Whenever we go on holiday, all we are usually thinking about is how relaxing it is going to be. Our thoughts are often around all the great activities we can do, the great sites we might see and in general how fantastic it will be to escape from all thoughts of work and the mundane to have a fun and relaxing holiday.
What I’m sure a lot of us usually don’t do though (if you do though, kudos to you and ignore this assumption I am making) is think about exercising on holiday or being healthy. Why on earth should we be healthy on holiday? Being health conscience in terms of food can be so restrictive, especially while travelling and you want to try all of the delicious meals available to you. Exercise can also seem so dull and unfun when compared to the other activities you would rather spend your time doing. I’ve been in that spot – where thinking about doing exercise and being healthy on holiday is the last thing on my mind – but over the years I have realised that it is incredibly important to do so. While it may not seem like the fun option, it is still the right option to continue to think about the importance of our health while we are on holiday, but before you cry about all the problems it will cause, give me one second.
There are ways to exercise and stay healthy on holiday without losing out on all of the fun, it just takes a few tips to do it all right. You are on holiday, of course – you want to be doing fun and relaxing things you don’t usually get to do at home. So, if you would like some tips for exercising and staying healthy on holiday, then here you go. I hope you enjoy it and this kicking off a few months of mostly summer-related blog posts!
Pack for fitness
I know this one seems kind of obvious and you may all thinking ‘DUH! Of course, we know that we need to pack for fitness.’ If you are one of those people who automatically pack their fitness clothes first (like my dad) then good for you! You probably don’t need this tip then. However, if you don’t usually exercise on holiday and this trip will be your first, you need to remember to fit in your exercise clothes amongst all the beachwear (or whatever other ‘wear’ you are packing for your particular holiday). A pair of trainers and some workout clothes don’t take up much room, and by packing it, you are allowing yourself to train while you are on holiday. I know it is quite easy to use the excuse of ‘I didn’t pack it. Therefore, I can’t exercise on this trip.’ But try not to use it. This is all about doing what is good for our health.
Run, Forrest, Run!
I want to just get this out there before I start this tip. I hate running! Okay, hate might be a very strong word to use so let me rather say I have an extreme dislike for it. I’m not one of those people who feel a euphoric high once they’ve gotten back from a run and it is far from an ‘escape’ for me. In fact, all that I feel after a run is sweaty and tired, and perhaps a small amount of satisfaction and glory that at least I’m done with it now and got some exercise done. That being said and as much as I hate to admit it, running (or jogging) is by far the easiest exercise to do when you are on holiday. You don’t need any equipment (you can run outside), and all you need is a road or a path to run on and a pair of shoes to run in. Running is also a great choice of holiday exercise, not just because it is easy and convenient, but also because it is a great cardio workout that can burn lots of calories. If you dislike running as much as I do, I know this seems awful. But trust me when I say you just need to swallow that dislike because running is honestly the best and easiest way to tick the exercise box while you are on holiday.
Having a positive attitude is critical to success in most aspects of life, including exercising or staying healthy on holiday. Why is that? Well, a positive attitude can make a big difference in how you approach something and how that something ends up turning out. If you have a negative attitude towards exercising on holiday, you will do it begrudgingly and only put yourself in a bad mood. If you have a negative attitude while trying to eat healthy on holiday, you will just feel bitter towards all the people who aren’t and end up being upset with yourself or in a bad mood again. A positive attitude makes a big difference. It doesn’t mean you will necessarily enjoy the exercise or healthy eating much more, but it does mean that you have the right mindset. So instead of being grumpy that you have to go for a run, you are okay with it because you know you should do it and once it is done, you can get back to a day of holiday-ing. Instead of being bitter that everyone else is eating buckets of junk food, you are enjoying the foods that you are trying and appreciating the unhealthier foods you do choose to eat. A positive attitude makes such a difference so try to adopt one for this health kick on your holiday.
By being flexible, I don’t mean anything gymnastic where you have to do funny stretches that include bending your body into all sorts of weird shapes. What I mean is that you need to be flexible to what is around you. If you commit to exercising on holiday, you need to remember that every place will be different and so you might need to be flexible in terms of what exercise you do. Sometimes a run is just not possible, but there is a gym you can go to, or there is a marked off area in the ocean where you can do laps. You need to be a flexible person and work with what is around you to get your exercise done. What you adapt to may not be your preferred choice of training, but unfortunately, you can’t change the place or the situation, so you just need to work with what you’ve got.
Mornings are best
This is the best advice I can give for exercise in general but especially exercise on holiday. Mornings are the best time to get the workout done, without a doubt. The reason I say this is because you can get your exercise done while you are fresh and haven’t used up all your energy on a day’s worth of activity. You also get it out of the way by doing it in the morning. Think about it – if you exercise right after you wake up, then the rest of your day is free, and you don’t have to have the thought of exercising hanging over your head the whole day because you haven’t done it yet. Mornings are also good because things tend to be less busy and everything is usually cooler (before the sun has had the chance to heat everything up). So, even if you aren’t a morning person, I would highly recommend getting your exercise done in the morning once you’ve woken up. That way it is done, and you are free to holiday for the rest of the day.
This one sounds like a challenge, eating only salads or foods that have so few calories they are the equivalent of salads, but I promise you it is easier than you think. When I say you should think about eating mindfully, what I mean is just make the slightly healthier choice. This doesn’t mean that you have to restrict yourself from all things that are unhealthy, mouth-watering and delicious. It just means that you should think more carefully about what you eat. Instead of having a three-course meal, why not skip a starter so that you can enjoy dessert? Or eat two starters instead of a main course? Or, if you want to enjoy a nice hearty meal, why not go have a small, healthy lunch and then enjoy yourself at dinner? Eating mindfully doesn’t mean you have to restrict yourself from deliciousness. It just means thinking about what you are eating and trying to make the ‘healthier’ choice.
‘Hotel room’ workouts
Say you go on holiday somewhere snowy. The thought of going for a run in the snow is so heinous that it just isn’t even a thought because who in their right mind would go running in the snow? So then what is the solution? If going out somewhere to exercise isn’t an option, and sometimes it isn’t, then you can do a ‘hotel room’ workout. There are plenty of exercises that you don’t need any equipment for that can be done in a room. Things like pushups, situps, squats. Why not do one of those? Compile a list of exercises and do a HIIT circuit – just because it isn’t running outside, that doesn’t mean you aren’t burning a ton of calories. Personally, I prefer doing something like this to running, and it is a great way to get a workout in when you can’t do anything else.
Take advantage of what’s available
Much like being flexible, if you want to exercise on holiday, you need to take advantage of what’s available. This means that if you don’t like running outside and your hotel has a gym, use the gym! If you prefer swimming and there is a place for you to swim, take advantage of it. If something is available that you prefer doing or will make working out a more manageable and less stressful experience, then use it! It is the same as walking somewhere when you have a car that you could use to drive yourself there. It is just silly to not use and take advantage of what is around you, so don’t. If it is there, use it!
Sharing is caring
Nobody likes to share food. If you do, then you are way too kind. Would you give away your last slice of pizza? If you would, then you are a saint (and I don’t believe you because everybody wants their last slice of pizza) but if you wouldn’t, then don’t worry. I wouldn’t either. Well, sometimes sharing food is a great way to be health-conscious, but there are ways to do it so that you don’t feel deprived. Say you really want to taste something sweet but know that you shouldn’t eat a whole dessert by yourself. Why not share that dessert with someone? That way, you both get to have a bite of something sweet without the guilt of eating a whole dessert by yourself. You could do the same thing with starters or main meals or even just snacks. By sharing, you still get the taste you want but don’t have the calories of an entire dish. Win, win!
In a lot of vacation spots, places are close enough together that you can usually walk. Yes, there may be faster transportation options, but walking is more than possible and is the healthier option. If you aren’t in a rush, why not walk instead of calling an Uber or getting on a bus? Walking is good for your health in general and is an excellent form of ‘passive’ exercise (it is not as hectic as running or gyming but is still exercise). Walking has so many other advantages because you can see more, experience more and discover things that you might miss if you use transportation. Who knows you might become addicted to walking? I know I did and now that I am back home where I can’t walk everywhere, I’m getting really twitchy and upset because walking on the treadmill just isn’t the same and I miss it.
And so there you have it! Thank you all so much for reading today’s blog post. I hope that you found it useful and helpful. I also hope that it showed you that it is possible to still be healthy and exercise on holiday without selling your soul or not enjoying yourself as you deserve. All it takes is the right attitude and just diving right in and doing it. For my question today:
- Do you have any tips for exercising or staying healthy on holiday? If so, please share! I would love to hear!
Again, thank you all so much for reading. If you enjoyed today’s blog post, please don’t forget to press the little like button at the bottom of this post and remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any future posts. Also, please share the blog with any friends you think might be interested, so that our community can grow. You guys are all amazing!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx