Staying on track with your training and nutrition can be challenging at the best of times, but as holiday season approaches it can get especially tricky! While lots of us have summer fitness goals to help us feel at our most confident on the beach, we also have a lot of temptation to contend with – hello to barbecues, treat-filled picnics and summery cocktails (they may have fruit in, but they’re definitely not a health food!).
Staying on track doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the things you enjoy, but it is a good idea to consider how you’re going to balance everything out. You can have fun and indulge, without derailing your hard-earned progress. It may seem stressful, but with a little bit of forethought, it needn’t be.
It’s important to get away from the “all or nothing” mind-set that some people adopt when on holiday mode – in other words, train super hard and stick to your meal prep perfectly at home, then suddenly take a few “cheat days” or an entire week off where nothing is off limits. This won’t do your body or mind any good.
It’s important to understand that eating well and staying active is about consistency, but not perfection – no need to worry if you miss a workout or indulge in extra dessert, as long as you don’t do it every day! The important thing is to stay healthy and feel good about your choices. Here are some of our top tips to stay on track this summer…
o Ask for dressing on the side of your salad – you can control how much you have
o Request a starter instead of a main meal if you’re ordering dessert too
o Opt for tomato-based sauces instead of creamy ones
o Ask for leaner cuts of meat
o Ask for less pasta and more veggies
o If you’re at a buffet, grab a small plate and fill it up instead of filling up a large one – your eyes are bigger than your stomach!
It’s generally recommended to aim for 10,000 steps every day, and there are loads of mobile apps that can help you to track this to make sure that you’re staying active. If you’re on holiday, exploring new cities or going on hikes around the area is a great way to rack up thousands of steps – so you’ll be exercising without even realising it.
Lots of cities offer free walking tours – this is a great way to explore a new place, learn all about its history AND get in some exercise without making any effort.
Try to balance out lazy, relaxing days with more active days. If you’re at home this might mean packing a picnic and going for a bike ride with the kids. If you’re off on holiday, look for fun activities in the area – kayaking, swimming, rock-climbing…
Gym just along the corridor? No excuses not to get a quick workout in before you head out for a day of tourist fun. Hotel gyms are often basic, but there’s loads you can do with minimal equipment, so get creative.
Staying with family? See if their local gym has a weekly pass you can invest in. Headed off somewhere sunny? Plan some fun HIIT workouts on the beach – get your tanning in as well as your workout. Love running? Then check out routes ahead of your trip, and see if there are any running groups you can tag along with.
If you already have your trainers and gym kit in your bag, you’re far more likely to work out! Think about packing some simple equipment, too, like a resistance band, skipping rope or TRX bands. It can be fun to get creative and use these for a hotel or beach workout when you’re away on holiday.
It’s really easy to mistake thirst for hunger, and if you’re in a hot country you’re more likely to get dehydrated and make this mistake! If you want to learn the facts about hydration, have a quick read of our blog How much water should you be drinking?
Calories in alcohol are all too easily ignored, but they really add up. Depending on the recipe, a Long Island Iced Tea for example can add up to a staggering 780 calories! Try opting for less calorific versions like a Cosmo or gin and diet tonic. Also, alternate between one alcoholic drink and one glass of water, to avoid downing a drink when all you really need is extra hydration.
Whether you have a long car journey planned to see some relatives, or have to hang around at a train station or airport, packing healthy snacks is a really good idea. It’s all too easy to be tempted by the chocolate bars at the service station or jumbo-size Toblerone bars at the airport. Prepare some healthy trail mix or cut-up fruit so that you have something sweet but healthy to snack on.
Plan, prepare, perform. The 3 Ps are the key to succeeding whatever fitness goals you have, and using them in holiday season will help you to stay on track too. Plan your workouts and meals, prepare your workout gear ahead of time and perform as well as you can despite disruptions in routine.
Headed off on holiday? Chat to our trainers for fun holiday workout ideas and extra tips to stay on track!