How To Stay Fit On Vacations

  Image Courtesy  : Forbes

Image Courtesy  : Forbes

Staying in shape while traveling is not an easy task. Our hour-long gym workout sessions come to a halt, and we often use this opportunity to cheat a little on our fitness regimes. Regular travelers as a result, come back to distorted habits, an out of shape body, reduced strength and it feels like starting all over again after losing the momentum once.

Though not easy, maintaining health on the road is not a herculean task as well. Just by ensuring that we engage in some form of physical activity and that our eating habits don’t go out the window every time we take a break because- “Hey! It’s a vacation!”, the comeback can be made much easier. Traveling is all about living in the moment, partying, enjoying local food, exploring out, but it’s possible to have all the amazing adventures while staying fit. If your hotel has a gym, great, but luckily there are things that can be done anytime and anywhere that won’t let your force drop.

  • Keep the workout short and exercises simple – spare out just 15-20 mins from your leisure routine to indulge in bodyweight exercises like pushups, pullups, squats, mountain climbers, lunges, sit-ups, plank, etc. This will keep you on track without making you feel like you’re dedicating a substantial chunk of your travel time on working out. If even that sounds too much, choose to do reps of just one exercise daily whenever you can squeeze in 5-10 mins – pushups today, squats tomorrow, and so on. Just keep it moving. If you're not sure about how to work out on your own, use personal trainer apps like Nike Training Club, Mobiefit (in hindi), Daily Yoga, etc. that involve short and intense workout sessions with voice instructions.
  • An example of a simple and quick full-body routine is mentioned below. Increase your number of sets as you work your way up gradually without taking much longer breaks in between

Squats – 1x10

Pushups – 1x10

Lunges – 1x10

Sit-ups – 1x10

Plank – 45s

Chair dips – 1x10

You may use a tree or a pull up bar (if available) to do pull-ups.

  Image credit : Nerd Fitness (left) , Tour De Fit (right)

Image credit : Nerd Fitness (left) , Tour De Fit (right)

  • Staying in a hostel or airbnb? Make your own nutritious meal (at least breakfast is feasible) at a low cost! New to a city? Sign up for free walking tours! From exploring the city or museums or markets, walking tours cover an exciting gamut of activities. Many places which are small enough, like islands, offer bicycles on rent. Peddle around happily around the place while your health is being taken care of!
  • Many, who absolutely love their exercises, choose to carry their gear with them. This can be a skipping rope, resistance bands, yoga mat, inflatable kettlebell (they can be filled with sand or water), protein powder cans, etc.
  • The most important part, even more important than exercising, is your diet. Even if you don’t do any of the above and just maintain a healthy diet you’ll be able to return without any guilt feeling of an expanding waistline or losing your muscle mass. We recommend two ways to go about it.
  1. Your first option is to, of course, consciously eat healthy at all times, avoid alcohol and sugary drinks and consuming natural products like vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, meat, etc. till whatever extent possible. There’s no need to kill yourself over sticking to them, as you are there to have fun and loosen up a little, but the idea is to just staying a little knowledgeable about what you are eating so that you know what absolute junk to filter out.
  2. Your second option is to adopt the method of ‘carb back loading’. What this basically means is doing your intense workout right before a meal and then eating whatever you like (don't overeat though)! While the technicalities of this diet can be left out for another post, in short we just mean to say that eat mainly protein and fats during the day, workout in the evening and then enjoy your cheat meal of the day.
  • Remember that it all counts! Something is better than nothing, and doing just something with whatever you have is all it takes a committed mind to not go astray. Remember that it’s just a matter of managing a few days, and soon you’ll be back in the comfort of your fitness studio and kitchen.

To conclude, a few days break from the gym is not going to harm your strength training routine, but you need to make exercising a constant commitment of your lives. Working out even once a week, when regular is not an option, will help you maintain the hard earned muscles. So eat mindfully, pack a jumping rope or resistance band or look around for what can be used to workout and you’ll be fine. Also, stay active generally by walking, hiking, biking, swimming, etc. to keep up the metabolism, and also because it is easy to control your diet on the days you workout and easy to slip up on your rest days. If you like doing activities like Yoga, Tabata, HIIT, etc., that could be even more fun and helpful!