Preparing for a relaxing holiday or your next overseas adventure? It’s easy to forget about your fitness and health with all the excitement (or stress) of booking flights and accommodation. However, a holiday overseas or to your favourite Australian destination is the perfect opportunity to get fit or to take your fitness to the next level.
As you are packing your swimmers or snow boots, be sure to remember to take your running shoes. And if you’re thinking a holiday is a time to relax, consider this; it’s easier to stay fit and on routine than to start from scratch when you get back.
Book the right accommodation
When planning your overseas or interstate trip, look at the facilities of the accommodation you book. I tend to book places with a pool so I can always swim for exercise. If you want to keep up your strength training make sure you book a place with a gym. It’s also good to note how close it is to the attractions or sights you want to go and if there are public transport options available. Catching public transport to the shops or sightseeing ensures you walk. It will increase the amount of steps you do, keep you fit and it’s cheaper than catching a taxi!
Casa Vela Guest House Portugal seen above is just outside of Lisbon city in a village called Cascais. I loved this pool! Try this workout, swim one lap under water. Press your way out of the pool repeat the press 10x. Do a lap around the pool of walking lunges. Finish with 10 push ups and 10 ab curls. Repeat 4 times.
Plan active fun things to do
Holidays to new destinations are the perfect opportunity to try an activity you have never done before. Not only is it exhilarating, it will keep you fit and the perfect substitution for a regular gym workout.
Some activities might include booking a hike or a walking tour of the city you are visiting. Going rock climbing or kayaking. The sky and the ocean have no limits!
The picture above is Red Beach in Mallorca Spain. You have to hike and climb rocks to get there. But its worth it, because the water is clear and great for a swim.
Take the stairs, avoid the travellator
Walking through airports and train stations it’s easy to get into the lazy frame of mind and opt for the escalator or travellator. But I urge you to think about taking the stairs and walking the distance instead of taking the easy way out.
Stairs provide the perfect opportunity to tone the glutes (butt muscles) and thighs. It burns so many calories! Walking increasing your step count so you burn energy and stay fit. Both of these things help to make up for the fact that you’ll probably miss a workout that day. It’s also good to improve the circulation in your lower limbs in between long haul flights.
If you do have the pleasure (or stress) of being on a 2 or 3 plane trip long haul flight its important to do exercises on the plane and in between flights. It will help improve circulation, reduce cramping and prevent deep vein thrombosis. Try this, every 2-3hrs stand up and go for a walk up the isle of the plane. You will find extra room to move around near the bathrooms or emergency exists. Start with some leg stretches, reach and touch your toes, quad stretch and do a back twist. To finish aim for 10 squats and 10 calve raises. Blood moving through veins is pushed back to the heart by muscle contraction. When you squeeze your muscles it squeezes the veins and moves blood back more efficiently.
Plenty of stairs at this remote location seen above. This is the stairs of a castle situated in the clouds in Portugal in a small town called Sintra.
Order the right food when eating out
Don’t get into the trap of thinking holidays are all about booze and desserts. Whilst it can be a fun time to have a few extra drinks and try new sweets, also look at it as an opportunity to try local cuisine.
Luckily “local cuisine” in Portugal includes custard tarts, even better they are super small, which means they are portion controlled.
Start by always ordering a salad as a starter. Often, whilst traveling, salad and veggies are scarce, especially when you are surviving on airline food for 2 days! This can cause nasty things like constipation or an upset stomach. So, do yourself a favour and make sure you get your salad and veggies in as soon as you touch down. You can also look at travelling with a fibre supplement, like Metamucil, that you can easily drink during a flight.
This is an entree dish I ordered in Santorini Greece. It included hummus and egg plant. Legumes like chickpeas are very high in fibre, accompany this with vegetables and you can’t go wrong.
When ordering main meals, choose options that contain a lot of veggies and protein. Protein will help to maintain muscle mass whilst traveling and it will help you to stay fuller for longer, circumventing the desire for dessert.