“I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list” – Susan Sontag
COULDN’T OF SAID IT BETTER MYSELF SUSAN!
I get such a buzz from ticking off my bucket list items one by one and making lifelong memories along the way. Kicking routine to the curb and just adventuring the hell out of life!
But what if a big part of your weekly routine is making sure you’re hitting your macros and the gym religiously? Do you pull a complete 360 and eat as much junk food as you can whilst being as lazy as possible? (Leading to feelings of guilt along with a negative relationship with food?)
Do you keep the discipline on lock down? Possibly missing out on fun and yumminess along the way? (Feeling like you’re missing out- ALSO leading to a negative relationship with food)
I’ve given both of these a go only to find that neither have allowed me to be my happiest, healthiest self.
*Enter the beautiful key word that will help with this head-butting situation*
By submitting to and letting this delicious word into my life it has enabled me to truly enjoy my health and fitness journey for everything that it is (and isn’t). Obviously this plays a huge part in a happy healthy LIFE in general but when holidaying, I think especially!
So without further ado… here are my two MAIN tips for keeping a healthy/happy balance while on holiday to satisfy BOTH the gym rat and the house cat in you!
1. Keep Active! (Outside of the Gym)
HAVE FUN WITH GETTING YOUR HEART PUMPING!
Fair enough, you might be the kind of person who won’t even book a hotel if it doesn’t have five-star gym facilities and if sticking to that part of your routine is something you love- cool! When you’re feeling the motivation bloody run with it!
HOWEVER if when choosing accommodation a gym is not at the top of your priorities or (like me) you’re too tight to pay for day passes while away, I think it’s awesome to make the most of taking a break from the clink clanking and unatural light of the air-conned gym! Most of the time I’m having too much fun with my friends or family to tear myself away for a gym session anyway.
Should you beat yourself up? No because if you’re just not feeling it then listen to your body and live in the moment.
Should you set a 6am alarm and try to train before breakfast everyday? Yeah I guess you could do and sometimes I have done this BUT sometimes I just want to make the most of recharging and sleeping in, I am on holiday after all!
How can you get a work out in without having to hit pause on your holiday or make the time?
- Walk EVERYWHERE– I have a Fitbit (and a step counter built into my phone) which is great for tracking activity each day. 10,000 steps is my daily minimum goal– so whack one on for a day of exploring and prepare to be amazed!
- Hire a bike– I recently spent a week in Center Parcs and I took my beautiful new red bike with me and cycled wherever I could. Whether it was just to get some fresh air or to tackle some of the hills Woburn Forest had to offer- it felt great to wake my legs up and get my blood pumping!
- Got a pool? Swim as many lengths as you can each day! I think it’s a great way to get a bit of cardio in without feeling like you’re going out of your way. It’s a nice change to the usual stair-master and refreshing too!
- Don’t have a pool? Find the nearest mountain and head to the top! I never used to pack any other footwear but flip-flops on a holiday but I have definietly become the kinda gal who loves a little hike. Always pack a pair of trainers or hiking shoes juuuuust in case. If I have the opportunity to go and explore I will jump at the chance! The fact it will add to your daily activity is just a big fat bonus!
- You could even throw together a little HIIT workout or DIY bodyweight training session if you have the room, a garden or balcony and hell- throw a resistance band in for added burn if you want. I usually take my resistance band away with me, whether or not I use it is another question. I managed to stay active enough on my Center Parcs trip that I didn’t feel the need to use it BUT if the moment happened to strike, I was good to go!
- Check out if there’s any nearby classes. I’m not really one for a fitness class anymore, my love for them just kind of fizzled away the more my love for weight training grew- but for some reason whenever I’m on holiday I suddenly fancy a change (in the form of yoga usually) but in Center Parcs I went with my family to a boxercise class and LOVED IT! We were all sweaty messes and left our souls on the fitness studio floor along to the sound of EYE OF THE TIGER! Feeling the endorphins we went home, refuelled and were so ready for the day ahead! (No guilt in sight for the prosecco consumed that day!) It was also a great reminder that boxing/pad work is one of my FAVOURITE forms of cardio! Note to self: must do more!
It’s easy to feel like we’re resting too much if we aren’t sticking to our carefully thought out training plans and routines- but it’s also easy to forget how good it is to take a break and be active in more natural ways.
It won’t even feel like a work out if it’s getting you somewhere and you’d probably be surprised at how beneficial it really is for you, it’s honestly pretty NEAT! (wink wink) CLICK HERE TO BE SURPRISED
Your muscles won’t fall off because they haven’t seen a barbell all week (the rest and recovery might just do them the world of good) so relax and just play but most importantly ENJOY the hand you’re dealt!
2. Business Before Pleasure (Or Micros before Oreos)
And by micros I simply mean foods that are dense in nutrients!
Holidays are all about making memories, good times and good food with good people.
Do you really want to miss out on experiencing the local cuisine because you’re scared you might lose sight of an ab for a few days? Or just so you can get the satisfaction of going home and telling em all back in the gym “I didn’t give in!”
Your holiday may have been the sole reason you’ve been hitting the gym hard- so once you’re there why punish yourself by not allowing yourself to relax and lean into the good times (food included)!
Once you get home and jump back into your normal “routine” you’ll more than likely find you’ve got even more drive to pick right back up where you left off because you balanced it out by giving your soul some loving! (Which in my opinion is one of the best SUSTAINABLE ways to remain “on the wagon”).
If I sign myself up to “eat clean” forever more then I’m already worrying that I will struggle or fall off the wagon and let myself down, which THEN leads to a harder fall and usually I’ll binge, feel like a failure and take much longer to get back up.
But this way I’m scratching any itches as I go (in moderation obviously) and keeping sane enough to avoid feeling the need to binge.
Yes there’s a chance that you’re some sort of anti- junk food alien who prefers to “eat clean” all year round (if so obviously that’s great for you)
…if like me you have a big old love for soul food and you’re not ashamed then don’t restrict yourself to the point you are miserable or feel it is ruining your holiday.
I no longer restrict myself from food or a glass of sangria if I want to enjoy it with loved ones in the moment AS LONG as I’ve given my body something to work with first.
I make a conscious effort to drink just as much water as I do when at home in my “normal routine” (2 litres if not more), eat whole balanced meals with plenty of the good stuff (fruit and veggies) to feed my body everything it needs so that it can function and maintain itself as best it can.
BUT THEN– I’m open to the soul food!
In fact ensuring you eat well before hand usually means you’re less likely to over indulge and feel rubbish, yet still rejuvenate your sanity ready for another day of eating AND living well! BALANCE BABY
Now obviously I’m aware that having such a flexible approach to eating isn’t the quickest way to get ripped AF but while on holiday thats not usually the goal is it? At one point in my life that’s all I could think about.
I’d feel disappointed in myself if I had time off from the gym and if I had an ice cream or two I’d want to get in the gym for an hour and control the damage! (Not that it ever helped because I was NEVER satisfied).
Reality is it’s not like I’m training to be a bikini competitor, if so then of course it’s important to be super strict but… I’M NOT- I just want to be the best version of me physically AND mentally.
Accepting and being comfortable in your own body allows you to enjoy ENJOYING life (hey if your abs happen to appear along the way then fan-bloody-tastic). Striving for a healthy strong body and heart is still a daily goal of mine but now I have a much healthier, happier relationship with food and fitness and THAT has freed me from being fixated on aesthetics.
Enjoy all the fun stuff (but get the good stuff in first) #balancebaby
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THANK YOU for reading!