Workouts in Sweden’s great outdoors

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Before I get on to my wonderful time in Spain, I wanted to share with you workout ideas you can do on your next holidays. In fact these are just the workouts I did in Sweden and I am happy for you to copy them should you have the opportunity to travel soon. Just because your on holidays doesn’t mean the work outs stop. In fact working out in the great out doors is an awesome way to see new places and see what the local people do in each town you visit.
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There is one piece of information that always stuck with me in regards to de-training. After just 4 days of not training, your body goes into de-training mode. Muscles take a lot of energy to maintain, which means the old saying sticks “ if you don’t use it, you lose it”. This means your body will break down energy taxing muscle tissue. Your ability to take up glucose and efficacy of fat burning slows down too.
All in all, if you are planning to take a break probably best to throw in a workout every 3-4 days to maintain fitness.  You will prevent muscle and cardio vascular decline. This is a little bit different for athletes who tend to over train. Leading up to competitions athletes taper (reduce training volume) or rest for a 1-2 weeks. This is so that muscle and adrenal fatigue diminishes. Fitness levels remain high there for the gap between fitness and fatigue are reduced. Athletes can perform with maximal fitness and next to no fatigue. If you’re an athlete that has been training hard you could potentially take more time off without losing gains.  Who wants to do that though? Exercise is fun!
When I travel I tend to try and exercise when I get a chance at least every 3rd day for 30-40min to just maintain what I have. There is nothing worse than spending the first week back at the gym feeling like an unfit walrus. That coupled with irregular eating patterns with time zone changes it’s a recipe for disaster.
My main place of residence in Sweden was Helingenburg a city on the boarder of Sweden and Denmark. Even though it may be difficult to workout every day due to travels, an every second or third day attempt is near enough. Here are two of my workouts that may give you ideas for your next trip, or if you make a trip to Helingenburg any time soon.
My first work out was a 6km run through the city to the wharf. Along the way I spotted a few monuments and cafes to come back and try out later. My favourite discovery though was this little critter in Heligenburg square. This is something I really enjoy doing finding statues or things to take pictures with. It really is fun to and makes for great pictures to laugh at later. Maybe you can go on a run to find the funniest monument in the city?
On the wharf we stumbled across an out door gym. Perfect for strength training in the sunshine. Parallel bars for leg lifts, dips and deep pushups. A chin up bar for chins and a lat pull down machine even the oldies where giving it a go.
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To finish it off a concrete ledge for: step ups, sit ups, and more dips and push ups. All of this took 20minutes and boy was it great for the arms!
Three days later we decided a forest workout would be a great experience. This was a 7km run from the apartment. If you’re not a runner, hire a bike to ride or walk. In this case my cousin didn’t fancy running either so she rode on a bike next to me. Cycling with a road bike is lower intensity and gears can be set at different resistances according to your leg strength.
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This time we travelled past the wharf to the forest where we completed intervals of walking and running for 20 minutes. In the forest we found another outdoor gym. Fantastico!
This time we had different pieces of equipment: hyper extension platform, parallel bars for dips and leg lifts, chin-up bars and best of all logs to lift. This log area I thought was really cool. After watching a few people use them, I jumped at the chance. The logs where attached to one stationary log and the action was to press it above your head. You could do a one armed shoulder press of double-armed press with a squat. I felt like a Viking, maybe I should coin it the Viking workout?
Don’t forget there are many more ways to workout apart from lifting logs and running. Try hiring a bike and cycling around the city, swim at the beach, go for a long walk, play putt putt or even volley ball at the beach. Your options are endless.  All you need to do is plan when to do it and what you feel like doing.
On one of my previous holidays I visited Mexico city. I was so keen to attend an aerobics class, because at the time back at home I taught 20 classes or aerobics in a week. Believe it or not it was in Mexico city I tried my very first Zumba class. Zumba didn’t even exist in Australia yet. In high altitude in some back street gym I felt sick and out of breath, but I discovered Zumba. I came back to Sydney and one year later, I became a Zumba instructor myself.
Who knows I may be the first to bring log-lifting workouts to Aussie land?
Sipping cocktails poolside, all day long may seem relaxing at the time. However when you get back off holidays you will regret it. You don’t want to start back at square one huffing and puffing your way on the treadmill. Do you have any exciting workouts you tried in strange places around the world you want to share?
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