Holiday and fitness are 2 things which most certainly don’t always go together, they are like chalk and cheese for some people. Most people's attitude to a holiday is to get off the plane/ferry or car and relax by lying in the sun by the pool or on the beach for the next week or so drinking cocktails. As I am pretty obsessive about my fitness regime my idea of fitness and holidays differs a little from the norm!
As my interest in fitness has become all encompassing my family sometimes have to bear the brunt of my obsessive need to fit in my sessions around what we are up to at the weekends and in the holidays! Don’t get me wrong there are no workouts at Christmas or other holidays which are marked by a specific celebration but a family holiday away can still fit some sort of workout in 2-3 times a week. Our last holiday my husband put his foot down to my request to try and put my rower into the boot of our car, along with everything but the kitchen sink! I also think he would roll his eyes if i were to suggest seeing if there were any gyms near our holiday destination so I could feed my ‘habit’!
For our last few family holidays we have visited my father in France and camped in one of his fields, so there have been no hotel gyms or swimming pools to get that quick fix early in the morning before heading out to the beach. So last year I took my 12kg kettlebell and whilst my lovely husband took the kids to the village bakery for our lovely fresh croissants and bread for the day I churned out 30 mins of push ups and kettlebell swings 3 times a week. This compared to my regular routine of 6 days a week and twice a day exercise regime was positively relaxed and I still was able to keep some sort of fitness.
When you take a break from your exercise program for any reason you are going to lose some of your fitness, especially when it's over a consecutive period like 7-14 days. Some people, like I have mentioned before welcome the break, but there are others like myself who don’t want to lose all that fitness they have worked so hard to get. I know that if you are at a higher level of fitness it won’t take long to gain it back with a bit of sweat and hard work and realistically that’s what you have to remind yourself, it will come back if you work just as hard!
I exercise for a many number of reasons but for me the most important reason is the feeling I get after doing it, it lifts my mood and helps me relax more. So stopping whilst on holiday goes against the grain for me, and I don’t feel relaxed at all. I need that 30 mins of moving to help me feel relaxed so swimming in the sea along with my children is also a great way for me to fit in that fitness. Now my 2 boys are able to swim confidently in deep water I am relishing the thought of taking them out to the beautiful white diving board that is in the middle of the ocean on our favourite beach and jumping into the sea with them, this, and swimming ‘properly’ in the sea will also constitute a session where I am moving so releasing those all important endorphins to make me feel even more relaxed during our stay.
Another reason for moving a little on holiday is so you are able to eat far more treats and not feel so guilty about it, it's only natural to want to eat a more luxurious diet whilst you are away and when we go to France the bread is my downfall! The way I see it though if I doing my exercise at the crack of dawn I can eat what I like throughout the day without the little voice telling you it's bad for you, after all once you get back home you are going back on the healthy eating plan and like I have said in my past blogs stopping the treats especially on holiday will make you feel resentful, and maybe even get you off track completely. When I am away I stop watching what I eat in terms of my macros so much too, it's time to enjoy myself and give myself a break from the regime that is my training and diet plan. If I want an ice cream I will have one and the same goes for a cold French beer sat in the garden after a lovely day at the beach - you can’t beat it!
So my advice to you all this summer is move a little this holiday, have a swim in the pool or sea, pop into the gym early in the morning and just do something for 30 mins or just do a little bodyweight circuit to get that heart rate pumping, you can even play some cricket or footy with the kids on the beach you will be surprised how good you feel and also how much your body will thank you for it when you get back to reality as it won’t have to work as hard to get back to how you were before your trip away - because you did look great before you went away didn’t you!!