Got a Summer holiday planned and coming up soon?
If your answer’s ‘yes’, this article is perfect for you.
Whether it’s a mini get-away in England, or if you’re jetting off for a change of scenery and a dose of sunshine… A holiday should be a chance to relax, unwind and completely enjoy yourself.
But how many holidays start out with the best intentions and end up with a week’s worth of regrets?
We can go months and months sticking to a pretty healthy and active routine, eating healthy, never missing our favourite exercise class with a friend or walk along the coast and staying on target, but a single week of going away can be enough to throw us completely off balance, and make us feel like we’ve gone all the way back to square one.
Late nights, early mornings, all over the place travel schedules, a few more beers than usual, your favourite cocktails on tap, and ‘once in a lifetime’ moments, all seem to take priority over healthy decisions.
And the thing is, generally these things should take priority!
When you’ve been working hard all year, or looking forward to a break-away, why shouldn’t you enjoy all these things?
Normally, indulging in a meal or two, or missing out on a day of exercise isn’t a cause for alarm…
However, when that one day of ‘less healthy’ decisions becomes 7-10 days of decisions you wouldn’t normally make, it can make it hard to get back on track once we return home.
And before we know it, a week can very quickly turn into months of poor decision making.
Over the years of taking family holidays and traveling, I’ve found simple ways that help keep me on track, despite having a few late nights, indulging, eating out and missing my runs…
So I wanted to share them with you, so you can still enjoy and make the most of your holiday, without worrying about feeling like you’ve got to be ‘strict’ and get ‘back on it’ when you return home.
Introducing the ‘holiday exercise game’…
Usually when I’m home I’ll go for a morning run around the town, or cycle, but when I’m away I know that late nights, and family plans, will mean not being able to stick to my routine – which is completely ok!
So instead, I find it more fun to find other ways to fit activity into my day by turning it into a game.
First, lifts and escalators don’t exist. Whenever possible I use the stairs and skip every ‘more convenient’ way possible. And if there’s a longer, or tougher route, I’ll choose to do that instead.
If a destination is with a mile (or two), I walk. I enjoy exploring when I’m away, and it’s the perfect chance to get more walking in without it really feeling like exercise.
Explore by walking. Getting to know somewhere by foot is a completely different experience than getting to a know a place by car or tour bus. Not only is walking great exercise, you’ll probably stumble across hidden local gems and maybe find a new favourite restaurant to eat out at.
If there’s a swimming pool, I like to add on an extra 5 lengths a day, it’s a fun personal challenge I set for myself and swimming is the perfect form of low-impact exercise so there’s no risk of injury.
As for eating ‘well’ I know it’s easy to abandon a healthy diet altogether when there’s a lot of tasty food around you – especially while you’re away!
We go from eating salads and nutritious breakfasts, to pancakes, pizza, big bowls of pasta and ice cream.
But there’s some simple tips to avoid doing too much damage.
If you want to eat foods you wouldn’t usually eat back home – there’s nothing wrong with that, do it! But if you’re feeling worried you’ll eat too much of it – load up on water before you eat, it can help curb your appetite and stop you from over-eating.
If you’re going to be drinking a lot on holiday, don’t compound it with lots of unhealthy, carb heavy foods (not that there’s anything wrong with carbs by the way!), instead drink your carbs in smoothie form – this way you’ll get lots of vitamins and minerals, and will be doing your body a whole world of goodness.
And probably most importantly of all – relax, have fun, and do something!
Seriously! How many times do we get to go away and enjoy a week with no time constraints? Not very often.
If you end up eating more than normal, who cares!… Just make your next meal less heavy and a bit more healthy. Make protein and vegetables the focal point, and add vegetables to your meals whenever you can.
Do something to make sure you move every day, and remember that taking the chance to un-wind, relax, have fun and stress less, has a great impact on your overall health.
There’s plenty of simple ways to incorporate staying healthy and active while away on holiday.
Enjoy yourself, indulge a little, take a break and don’t ‘beat yourself up’.
P.S. If you want to start to unwind and relax just before you go away, have you thought about a relaxing Massage? We have plenty of offers on right now for our ‘Relaxing Massage Pamper Packages” – if you’d like to treat yourself, or a loved one, call us on: 0800 043 8671
You might know Paul as an expert Columnist who writes weekly health articles for TWO of the North East's biggest daily Newspapers, The Northern Echo And The Hartlepool Mail, he is a regular Speaker at Industry Seminars around the globe and a Radio Personality, often heard on the BBC. Paul has been an expert guest on dozens of Radio shows and regularly interviewed in newspapers, magazines and trade journals all over the world, including the Guardian.
Paul’s background included working extensively in the Premier League with a Top Professional Football Team, and since quitting his job in Professional Football in 2007, his Physio Practice has become the fastest growing in the UK and biggest in the North East. So successful, that companies like BUPA, ASDA, The Vela Group And Coast & Country, repeatedly retain his Physio company's services to keep healthy their own staff and workforce. Paul Gough Physio Rooms is now a large multi-physio, multi clinic speciality practice in Darlington, Durham, Guisborough and Hartlepool.
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