It’s been a spring of hard work in the gym and now you’re ready for your holiday: the abs are beginning to show, you’re feeling the best you’ve ever felt and you’re desperate to hit the beach. Then you get to your resort and the beers start flowing, the stodgy meals at night start to take their toll and you’re left feeling bloated.
Don’t worry! This can be changed with a quick change of attitude. Fitness is a journey and it doesn’t end when you get on the plane. Sure, you can indulge, but with a quick plan in place you can stay fit on your holiday and come back looking just as good as when you departed.
Take care of cardio
Cardio is often one of the first victims of a holiday. This is a surprise when you remember one of the main things in any holiday: the pool/sea.
Swimming is a natural cardio-builder and calorie burner. It’s also a low-impact exercise and is suitable for every body type and shape. Swim lengths of your hotel pool, alternating between medium pace and swimming as fast as you can. Train early in the morning to give your body a calorie-burning boost that will last all day. Alternatively, take to the sea and swim against the waves for resistance.
Running on holiday can be either a chore or an exhilarating experience. Running barefoot along the beach is one of the best ways to give your cardio a real boost – running on sand uses more energy as your foot sinks into the soft surface. It’s less impactful on the joints than conventional road running too – so everyone wins!
If you’re staying somewhere that doesn’t have a gym or you just can’t bring yourself to hunt one down while you’re on holiday, you’d be surprised at the results you can get with a bodyweight workout in your hotel room.
Press-ups are a timeless exercise for good reason. They build your arms, chest, shoulders and core and can be varied with narrow-grip, wide-grip and plyometric pushups (throwing yourself up from the ground with every rep).
Pull-ups are often regarded as the king of all exercises. Finding a suitable spot to do them can be tough, but often a doorframe or door itself can be used. Alternatively, try a tree branch but make sure it can hold your weight. These will build your back, arms and chest like few other exercises. Also bear in mind that pull-ups where you invert your grip, so your palms are facing towards you, are known as chin-ups and help build the biceps.
Tricep dips can be done quite easily with a chair or even a sunbed lounger (although you’ll want to place your weight in the centre so it doesn’t flip!) Just sit on the chair, put your hands behind you, scoot your bum off so your legs and rear are hovering off the ground, then dip down and come back up. Great for keeping your triceps in check.
Squats are an immense exercise and can be done anywhere. Building your legs, back and glutes, squats can be done with your own bodyweight, or with a jump each time you come up (plyo squats). Alternatively, grab your suitcase and hold it above your head while you train.
Ab crunches and leg raises are a relatively simple way to keep your core in check. Alternate sets of these to keep your holiday dinners hiding behind solid abs.
Obviously, a holiday is a time to splurge and relax. By following some simple tips though, you can mitigate the damage done and keep yourself healthy.
A good start is to avoid sugary and bloating drinks. You could also switch heavy carbohydrates for meatier dishes with a variety of fruits and salads.
Fresh fruit and salad tastes amazing in hotter weather. You can always pack some nutritional supplements too as they will help keep your goals on target!
A sample workout plan for holiday fitness
A simple 2 day split style workout akin to the following plan can keep you in great shape even as you put your body through food and drink galore.
Add in rest days as applicable or increase volume/resistance depending on ability.
- February 25, 2016
- Jonathan Kay