Clients ask me all the time about workouts to do on holiday as they know the hotel has a gym and while in my early years as a PT, I would write programs for them to do in the gym, my advice has now changed to – go and enjoy yourself! It’s ok, this post isn’t one of those essays you used to have to write at school about what you did in the summer holidays!
Relax and Recharge
For me, holidays are all about relaxation and recharging the batteries. My 2 week holiday in the summer is the only holidays I take apart from the few days off over Christmas and New Year and the weekend in April I run the Paris Marathon. I keep saying that I will take more time off but never do it and so by the time I step on the plane to come to Florida every July, my body needs a rest. I look forward to the days just lying by the pool as much as the days we go to do stuff. Holidays are for a break and so I always recommend to go relax, enjoy yourself after all, you’ve earned your holiday and it shouldn’t be spent doing things that you would do at home.
Ok, if you’re like me and get bored easy and need to be doing something then go for a walk, a gentle run or swim in the pool (or the sea if you’re on a beach holiday). We go to Florida every year to stay with family and our first morning is spent going for a 5k run around the community. This feels like the last thing I want to do, especially this time after having done the Ironman 70.3 in Edinburgh just a few days before! However, it does set me up and it’s nice to be able to go into the pool after we get back. If you’re going to go for a walk or run, it’s always best going out first thing before it gets too hot and then you can decide what to do for the rest of the day. For us, it’s mostly relaxing on our run days. We’ve got days set aside for shopping and visits to Disney so we’ll run on the days where we’re not doing anything.
Swimming is the perfect workout if you have access to a pool or are close to a beach as it works the whole body, it feels great going into cool water on a warm day and you’re not putting a great amount of stress on your body compared to running or a gym workout.
I always like to enjoy what food is available to me and I’m not concerned in the slightest about being strict with what I eat. Having said that, when we came to Florida the first time in 2010 on our honeymoon, spent almost every day at theme parks and eating there, I was concerned when I saw photos of myself with a pot belly at the end of the first week! We are lucky to eat at home for the majority of the time we’re here and we will have days when we eat out but as they’re only in the few out of the whole fortnight, I will eat what I like. This year, we went to IHOP for breakfast a couple of times, one being after we ran a 5k race and I probably ate the equivalent of 3 times the number of calories I burned during the run. We mainly ate at home with some amazing freshly made dishes but also enjoyed some meals out, mainly healthy but also enjoyed the occasionally dessert and beer/glass of wine.
It’s all about balance though, I always recommend going for the healthiest options you have available but at the same time, allow yourself something that you wouldn’t normally eat at home. It can be easy to consume more calories than you will burn in a day in just one meal so as long as you’re sensible, the occasional treat won’t do a lot of harm. The main purpose when you’re on holiday is to, get rid of all the stress you left behind when you got on the plane and recharge the batteries so that you feel energised (if not a bit sad when you have to leave the sun lounger for the last time) when you get home.
Allow yourself some freedom to have something you enjoy but get back into healthy meals and regular exercise when you get home to ensure any weight gain doesn’t hang around too long!