'Tis the season -- summer vacation season that is filled with travel and day trips, journeys abroad and vacations to your local beach. It's no secret when summer holidays take place we tend to let our fitness routine and diet fall by the wayside. But a vacation is no excuse to throw all of your hard work and dedication out the window.
A recent study published in Journal Obesity found that after just five days, eating a high-fat diet can lead to problems such as weight gain, obesity and other health issues.
Here are a few of my tips to help maintain diet and exercise while on vacation:
It may sound simple, but having a plan in place will help you stick to your routine and achieve the goals you set out to accomplish.
Know what you will do regarding your physical activity while away. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to hit the gym every day, but give yourself a goal and stick to it. Plan to hit the gym a few days a week and stay active, whether that's getting a few golf games in, taking part in an active excursion, or trekking along on a local hiking trail.
When it comes to diet, do the same - plan ahead. Visit a local market to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, or choose only one meal to indulge in. You can also refrain from taking in desserts and drinks during the day, and then treat yourself to a glass of wine or a drink of choice with dinner. It is your vacation after all, we all deserve a little something! But don't forget that everything is better in moderation.
Start your vacation off on the right foot by making healthy choices from the get-go. For example, if you're flying somewhere, be cautious about eating sodium-laden in-flight food and snacks that can lead to water retention and fatigue. Instead, pack your own healthy snacks, drink lots of water and limit your caffeine and alcohol intake. My personal rule is to drink a glass of water every hour that I'm on a flight.
Toronto Pearson International Airport has a GoodLife Fitness located in the Arrival's terminal at gate F. This is a great option for anyone who has a connecting flight to get in a great workout. Complete with clothing and shoe rental, making a pit stop here will get you in a healthy mindset before you arrive at
your destination. Even 20 minutes will help you relax, feel rejuvenated and reduce your food cravings.
Exercise on the plane
You may think you are out of luck when you're stuck in your seat with nowhere to go and nowhere to exercise. This is not the case. While on a plane there are plenty of in seat moves you can do.
Preform these stretches while seated:
•Shoulder roll -- As you breathe in, lift your shoulders up, roll them back and slide them down the back of your seat as you exhale. Repeat slowly 5-10 times.
•Overhead reach with side bend -- Lift both arms overhead as you inhale and, with one hand grasping the wrist of your other hand, gently pull your arm up and over to one side to stretch your torso sideways as you exhale. Repeat on the other side.
•Seated twist -- Sit up straight with your right leg crossed over your left and you left arms crossed over your right leg. As you breathe in, lift your spine and push your left hand against the outside of your right thigh to help rotate your trunk towards the left, exhale and pause. Release and repeat on the other side.
•Rag doll stretch -- Sit back in your seat with your feet on the ground and your arms at your side. Gently roll forward (chest down towards your thighs) as you lower your hands down towards the ground. Hang comfortably for a few deep breaths here, roll up and repeat a couple of times.
Also, take advantage of the aisles to do some stretches as you walk. Everything you do to move and stretch will help you feel better.
When you arrive
As soon as you arrive at your destination get up and get moving. Go for a walk or light jog and stretch your legs. Not only will this help you feel better after a prolonged period of sitting, but it will help with jet leg as well.
Reset your biological clock. If you haven't already done this, as soon as you land behave according to the time zone. Try to avoid sleeping until night time and eat at the appropriate local times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This may be a struggle the first day of your vacation, but it will pay off as it will curb jet leg and help get you into a balanced routine.
While on vacation
While on vacation stick to your plan! You made it for a reason, so use it. I also recommend working out at least every other day to help maintain your current fitness level. You can do the following moves anywhere, anytime! On the beach, in a hotel room or anywhere else you see fit, no equipment is needed.
Here are my go to vacation moves for you to try:
•Plank -- Begin in a high push-up position (from your knees or toes) holding a static position for up to one minute. (Option to lower onto your forearms).
•Hip lift (bridge) -- Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor and arms extended alongside your body lift both hips up and squeeze your gluteal muscles, pause and lower to the ground to repeat.
•Hip hinge (dead lift) -- Begin by standing tall with feet hip-width apart and arms alongside your body then bend both knees slightly and push your hips back to tip forward at your hips, hinging from your hips about 45 degrees (imagining you are picking up something from the ground), pause and return slowly to standing maintaining a strong, long back throughout the move.
•Walking lunges -- Step forward with your right leg, bend both knees to lower your hips into a lunge position pausing at the bottom, then rise up by stepping forward with the back leg and repeat starting with the left leg.
•Squats - Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width, bend your knees and sit your hips back until your thighs are almost parallel with the ground, pause then return to standing and repeat.
Do three sets of each, 15 reps each set (except for the plank which you will work up to holding for one minute).
Combining this simple and effective workout with your daily activities will help you feel great, look great and have a great vacation too! Stick to your plan, indulge where you can and keep active. Most importantly have some fun, enjoy your vacation and feel good about yourself.
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