The summer is here, and for a lot of people that means vacation time. It can also mean extra calories from alcohol, ice cream, festive foods, etc. – and therefore a few extra pounds of body fat… But don’t panic!
First of all, the few extra pounds that are (too) easily gained during a vacation will usually come off pretty easily again when you get back to your normal eating habits and fitness routine. Second, you CAN actually have a great vacation time WITHOUT gaining the extra pounds – it’s all about moderation…
Build a good base
If you normally eat a healthy and well-balanced diet and exercise regularly, you can without a doubt ‘afford’ a little partying during your vacation. By eating a healthy diet and getting some exercise, you build a good base, so to say.
You will offer your body a lot of good things, and you will get stronger and healthier. And this healthy base will not disappear just because you let loose for a week or two.
Yes, you might gain 5 pounds, but so what? The solid base is still there and, as we said, the few extra vacation pounds will usually come off again when you get back on track.
It’s a matter of prioritizing
When you go on vacation, there are usually a lot of temptations. Maybe you want to enjoy a delicious ice cream with your kids, or maybe you prefer a glass of ice-cold Chardonnay. Whatever you prefer, indulge! Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to try something you’ve never had before, just because you’re afraid of gaining a few pounds. How else will you know what real Italian tiramisu tastes like? Or Swedish meatballs?
Don’t say no, but instead choose carefully and prioritize your calories. So go for the treat that YOU like – and then, instead of 2 glasses of wine, just drink 1. Or if you really enjoy bread and pasta, of course you should eat some – but then maybe you shouldn’t eat 3 pieces of cake afterwards… So prioritize what is most important to you and cut down on some of the other things. That will help you stay on track but still have room for indulgence.
Get up and get moving
Some people just want to relax during their vacation. Others prefer to be active. And surely there is a time and a place for everything – but that does not mean you should just lie on a sun bed for the entire vacation.
Instead, see your vacation as the perfect opportunity to get up and get moving. This will help you stay in shape – and remember, a little exercise is better than no exercise…
So here are 8 easy tips to stay active during your vacation:
1) Do things that don’t feel like exercising. What about swimming in the ocean every morning? Going horseback riding? Or dancing in a nightclub for a couple of hours after dinner? You could also go for a morning walk on the beach, or rent a bike for a day to go sightseeing.
2) Bring a resistance band, a jumping rope or a Redondo/yoga ball with you. They are easy to pack and they don’t weigh a lot in your suitcase. And you can do a ton of exercises with these kinds of equipment. You can use them in your hotel room, in the airport, or maybe even on the plane.
3) Pack a pair of good sneakers, a bathing suit and your favourite sports bra. When you have these things in your suitcase, you are already mentally preparing yourself to at least do some kind of exercise during your vacation.
4) Go for an evening walk after dinner. It will help you digest the food, speed up your metabolism and help you sleep better during the night. It’s a win–win.
5) If you’re travelling with friends or family, you could add a little competition to your daily activities. For example, see who can swim 100 metres in the shortest amount of time. Or who can run up a flight of stairs most times. Or do most push-ups. And maybe the winner gets to decide the activity for the next day – and the loser gets to buy ice cream for the winner. Make it something fun for everyone.
6) Do your exercise in the morning. Then it is done! And your metabolism will stay elevated for the rest of the day… It has also been shown in several studies that people who exercise in the morning make healthier eating choices during the day.
7) Download an exercise app to stay motivated. There are hundreds of apps available, so you’ll definitely be able to find something to suit you. For example, try a yoga app with daily yoga exercises, or maybe the 7-minutes exercise app with exercises that get your heart rate up in only 7 minutes.
8) Have fun! That’s actually the most important tip… Make sure you have a great vacation – and spend it doing something you really like.
Did you know
That 1 glass of red wine has approx. 130 calories? This is equal to 17 minutes of walking or 15 minutes of dancing (if you weigh 70 kg).
That all the exercises you do in a fitness centre you can also do in your hotel room? Sit-ups, dips, push-ups, burpees, etc. are all great exercises that require no equipment and only very little space.
That by being active for just 30 minutes every day, you lower your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other lifestyle-related diseases significantly?