Yep, last week of July and it is holiday season! You have worked hard to get yourself in shape to look good in your beach wear and now’s the time to let all that hard work unwind… OR IS IT!
Don’t get me wrong, you holiday should be a time to completely de stress, unwind and relax, so this is not a blog telling you to work out daily and drink green smoothies instead of pina coladas, but some words of wisdom of how to return from your holiday at square 3 rather than all the way back at square 1.
Steve’s exercise tips
Without a doubt the best time to get some movement in when on holiday is first thing. Leave it too long into the day and I guarantee that the lure of a mid afternoon cocktail or a sun drenched nap will out ride the desire to exercise. So rule 1 is that you MUST move before you even sit down for breakfast or a shower.
So what should you do…
My advice is this. Only do movements that you enjoy. If you hate running, don’t run. If you hate swimming, don’t swim etc etc. This is a holiday and all that you do should be pleasurable. The next thing is to keep it short, no more than 30 minutes at an absolute maximum, 20 minutes is plenty! Finally, try to do the same workout every other day and keep it a little bit competitive with yourself. For example, if you are swimming 30 lengths, try to beat that time every other day. This way it prevents the workout from becoming stale and ‘doing it for the sake of it’ and now gives the workout a purpose which is crucial for motivation.
Here’s what I’ll be doing
So me and Jess are off to Lake Como on Saturday before going on to a friends wedding in Tuscany later that week. I have checked out the accommodation on google maps and we are roughly half a mile by foot to the nearest jetty into the lake. So here’s my plan…
Run 1/2 mile to Jetty
Swim to a marker in the lake (roughly 200m out) and back
Run 1/2 mile back to the villa
then 5 rounds of –
20 push ups
10 sit ups
I will do this every other day and try to beat my times. On days in-between I have a 20-30 minute yoga session that the brilliant Philippa has put together for me to sort my pathetic shoulder and hamstring mobility.
Remember – I will do this FIRST THING when there are no excuses to back out of it.
- Get up and go without doing anything else
- Only do movements you enjoy
- Keep it short, a maximum of 30 minutes
- Try to repeat it and compete against yourself to stay motivated
- You won’t be breaking any records and might not feel on top form but chill, your exercising on holiday… You’re already winning!
Molly’s eating Guide
More than likely on Holiday, as the day progresses you the sugary calories will creep in… A baguette for lunch, an ice cream in the afternoon, a few drinks in the evening etc. So make sure you get those good fats and proteins in early on – Avoid the calorie dense food like croissants and pastries and go for Eggs, smoked salmon and some veggies. If you have done your morning workout as Steve suggests then add a little carb source in too like a slice of toast or some fruit.
There are many healthy food choices when on holiday that are still very delicious. You will always find grilled or BBQ’D lean meats as well as fresh fish, especially if you are by the sea. When ordering I suggest picking a lean meat like chicken, turkey, steak or fish paired with lots of veggies or salad to add more volume to your meal. Then for your carb source look to choose boiled or baked potatoes, sweet potatoes or rice. Try to moderate the number of foods you consume that are dressed in oil or deep fried.
Buy or Bring your own.
When I go on holiday I am normally opt for self-catering, so I like to bring my own snacks or buy some food out there. This will mean you have some control over what you do and don’t eat.
Likewise, with snacks I take with me so that if I get hungry I have something on me that is ready to eat which means I don’t end up snack on junk.
Supermarkets abroad will often have some great healthy food sources, especially when it comes to the fruit and vegetable section. I like to buy lots of fruit, vegetables and salad leaves. This means I can whip up a quick snack or a big salad for lunch. Tinned tuna or salmon is another great protein source that doesn’t even need to be stored in a fridge.
Being in a hot country means our bodies will need much more water than normal. It is vital to stay on top of this as becoming only slightly dehydrated can leave us feeling unwell. Top tip of mine is to buy several big bottles of water, keep them in your fridge (if you have one in your room) then decant into smaller ones to carry with you throughout the day. This will not only save money but also makes it far easier to stay hydrated throughout the day. Thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger so staying hydrated may also keep you feeling fuller.
Go easy on the cocktails.
We all like to enjoy a few drinks on holiday. However, it is important to be aware of just how much sugar some cocktails can contain. Don’t be discourage from having one or two of your favourite cocktails, just be aware that drinking those sugary pina coladas or margaritas all day will hugely increase your sugar and calorie intake.
Indulge but don’t splurge.
I like to keep my breakfast and lunch light so that I can enjoy the evening meal as much as possible. This way I have indulged in some delicious food but haven’t over done it all day. It can be so easy to use the excuse ‘oh well, I am on holiday’ to justify eating whatever you want and however much you want. Of course, indulge in the local cuisine and delicious foods on offer but try to resist the urge to splurge for no reason other than being on holiday.
Enjoy your holidays guys
Feel Fit. Love Life.