Top 4 Tips For A Fun Holiday Exercise Program
Ever wonder why Yoga and Detox retreats are so popular? The chance to focus completely on slowing down, getting back to connecting with nature, your body and to reflect is a seductive and sometimes expensive pursuit. After 20 years Coaching I can honestly say that there is no one size fits all approach to ‘holiday exercise programs’. Going on holiday has a different meaning for different people. For many a holiday is a complete unwind and the chance to stop doing what is their day to day routine, for others is is the chance to focus on forgotten self care that a busy work life depletes. A chance to break the health rut or ease a chronic case of burn out.
What is important is that after returning from your holiday should result in your mind, body and spirits feeling refreshed and ready to engage.
Excessive alcohol and food consumption can put more stress on the body, the digestive system and nervous system that is already overwhelmed by a hectic and stressful lifestyle, so moderation is key and listening to your body by being more mindful is important. The importance of rest is essential so engaging in activities that promote quality sleep and the all important growth hormone release’ which heals the body, is critical.
Top 4 Tips For A Fun Holiday Exercise Program:
- Mix Things Up: Unless you are a pro or semi pro athlete training for a time sensitive event or goal, use your holiday as a time to mix the routine up. If you normally run, then swim, if you usually do weights then go to Yoga, if you normally Yoga then do anything else. If you simply must do your usual routine because without it you feel completely discombobulated, thats is fine but change the time of the day, the intensity and give yourself plenty of rest opportunity. Moving in a different way allows the body to heal and will help manage the probability of chronic injury.
- Break Out of Your Comfort Zone: We love routines, they keep us knowing where we are in relation to the rest of the world. Our fitness is no different. When on holiday this can be a perfect time frame to explore trying new things, learn new skills, explore new ways of looking after our health. When we step away from our daily distractions we give space to explore, learn and engage with new subjects, activities and people. Trying new things has been proven to help combat brain degeneration long term.
- Little & Often: When we are on holiday we have plenty of time to balance activity and little to no activity. To exercise and to rest, to balance the ‘stressors’ with the ‘recovery’. So if you normally do a big 1hr gym session and feel wiped out, perhaps allow yourself the chance to break up the exercise with 2 short but intensity 30min sessions. Your body may prefer it.
- Eat More & Move Moderately: In working with clients of all walks of life over 20years, mainly with women, a common challenge brings up long term health concerns. Not eating enough and eating the wrong foods is a real issue. Often being too busy to eat breakfast, to eat a decent and nutritious lunch and then blowing out at dinner and eating too late are sited as reasons peoples relationship with food and meal times is less than conducive to balanced energy levels, hormones, mood and of course weight. When on holiday I positively encourage enjoying a variety of healthy food options, enjoying the 3 square meals and snacks so long as the sources are healthy and nutritious. *Note: A margarita is not a snack, but the tropical fruit salad definitely is. Drop the guilt and simply enjoy the variety, the different styles of food and the combinations of flavours, give your gut a break from the mundane as much as your mind and body.
If your holiday is already active and its been a while since you were on your feet moving all day I would highly recommend balancing your holiday activity with plenty of stretching or swimming to counteract tightness, especially in the hips and hamstrings. Approach your holiday routine with a balanced approach. going from zero to hero is not the best and most healthy strategy overall, but with a more holistic approach your holiday and the activities your engage with can be the revitalising shot you really need. Listen to your body, leave your ego at the door (we cant alohas do or look like we did 20 years ago), go at your own pace and enjoy where you are and who you are with as much as what you do.
Sara is Founder of the SPB Body Method.
Longer Reads: British Airways Magazine: https://bahighlife.com/holidays/2021/july/should-you-work-out-on-holiday/