Finding the motivation to keep on top of your workouts is hard at the best of times, but when you’re on holiday it’s all too tempting to skip your training and head to the pool bar instead.
If you are serious about keeping up with your workouts while you are away, here’s some very useful tips to keep up your routine and keep you away from, or earn, that all you can eat breakfast buffet!
Mind Over Matter AND Rewards
To stay motivated and stick to your conviction of a routine workout while away, remember the “why” and the consequences. It will most probably be that you do not want the hard work of starting all over again. Remember how it was before keeping in shape was important and the hard work to get where you are now? Remember how you allowed yourself to let go on your last holiday and the time and hard work it took to get back in shape and weight?
If the plan is to do 10,000 steps, 15 minutes cardio or 3 sets of 3 exercises each day, decide on a reward each day you actually do it. Buy yourself a small gift that day, allow yourself that gin tonic while getting ready for dinner or whatever makes the effort and discipline worth your while.
HIIT & Strength Combo Training
HIIT training is great for the time poor traveller as it focuses on bursts of high intensity activity that can be done pretty much anywhere at any time. In just 10 -15 minutes, you’ll optimise your time and keep on-track with your fitness goals, even while away from your usual training environment and exercise schedule.
For cardio alone, check out your hotel stairwells for a bit of up-hill running and do a few flights as quickly as you can. But for maximum gains, do some body weight exercises or take some resistance bands in your suitcase for some resistant training in the privacy of your room.
Put together a little routine before you leave so you don’t need to worry about where to go and what to do to get some exercise in. Find combination and compound exercises that suit your level of fitness to get a full body workout. You should expect to feel your muscles burn, your heart pump, and be quite breathless. For efficiency, perform each exercise with perfect technique, quality over quantity.
Here’s an example routine, if you need one. Change the exercises up or down accordingly and decide the number of reps you think you can do in a minute and do that instead if you prefer that to taking time.
Creative Outdoor Gym
You don’t need a gym to keep active on holiday, so have a scout around the local area to see if you can find some alternative locations for some al fresco exercise.
Maybe a little sunrise yoga on the beach or a run around a nearby nature reserve will give you some variety and give you the opportunity to explore the area at the same time.
Make full use of the surroundings to get a good HIIT & strength workout. Use park benches to do hop ups, steps ups, tricep dips or half push-ups, while enjoying the view and fresh air.
Use a tree branch for pull-ups, or if too difficult, hang from the branch with your knees ups and stay there for a minute. It’s way more difficult than it sounds and is a killer full body exercise. How about a 90 seconds wall-sit against the tree truck and feel your core and thighs burn?!
If putting time aside to workout is not your thing, work in exercises throughout the day as you explore. Do pull-ups or hanging on the sturdy metal frames at bus stops while waiting for the bus or when the opportunity presents itself. Do 3 sets of lunges and dips on benches while waiting for the trains. Keep warm doing jump squats and keep warm before jumping into cool waters at the beach.
Motivator And Motivatee
Having someone motivating you to get off the sun lounger and into the gym is the best way of keeping on track with your holiday work out goals, so take a friend with similar interest away with you. Where possible, choose to surround yourself with travel buddies equally serious about keeping fit while travelling.
Agree how and when you both want to work and stick to it, especially if you’ve got plenty planned. First thing in the morning is generally a good time as it tends to be much quieter and cooler plus you’ll have the rest of the day to do whatever you wish without feeling guilty that you’ve skipped a workout.
If you are the type that is serious about keeping fit while away, chances are that you may be the motivator instead. Works as well if you get tasked to help motivate a travel buddy to keep their workout routine. You will not want to let your friend down and more likely to stick to the agreed programme.
There’s plenty of activities you can take part in on holiday that’s great for getting a sneaky workout in too!
Opt for a walking tour of areas of interest instead of taking a tour bus; try walking between neighbouring vineyards, it will earn you quite a few tastings. Enjoy some snorkelling, walk a distance on soft sand, hire a bike for the day, swim in the ocean, rent a kayak, hike a mountain etc., they’re all great ways of keeping active during your trip and you get to try something a little different too!