By Martin Ebner
The summer holidays are well and truly here and with it, a great sense of “to hell with my diet and exercise plan”! No more so than when traveling abroad.
We spend weeks and months sacrificing and working hard to fine-tuning our bodies for that 1-2 weeks of glorious summer vacation, only to arrive and throw it all down the toilet (often literally) the moment we arrive.
Before you do, though, stop and take a moment to remember how hard you worked to get beach body ready. It doesn't have to be one extreme or the other. With a few simple tweaks to your regular diet and exercise plan, you can at the very least, limit the amount of damage to both your waistline and internal organs whilst on your holidays this year.
Here's what to do:
1. Be realistic
There is no point in saying that you're going to exercise every day and stick to a strict diet if it's not realistic. Approach your holiday as a short period of maintenance or at the very least, damage control. Chances are if you're too critical and strict with yourself, you'll A) end up having a miserable holiday or B) You'll swing so far the other way and end up doing nothing at all.
2. Get your workout done before breakfast
Prioritise your workout and get it done first thing. You'll not only purge your poor insides of the night before's one-too-many, you'll also be more likely to set off a domino affect that encourages you to make healthier choices throughout the rest of the day.
3. Keep active at the beach 🏝
From beach volleyball and football to surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving, the seaside offers a great range of ways to stay active. While you may be tempted to put your feet up and sizzle from sunrise to sunset, try to take advantage of all the activities the beach has to offer. In addition to getting a more natural and even tan, it's a great opportunity to try something new.
4. Control your alcohol consumption
Alcohol in moderation is always encouraged on holiday, just try not to go overboard. Alcohol is packed full of empty calories (those that offer little to no nutrients), impacts the quality of your sleep and makes you feel shit the next day. A hangover-free holiday sounds good to me!
5. Skip the carb and fatty alcohol-accompanying snacks
If you quickly brushed over and dismissed point number 4, I don't blame you. However, do yourself a favour and skip the greasy snacks that we too often associate with drinking. Not only will you avoid eating hundreds and possibly thousands of unnecessary calories, you'll also avoid catching the germs you so often find lurking in the communal nuts bowl
6. Explore on 2-wheels 🚲
There is literally no better way to explore your new surroundings than on a bike. It's cheap, stress-free, cooler than public transport and could burn off a few hundred calories allowing you some much deserved and guilt-free indulgence when you reach your destination.
7. Get involved in the local sporting activities
Unless you're in some far-off region of the world with no one but yourself to entertain, get involved in some local sporting activities. Running, boxing and boot camp-style fitness classes are in abundance these days. All of which are affordable and a great way to meet like-minded people.
8. Skip the all you can eat buffet
By all means, indulge and enjoy some “cheat eating” just please stay away from the buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. They're totally unnecessary and needless to say, they lead to mass overeating!
If you're from a cooler climate like the UK, and even if you're not, it's important to stay hydrated, especially when the temperature is higher than what you're used to or when spending long periods of time in the direct sun. Water regulates your body temperature and will help reduce your risk of heat and sun-related illnesses. None of which are any fun!
If you experience symptoms of dizziness, muscle cramps, lethargy, and tiredness, you could be experiencing dehydration.
10. Book a couple of sessions with a local Personal Trainer
If you think that without accountability, all your good intentions and efforts to exercise will be thwarted, prebook a couple/pack of sessions with a local personal trainer. By having a prepaid standing appointment, you're far more likely to stick to it and stay active when on holiday.