Oh the joy of going on holiday! For some this means putting up your feet and doing nothing more energetic than raising a glass; for others it means actually having some time to exercise.
Of course, holidays should be a time to relax and revitalise, but for most of us this also means gaining weight. It’s so unfair but it only takes a few days or eating, drinking and lying on a sunbed to put on those pounds but then it takes weeks to lose them again.
So here’s my top tips for ensuring you avoid that holiday weight-gain without spoiling your relaxation…cheers!
Pack your trainers – so you can burn off calories as you go sight seeing, but your footwear will make all the difference. So many of us spend hours sitting everyday – at desks, in the car, watching TV – that it’s a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly be walking miles on holiday. Walking is a fantastic activity and it doesn’t feel like exercise when you’re wandering around a new city or getting to the beach. Just watch out if you’re wearing flip-flops for hours as there’s no arch support and as they are flat this can lead to plantar fasciitis or jogger’s heel which is really painful.
Get in the pool – not just for a nice dip to cool down. Even if you’re not a stylish swimmer, moving in the water is a fantastic way to workout without breaking a sweat. Try jogging in the pool or the sea; you can burn 12 calories a minute as opposed to 8 on land. Also the water offers resistance, which is great for toning muscles, without straining your joints. You can even tone your tum – float on your back, holding onto the side of the pool with one hand then take your feet underneath and behind so you’re floating on your front. Keep swinging your feet forward and back – you’ll be amazed how hard your abs have to work!
Steps – it’s often the most lovely beaches that are hidden away and the only way to reach them is by climbing hundreds of steps….perfect. Not only does climbing stairs work your glutes and thighs, it’s great for your heart too. If you’re carrying a couple of beach bags, you could burn off 100 calories by climbing 150 steps at a brisk pace. If you’re staying in a hotel then choose to use the stairs instead of the lift – it can be your daily workout without going to the gym. Although going downstairs doesn’t burn as many calories it’s still great for balance and coordination.
Take your band – a resistance band weighs a few ounces, takes no space to pack and is like having a portable gym in your suitcase. Think that every little helps, so even if you do 5 minutes of resistance exercise you will be contributing to higher calorie burn – and most importantly improved muscle density which means you burn more calories even when you’re asleep. Leave your band out and in sight so you can get up, do some band exercises and it will only take a few minutes out of your day.
Track your activity – using your phone or fitness tracker can be a real incentiviser when you see how many steps you’ve taken, how many stairs you’ve climbed and how many calories you’ve burned. Set yourself a realistic target then have the satisfaction of knowing once you’ve achieved it you can enjoy your reward – guilt free.