It is the middle of winter and freezing cold right now in Melbourne, so a lot of people are escaping to warmer climates for a holiday. Having some much-needed downtime and a break from your regular routine is essential to your wellbeing, but that doesn’t mean your fitness and health needs to be put on hold altogether while you are away.
Staying in shape can be hard enough, even with easy access to a gym, workout clothes and a regular routine, but when you’re away on a holiday the obstacles can really add up; Hotels with no gym, hectic travel schedules, all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets, excess alcohol consumption, enjoying too much of the good life.
You don’t have to complete long gym sessions or run on a treadmill for hours to get some exercise in. Being surrounded by sweaty meatheads in a gym is probably the last thing you want to be thinking about when you should be out exploring your new surroundings, which leads to our first tip.
Explore Your Surrounds
This probably goes without saying, but going on hikes, bike rides or walking tours are great ways to keep active when on holiday. It’s exercise that doesn’t really feel like exercise and can often be a great way to explore the area you’re visiting. Checking out local parks and trails, renting a bicycle or just going for a jog around your hotel can all be great ways to see the local area and get some good exercise at the same time. Ask at your hotel for safe routes nearby, places to avoid or just some nice areas to visit in the area. Hotels often have bicycles for hire and many cities now have convenient bicycle hire systems. A lot of major cities have guided walking tours which are generally tip based and can also be a great way to meet new people.
Keep It Simple. Use What You Have.
Don’t overcomplicate things. If your hotel has a swimming pool, swim some laps. If there is a park nearby, use the monkey bars to do some pull-ups. Be flexible. If you feel extra pressed for time you don’t even need to leave your hotel room to get your sweat on. Incorporate bodyweight exercises such as squats, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, planks, burpees, and star jumps into your routine. If you have room to stand, then you have room to squat.
Push-ups too easy? Put your feet on a chair to do incline push-ups or add in a clap at the top of the movement.
Squats too easy? Use your suitcase or some other object to add some weight, or add in a jump at the top of the movement.
Can’t find room in your schedule to fit a workout in? You’re not looking hard enough. There’s always a routine or combination of moves that can ignite your metabolism and spike your heart rate and leave you drenched in a matter of minutes. You’re really only limited by your imagination.
Do Some Research
One of the joys of traveling is trying new things and exploring different attractions, this can include spicing up your fitness routine by doing something different. Before you leave, do your research, locate gyms or fitness classes around the area where you will be staying. Sometimes you can even book in advance, making it more likely that you will fit it into your schedule. Visit a CrossFit box, join in a boxing session or try a yoga class. Whatever you do, it can feel good to mix it up and explore what other cities have to offer and you may even meet some new people that you wouldn’t have met in another setting.
Pack Like A Fitness Pro
Set yourself up for fitness success by packing more strategically than normal. One of the easiest ways to stack the odds in your favour of getting a workout in is to pack your workout gear, or including a couple of pieces of light easy to pack equipment. Having your workout gear on hand will encourage you to work out and act as a reminder when you open your suitcase upon arrival. Skipping ropes, resistance bands, yoga mats and of course headphones are all handy, lightweight pieces of equipment that you can pack with your luggage that will give you some extra incentive and add some variety to your workouts.
Prioritise Your Workout
Sometimes you just have to prioritise working out while on holiday. If you do have a planned itinerary, have a look to determine when you’ll be able to fit in your workouts ahead of time. Ideally, try to work out around the same time every day, even while traveling. Working out in the morning is generally the best option, as it allows you to clear your mind before starting the day and by getting it out of the way early, it is less likely to be interrupted by changed plans or unexpected activities. If you’re with friends or family, let them know you plan on working out during your stay, this can help keep you accountable and they may even want to join you.
Lastly, Take Care Of Your Body.
You are less likely to want to exercise if you feel tired, bloated or hungover. Being outside of your normal environment can often make it easy to forget that to maintain your health and wellbeing the same rules apply as they do back home. Even while traveling try to eat well, drink plenty of water, and get plenty of sleep. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself while away and you should definitely make the most of every moment, but by employing some of these strategies it may just make the difference between coming back feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world or coming back and feeling like you’ve just undone all the hard work you’ve put in over the last 6 months.