Holidays are funny things. Up until the last few moments before we set off to the airport, it’s all lettuce leaves, fifteen mile runs and seven gallons of water an hour. Yet as soon as we’ve gone through customs, we all seem to go hell for leather on the beer and burgers, trying to cram as much crap as possible into our bodies before we have to get back to reality the following week. But why. There’s no easy way to say it, but taking a trip out of the country doesn’t always have to be this way. If you fancy finding out more, I’ve noted down a few tips from my recent holiday that might help you out a bit.
1. Get active.
For me, the best bit about going on holiday is seeing how many books I can get through (yes, I know I’m a nerd). Sometimes, though, it’s nice to stretch your legs for a walk along the front/to the nearest bar, and that’s what I’d encourage. Picking somewhere that’s a bit further away from your spot on the beach is a really simple way to get in some exercise (which can then be rewarded with a pint or something, it’s all about balance). Similarly, planning an excursion can be a great way to not only see other places, but often involves a certain amount of physical activity as well. During the ‘beach’ sector of our trip, we ventured to the village of Oía to watch the sunset. Whilst obviously this was beautiful, we spent a good few hours on our feet, pottering about and taking in the views. Again, really simple and not worth thinking about, but a great way to get some steps in.
2. Try a (quiet) Hotel HIIT.
HIIT workouts are great because they only last around thirty minutes, meaning you can slot one in whenever it’s convenient for you. What’s not convenient, however, is the people in the room downstairs complaining to reception, because you’re jumping around your room like a baby elephant whilst they’re trying to have a siesta. In order to keep both parties happy, try YouTubing ‘hotel room HIIT’ or ‘dorm room HIIT’ workouts: you’ll still be shattered by the end but won’t be disturbing anyone else. I managed to shoehorn a couple of these in whilst my sister was having her lengthy showers (and when she was out, her few renditions of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ kept me motivated, so cheers for that Lil).
3. Make healthier choices.
Nah, I don’t mean that you should stick to salads for a week (although if that’s what you fancy, then knock yourself out). It’s really easy to go on holiday and ‘treat yourself’, but eating crap three times a day for a whole week starts to feel like less of a treat and more like a punishment to me. If you start to feel sluggish or bloated, try swapping out carb-heavy meals for fish or other lean proteins. Don’t feel like you’re being boring, but even a few healthier meals will make you feel miles better.
4. Drink plenty of water.
I know that this has been stressed approximately a million times, but water is the liquid of the Gods. It’s so important to stay hydrated in a hot climate, especially if you’ve had a heavy night on the lash the night before. My advice would be to always get a big bottle to share during meals, and also buy a litre to keep in your bag so you can sip it throughout the day. If you want to do one better than that, then swap water with any fizzy drinks you might consume (although I have to admit, I’m a sucker for Fanta Lemon when I’m abroad).
5. Don’t worry so much!
I spent a good few years documenting every morsel that I put in my mouth whilst travelling. At the time, I thought I was helping myself (read about my disordered eating problems here), but in reality it was just sucking all the fun out of my trip. Yes, I still panic that I’m going to put on three stone when I’m away, but I try not to care as much nowadays. Burpees and plain chicken breast will still be around when I get home (unfortunately), so it’s alright to indulge a bit and enjoy yourself. In fact, I wrote a whole post on ‘having a break’ back in April, so have a read of that if you think I’m talking nonsense.
And there you have it. You don’t have to go to extremes: unless you’re a massive health nut, your holiday will be shit if everyone else is having an ice cream and you’re sulking over the top of your sunglasses. Enjoy yourself while you can, because the dullness of reality will be waiting to drag you back before you know it (and believe me, aside from a few special moments, this week has been dull).
What are your favourite ways to stay healthy when you’re away?
Thanks for reading,