Following the success of my previous post a few months back ‘Making time for exercise while you’re on vacation’ I decided to create a follow up blog post, seeing as summer is right around the corner. I always have questions from people about how to stick to their training program and my advice on how to eat healthy while on holiday. Now, here is some reassurance, you can still incorporate exercise and eating healthy without compromising the joys of being on holiday. While you may or may not have access to a gym, there are still some simple and effective exercises that you can do regardless. When I am on holiday I love to exercise outdoors. Not only do you get the benefit of exploring and creating new and exciting adventures but you are also getting fit as well (double win).
Firstly, I wanted to share some of my top tips as well as some exercises that you can do to help you stay fit while you’re on holiday.
- Drink water
It’s funny but a lot of us don’t realise that while we are away loving life and drinking piña coladas on the beach, that we are often forgetting/not drinking enough water. It is vital that along with all of your fun activities (alcoholic ones included) that you are still drinking at least 2 litres of water daily. It is so easy for your body to get dehydrated so try your best to always have a water bottle with you and keep hydrated throughout the day. Often when we are away we tend to opt for drinks that usually have a very high sugar content paired with our meals throughout the day. Now without compromising this, try to have water with breakfast, lunch and dinner and sugary/alcoholic drinks in between meals as opposed to drinking them with meals. This will not only aid with digestion but this is also another simple tactic that you can do to ensure you are drinking enough water and still treating yourself to delightful and well deserved maragaritas as well!
2. Balance food portions
Now personally I used to find this very difficult when I was away on holiday. Usually when we are overseas we have the neverending options of delicious food i.e. pizza, pasta, fries… However, while there is nothing wrong with treating yourself, it is so important that you manage your portion size. When presented with a buffet that spans the size of the reception area in the hotel.. your taste buds will go wild. Although you may be eager to eat anything and everything there.. realistically you won’t and you will most often end up over eating. So, what I usually recommend is to plan out your meals. By this I mean to go and scan out all of the food that is on the buffet before you start adding food onto your plate. Try to incorporate one main carby meal i.e. pizza and pair this with a good selection of vegetables and a side of protein i.e. fish, chicken. Now after eating your meal, I suggest waiting at least 15 minutes to decide if you still want to go back for more. If you do, try to add some yummy items from the salad bar like seasoned chickpeas, corn, beans. Finally if you are also a dessert lover like myself then you will certainly have room for dessert. Now instead of pilling up your plate up with all of the cheesecakes available, try to limit it down to one thing. I will also pair my dessert with a lovely cup of green tea and by the end of the night I will be more than full.
3. Think damage limitation not deprivation
I eat healthy 80% of time during the week. A lot of people will usually deprive themselves of the ‘bad food’ and only eat those when they have a cheat meal. Personally, I don’t agree with this because I feel that when you start to create the mindset of depriving yourself of having treats because they are ‘bad’ you will end up craving them more. Therefore, I strive eat healthy during the week not because I have to but because I want to. And if I want a slice of a chocolate cake, I will eat a slice of chocolate cake. I look at it as treating myself to something that I want to eat as opposed to having to eat it in a cheat meal. When I am away, I still maintain this philosophy. Some nights at dinner I may have the odd slice of cheesecake but often for dessert I eat greek yoghurt, with fruits and nuts which is just as satisfying. Eating healthy food makes such a difference in how I feel and gives me such a boost of energy. So therefore when I have the opportunity to treat myself with yummy things if I personally don’t feel like it… I wont. I don’t look at it as ‘Oh this is my only cheat meal of the week so I must eat all the chocolate cake, pizza, pasta etc. I can tonight or I won’t be able to for the rest of the week’. It is all about creating a balance that works for you. However, this is my personal philosophy that works for me on a daily basis and when I am away. Some people may not agree with it and believe that having a set day for cheat meals is the best route. But I still think it’s important to share with my readers what I have found that works for me and is easy to stick to. At the end of the day, when we are off on holiday having a good time, we don’t want to be depriving ourselves of yummy things and stuck in the corner eating salads all day wishing we could be eating a piece of pie. So don’t be that person! Treat yourself every once and a while but just remember to also fill your body with nutritious and healthy food and not neglect that.
4. Incorporating exercise
Now, while this may seem more daunting to some.. it actually isn’t! Incorporating a simple but super effective 30 minute cirucuit three times a week while you are away on holiday will make a huge difference. Simply, going for a run down the street or for a workout in the park, are simple things that you can do to incorporate exercise in your busy schedule. For me, I will usually exercise 3-4 times a week when I am away for around 45 minutes (including warm up). Since I am an early bird I will exercise first thing when I wake up. If I don’t have access to a gym I will workout on the balcony or in my hotel room. There is always a way!
Here a simple outdoor circuit that you can do while you’re on holiday. Be creative and tailor the workout to fit you and your location! If the weather is quite bad and you can’t workout outside then do some of the exercises in your room.
My simple outside workout circuit
HIIT running intervals
Get outside in that beautiful sunshine and get moving! I love to begin every workout with a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session. If you have the option of exercising outdoors while you are on that lovely sunny holiday then try this running interval cardio exercise:
Jog- 1 minute (warm up)
Sprint- 40 seconds
Jog- 20 seconds
(Continue the 40 second sprint and 20 second jog intervals for 10 minutes excluding 1 minute jog warmup)
Jog- 1 minute (cool down)
Decline push ups
This is a perfect exercise because it is extremely versatile and can be done pretty much anywhere. Aim to complete 10 sets x 4 reps.
Bench side plank
By elevating your side plank this increases the difficulty of the exercise. Focus on balance. Aim to complete the side plank on each side for 30 seconds x 6 sets.
Bench tricep dips
One of my favourite exercises! Make sure to keep your back as straight as possible and that your arms are in a 90 degree angle when you come down. Aim to complete 10 reps x 4 sets.
Romanian jump lunges
Time to work that booty. This exercise really targets those glutes as well as increases your heart rate. Aim to complete 10 sets x 4 reps per leg.
Excuse my face I was literally gasping for air haha. Great cardio exercise and it is perfect to do indoors or outdoors. Aim to complete 12 reps x 4 sets.
These are just some of the many exercise that you can do while you are away on holiday.. no excuses! But remember exercise is fun and don’t forget to enjoy yourself.
Take some time to explore. I am an island girl so if there is a beach there is a high probability that you will find me there.
Be creative! Mix up your workout routine. If you are on holiday with your other half or a group of friends get them involved as well.
I really hope that you guys found this post helpful. Wishing you all the best with your upcoming holidays!
Love Mel x