). Stay hydrated: your brain may misinterpret the signal for thirst with a craving for food. Add flavour to your food without using salt (add a squeeze of citrus fruit or some herbs instead).
See, not tough! And one more fact as an additional spritz of inspiration: preventing weight gain is much easier than losing pounds.
Get Your Perfect Butt Up and Move around
Here they are – 8 ways to spend your time fitvizely. Try them all, choose those you like the most and commit to at least two of them this season. Can you do it?
1. Every resort and almost every hotel has a gym. We don’t like them. They are pocket -sized, abandoned and full of surprises. Last time the author of this article was in the Hilton, she hit her forehead on the too clean, and therefore transparent, front door of that gym in a not too sporty way.
But those 15 minutes you spend on a treadmill could be a fitness oasis in a free food desert. Unless you get a secret last minute deal, you can investigate the gym opportunities prior to your trip and even take sport apparel with you.
2. Use hotel swimming pools. Yes, we know it is unexciting to count your laps when all you have is 3 lanes, and one of them is occupied with a honey moon couple (get a room, hey!) and the other one with kids who want to play with a ball. But all you actually need, for 20 laps is 15 minutes. So wait patiently and you will be rewarded. Or get insider information on the quietest swimming pool hours from the hotel concierge. Perhaps you will get lucky and enjoy the pool all by yourself.
If you find swimming freestyle too boring – try using pieces of pool equipment to target your inner thighs or arms, for example. In fact, you can complete an entire aqua aerobics class with a piece of equipment that you can find at any pool area.
3. Don’t be too shy to take part in entertainment and sports activities: aqua aerobics, stretching classes, dance workouts and so on. Of course, they are beginner-oriented, but if it benefits your body – why not?
4. Take local discovery tours. Preferably on foot or by bike. If you have more than a few hours at your disposal, discover the city on foot. Doing so is a healthier option than hop-on-hop-off bus tours, and you have more opportunity to find fantastic insider spots this way. Plus, all of the information you get with a bus audioguide you can easily google in 10-15 minutes. And then forget forever.
Check out our video with remedy for sore legs
We understand that sometimes it is impossible to walk around. Firstly, your resort could be in the middle of nowhere (Egypt, Turkey, Zanzibar etc) and in very rare cases there are no options for pedestrians – like in Dubai. Luckily we have the following two options.
5. Go shopping. Hah! What a surprise. Still it’s true. One of our friends admits she can complete 50 000 steps in one day in the mall. So sweet. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, go to the huge malls: you can explore the local culture and no one really cares whether you actually buy anything or not.
6. Take a private workout via Skype. Free wifi is all you need. And you can do it every day! This is great option for the hours when it is too hot to sunbathe or go sightseeing.
7. Consider recorded workouts to be a good alternative to your favourite gym classes. Subscribe to our youtube channel and stay tuned for the latest workouts.
Check out this morning workout video for more inspiration
8. Choose to be active. Of course, we cannot predict what you will find at every hotel in every country, but here are a few ideas to inspire you:
- golf classes
- walking tours
- segway tours
- horse riding classes
- surf classes
- rented bikes
- 10 mile (or so) walks along the beach/coast
Yes, it will cost you some money (except for the walking). But you do not remember the food after a holiday, friend.
Emotions – that’s what you will remember and value for many months ahead
And finally, last but not least:
Beat the Heat and Stay Fit: 7 Tips to Exercise Safely in Hot Weather
- Keep exercising regularly, but choose moderate-intensity workouts.
- Postpone your cardio till early evening. Or wake up early, really early and go for it.
- Avoid air-conditioned gyms. Your body doesn’t need sharp changes in temperature.
- Stay hydrated. Self-explanatory.
- Wear proper clothing. Breathable, natural materials are the best choice.
- Wear sunscreen. And don’t forget to renew it every 2 hours or so.
- Listen to your body. Sometimes enough (exercise) is enough.
First, share you tips how to stay fit with us in the comments bellow
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and enjoy the summer!