As the summer months approach and the English begin stocking up on sunscreen for the searing 19-degree heat, I prepare for the barrage of questions from clients. The number one question I’m asked is: ‘How do I stay fit and healthy whilst on holiday?’
Without doubt, the great pleasures of travel include sampling local cuisine and being able to live an alternate reality that doesn’t involve the daily grind, which for many includes some form of exercise regime.
It’s understandable if the idea of associating the notions of exercise and conscious cooking with your getaway fills you with confusion and dread. But think of this advice the same way you would running from a herd of blood thirsty, rampaging bulls in Spain, you should try everything once, no matter how scary.
Try these 6 tips for keeping fit and healthy on your holiday
1) Get accommodation where you can prepare your own meals. Hostels that provide cooking facilities are easy to come across and are usually around the same price as those that don’t. By preparing your own healthy meals or snacks, you will no doubt gain health points, which you can later cash in on the beach in Greece when yours is the only six-pack around.
Of course, it’s not realistic to assume that you’ll be completely in control of your food choices due to the obvious increased energy consumption and decreased cognitive ability associated with a certain liquid. But a few of your own meals hear and there, using the best local produce, can help you maintain balance while still enjoying what your destination has to offer.
2) Pack your work out gear. So at the very least the intention to exercise is there.
3) Exercise first thing in the morning. Leaving it till later in the day increases the chance that you’ll find an excuse to not do it. Further to this point, try to get your exercise in before the main tourist attractions open so you can get a jump on them as well.
4) Exercise with a partner. This may require dragging a stranger out of the bunk beneath you in the dorm if none of your mates are willing to come along. This will keep both of you motivated and accountable.
5) Search free trial passes for gyms, fitness classes, yoga classes for the area that you’re in. There’s always something and even if it’s not free it will be heavily discounted.
6) Find active tourist activities to get involved in such as walking or cycling tours and/or get to destinations by foot opposed to public transport.
After all is said and done, the decision to maintain your health and fitness on holiday is entirely up to you, so discipline is going to play a big role in keeping you active between sights.
Michael McCormick is a personal trainer based in London and can be contacted at [email protected] for sessions or advice.
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