Going on vacation? You don’t have to leave your healthy habits at home. Kathleen Alleaume shares her top holiday stay-fit tips.
Do your holidays involve quiet relaxation, minimal running around and long leisurely meals with a glass of wine…or two? If so, you might end up bringing home ‘excess baggage’ of a rather personal kind.
When we take a break, we often forget to take our healthy habits with us. But staying active can help you make the most of your time off and boost your long-term health. Try some of these simple ways to avoid adding pesky holiday kilos!
An action plan
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, or so they say. So, at the very start of your break, commit to a regular time of day for physical activity. Consider it a special kind of ‘me time’—it’s your investment in returning from holidays feeling great!
The 10-minute workout
Engaging in just 10-minute bursts of exercise can bring you real health and fitness bonuses. A new study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows that even brief stints of activity at a moderate-to-high intensity can have a positive impact on your metabolism.
Go for short brisk walks, or, if you have access to a pool or body of water, try treading water or water jogging, or simply swim a few laps.
Even making everyday habits healthier—by taking the stairs instead of the lift; walking, rather than driving, to the corner store; or doing push-ups or lunges—can make a big difference to the amount of energy you burn throughout the day.
A family fit for life
Kids learn about exercise from their parents, so make fitness part of your family routine. The key is to keep it simple and fun.
Set up a ‘game’ that mimics gym-style circuit training: You can do intervals of hula-hoop and jump rope, or play frisbee, handball, hopscotch or good old catch. These kinds of activities consist of cardiovascular exercises as well as strength moves, giving you a total-body workout!
Good shape in a suitcase
To ensure you squeeze in a full-body workout wherever you are, remember to squeeze some fitness equipment into your suitcase. Pack fitness DVDs, resistance bands, a bat and balls, frisbees or a skipping rope. You can also use furniture to do simple exercises: A stable chair can support push-ups and tricep dips, and a closed door can provide a reliable grip for resistance bands. Forgot your equipment? Use a mobile device to help you work out. Find inspiring apps and videos at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
An active social life
When you’re catching up with friends and family, do you tend to sit down and chat, orperhaps even watch television together?
Why not make your social events more active? Go for a family swim on a Saturday, or splash into some new water sports, such as kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or even surfing.
Meet friends for an early-morning walk or sunset stroll—you may find it so enjoyable you vow to make it a regular event.
Once you get yourself and others moving, you’ll find it surprisingly easy to make your holiday social calendar flex with you!
Remember to relax
Have fun finding new ways to be active, but don’t overdo it. Stay fit without losing sight of the real reason for the holidays: to relax and spend time with people you care about. Urge the family to join you on gentle twilight walks and the like, and you can do both!
Top tip: Staying active helps you cope with stress, avoid weight gain and feel your best while you enjoy traditional holiday pursuits.