8 Ways to make your holiday healthier
Dying to hit the road for a break, but worried it will impact your health and fitness? We all need a holiday and an escape from daily life, and planning ahead can help you to stick to even the strictest regime - so you can treat yourself without overindulging and still find plenty of time to workout. You could even incorporate exercise into your holiday activities; imagine that! Here are our 6 ways to make your holiday healthier - we're sorry to say that eating ice cream for breakfast every day isn't one of them, but we can dream...
#1. Pack fitness supplies
Taking some basic fitness equipment on the road with you can help when it comes to cramming in a hotel room workout or just keeping fit on the go. Try chucking a couple of resistance bands and a skipping rope into your suitcase and you'll find you don't need a gym to workout; do it anywhere, at any time! Because this type of equipment is light and doesn't take up much space in your case, it's ideal to pack, and you can cram in a 15-minute workout or longer session whenever you have time. We also recommend packing a shaker cup so you can make protein shakes on-the-go!
#2. Find a gym
It doesn't have to be an all-singing, all-dancing five-star gym with the world's best spa facilities; although who are we kidding, that would be nice, right? In fact, if you're already a member of a gym back home, why not see if they have a branch in the destination you're visiting? Many gym chains will let members work out at their other locations, although a small charge might apply. Or simply book a hotel with its own on-site fitness facilities. Sorted.
#3. Check out menus online
What holiday doesn't involve good local food? All the best breaks have some form of eating out involved, and the good news is that you are allowed to treat yourself; after all, you're on holiday! Before heading out for dinner, check out the restaurant menu online, if you can. Once you get there, it's too easy to be tempted by the specials board or be drawn into what everyone else is ordering. Yes, you can have that mighty, meaty steak, but bypass the chips and double up on fresh salad or veggies instead. If you're abroad you'll probably find that the salads on offer are super-fresh and delicious! Eating plenty of protein will leave you feeling satiated, so olives, bread and other appetisers will seem less tempting, and you'll also be less likely to feel like snacking later on.
#4. Stay hydrated
We know how important it is to stay hydrated - well, it's even more important when you're on holiday. Warmer weather, air travel and days spent lazing on the beach can all leave our bodies feeling thirsty, which can deplete your energy levels, making it even less likely you'll fit in a workout. Heading to the bar for cocktails or beers won't help either - if you can, try to have a glass of water between alcoholic drinks, to pace your drinking and prevent dehydration.
#5. These boots/flip-flops/gladiators were made for walking
Choose a hotel that's at the heart of the action and see the city or resort you're visiting the way nature intended; on foot. Skipping crowded public transport not only makes for a more relaxing and budget-friendly holiday, it also helps you to stay fit and healthy! Plus the more time you spend walking around, the more beautiful that golden tan you're cultivating will be. Don't take the lift back at your hotel, take the stairs! Walk wherever you can and make the most of the (hopefully hot and sunny) weather.
#6. Make time to relax
Holidays shouldn't be a stressful time - yes, it's great to squeeze in a gym workout during a fortnight in Miami or a morning run past Thai temples, but you shouldn't be juggling a hectic schedule on your break. Trying to rush from attraction to attraction puts stress on your body, which means you'll produce more cortisol, the stress hormone which can lead to weight gain. Make sure you take some time to just 'be' on holiday, whether that's lounging on the beach, relaxing by the pool with a good book or treating yourself to an aromatherapy massage.
#7. Make family activities the focus
You might not have time to hit the gym everyday if you're travelling with young children, but that doesn't mean you can't get a good workout! Fun family activities such as beach volleyball, snorkelling or even kayaking are all great ways to stay active that the whole family can get involved in - they'll keep you fit whilst also being loads of fun! It's a great opportunity to get everyone out of their comfort zone and try something new.
#8. Don't drink your calories
That frozen margharita by the pool might seem like a little piece of heaven, but when you think about the fact it could contain up to 700 calories, it's easy to see why many of us gain weight and lose sight of our fitness goals on holiday! Unwinding with a couple of drinks on holiday is fine, but make healthier choices when it comes to alcohol. Steer clear of cocktails that are often packed with sugar and instead opt for flavoured vodka with soda, gin and tonic, white or red wine spritzer or light beer. This way you'll save plenty of calories for that meal out, rather than drinking them!