Summer is a great time to get in shape — you can enjoy the non-freezing weather, the longer days and, depending on your line of work, you might have more free time. But then a holiday happens, and your fitness goals take a back seat for a little while. Here’s how to minimise the damage.
If I’m following a structured exercise plan, I always build in some extra time to allow for a holiday. For example, you can start a 12-week marathon plan a week or two early, so that when you take that week-long holiday you won’t have to skip a week of training.
I also like to get some extra exercise in before I leave for a holiday.
If you’re planning a longer holiday, make sure you know what the effects will be. Even a few weeks won’t set you back too far on your strength training workouts, but you’ll lose cardio fitness more quickly.
With that in mind, consider whether you want to work out — maybe just a little — while you’re on holiday.
Stay Active on Vacation
This is a personal choice. If you’re following a plan or staying in shape for a sport, taking time off can be more stressful than spending some of your holiday time working out. But if you can enjoy a true reprieve from obligations, it’s fine to leave your workout gear at home and pick things back up when you return.
I like to find a middle ground, working out a little bit but not as much as I would back home.
Here are some ways you can do a workout on your holiday:
- Apps such as Sworkit and Nike Training Club can give you no-equipment workouts, as short as you like.
- Bring equipment for hotel room workouts, such as resistance bands or a suspension trainer.
- Bring your running shoes and explore your holiday spot.
- Take advantage of the active opportunities your holiday has to offer: Swim, rent bicycles, go hiking, try surfing or paddleboarding, or get in a picturesque run or yoga session on the beach.
Don’t underestimate the power of walking, either. You might end up taking far more steps than usual while you’re exploring a new city, and you can check your fitness tracker or phone to see if that’s true.
Ramp Up When You Get Back
Don’t expect everything to be the same upon your return. Your usual workout might feel a little harder, and that’s OK; you’ll be back up to speed soon.
Just don’t fall into the trap of waiting until tomorrow because you’re still jet lagged, and then push it off to the weekend, and then oh why bother if you’ll be travelling again in a couple weeks…
Get back into your routine, even if it’s just for a little while. Go easy on yourself the first few workouts, and figure out whether your fitness level has changed. Adjust accordingly, and keep going; you’ll be back up to speed before you know it.