OK, so we all know the normal routine when you go on holidays is to splurge; not just with your wallet but with your diet and exercise regime…or lack thereof. A holiday is the chance to re neg on all the hard work you’ve put in all year, to eat what you want and lounge around like a sloth on a branch the only difference being that your next to a pool with a cocktail plus little umbrella in hand not a branch. Sure it’s nice to have a break once in a while, but how comfortable are you with all that hard work you’ve put in all year going to waste? Because let me tell you, fitness and health disappears much quicker then it comes.
A holiday doesn’t HAVE to be an excuse for all of this to go out the window. In fact, in can be just the opposite. A holiday is the perfect opportunity to kick-start your health and exercise routine because, well, you have a whole lot more time to plan and to do. We’ve put together a list of fantastic healthy holiday activities that could see you shedding kilo’s, instead of gaining them – wouldn’t that be nice?
1. Hit the gym running
Well this is of course the obvious one. But most decent resorts and hotels these days have a rarely-used gym facility just begging for you to show it who’s boss. Think about it; no waiting for your favourite machine to free, no watching the clock because you have to be home to cook dinner in 20 minutes in fact no distractions at all. If anything, a hotel gym is probably going to be the most favourable gym experience you’ve ever had. Try to get up bright and early and fit it in before you sit down to breakfast, that way you’re feeling energised for the days activities and confident enough to don that bikini poolside.
2. BYO snack packs
As you’ll be eating out most meals whilst on holidays, making your own snacks is an easy way to be sure those calories don’t get out of control and is a great way to save a few bucks as well. Sure it’s easy to get to your destination and do the whole “it’s hot, we’ll just have an ice cream for morning tea” or “we’re at a theme park we may as well just grab a hot dog” – instead take the time to do a quick shop when you first get there and stock up on healthy snacks like fruit and bottles of water instead of fast-foods and high-calorie, high-sugar soft drinks. This also helps with not skipping meals; try not to go more than 4 or 5 hours without eating. Being famished at mealtime may hinder your ability to make healthy choices and trigger overeating.
3. Fine dining doesn’t mean “fine, I’ll eat whatever I want”
A holiday is a great excuse to get all dressed up and head out to fancy restaurant’s and cafe’s, the trick is to read the menu at a few first before deciding on the right one. This way you can make sure that while the meals still sound delicious, there’s something you can order that isn’t covered in cheese and then deep fried. Grilled fish and salad is always a great option and something that is still a treat. If you must have dessert opt for sorbet or a fruit salad where possible and definitely resist the mini-bar temptation – expensive and full of unhealthy eating and drinking options.
4. Conquer a mountain – or just a hill
Chances are that if you’re on holidays you’ve traveled to a pretty spectacular location. Whether it be by the seaside and it’s long, white stretches of sand, or up amongst the hills and rainforests of the hinterland, it is waiting for you to explore. Don’t get me wrong, lying beside the hotels pool has it’s merits (can anyone say magazine and a tan?) it would be an injustice not to explore all that this new and exciting region has to offer and by doing it on foot you’re ensuring that all those extra restaurant meals aren’t aren’t becoming extra kilo’s on your scales at home when it’s all over.
5. Go all Michael Klim on the resort pool
Nothing beats a morning swim. Getting up early and being the only one in the pool is one of the best feelings in the world. Swimming is also a fantastic fitness choice for just about everyone, especially those who have physical limitations or who find other forms of exercise painful. The best part is that it’s a whole-body workout that has low impact on joints and muscles and the water’s buoyancy accommodates the unfit as well as the fit. Chances are you won’t even feel like you’re exercising but you will feel reinvigorated and energised by the time you’re done – yes please!
6. Ditch the rollers
We’re not talking hair rollers here, feel free to keep those! Sure the convenience of having a bag on rollers is ten-fold – however if your serious about keeping in shape while on your getaway, think about ditching the bag on wheels and distributing your luggage between two smaller bags. That way you have to carry your luggage and you burn an extra few calories along the way too – every little helps right? This ensures your upper body, torso and core get a decent work out too and from your holiday destination.
Most good resorts and hotels should have bike hire available to you. If you are staying in a large city you will often find a hop-on, hop-off type bike system which you can use to best explore it. Research tours and tracks before you leave home and remember to ask. You will find that most people will be more than happy to share with you their best route and you may find an unexplored delight that you can enjoy all to yourself. Just be careful and remain aware of landmarks and surroundings so you won’t get lost and always carry an ID, the address of your hotel or other lodging, and $20 or so in local currency just in case you need a snack or cab fare back.
8. Embrace the local cuisine
It’s often tempting to take the road more-travelled and opt for westernised food when in a foreign country, but, more often then not, the local cuisine will be focussed on the fresh fruit and veg of the region and meats with lots of spice thrown in. These will be dishes that have been made for centuries with what’s available in abundance in that region and it’s usually a pretty safe bet when it comes to eating healthy. Plus it would be rude to go to a new country and not embrace their culture and in turn their cuisine right?
9. Design your own hotel-room gym
If your hotel or resort does not have a gym or isn’t affiliated with a conveniently located one nearby it might be time to do it yourself. A hotel room can easily be turned in to a an effective workout area. All you need to pack is some lightweight, cheap equipment: resistance bands, a jump rope and a sticky mat. Most bands will come with illustrated exercises. You can also do push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats and triceps dips on a chair and get creative – surely you’ve learned something in all those personal training classes!
10. Say yes!
The key to having the most enjoyable holiday experience is by saying yes. Do things that you usually wouldn’t do and step outside your comfort zone. See everything that you can and make memories that will last a lifetime. Chances are that if you do, you will get a great all-round workout and be burning those extra kilojoules just by being out and about and not only that, you will probably have a more enjoyable holiday because of it. So make the most of your next getaway and you will return feeling happy, healthy and ready to take on all of life’s little challenges.
Preperation here is key – do your research before you leave and pack sensibly. There is no reason why you can’t have a fantastic holiday and get in shape too. Now get out there and enjoy it!
For accommodation options please visit http://www.affordableholidays.com.au or call our friendly reservations team on 1300 468 268.