Summer Holiday Solutions
For many of you who train regularly with us at Matt Roberts this is the part of the year that most of you have been working towards. The summer months are often a time that people target as a key point for when they want to be feeling and looking their best so they can enjoy a well-deserved break on the beach and exhibit the fruits of their labour.
The health benefits of getting away for the summer are plentiful as we can take advantage of things like a reduction in stress levels, more time to rest and relax, more vitamin D production from sun exposure and more quality time spent with family and loved ones. From a health and well-being perspective holidays are definitely a good idea and well worth making the time for. However, it’s wise to remain mindful that although holidays are justified they can often be a double edge sword when it comes to weight management.
For many people much of the year is spent living, eating, working and exercising in a daily routine and it’s this structure that helps to keep them consistent and on track with their health and exercise goals. However, when they finally make it to the summer break much of that structure is lost and many of the things they do to stay in shape at home are quickly forgotten about.
To put it simply most holidays are likely to involve more eating and drinking and less moving and exercising which inevitably takes its toll on the summer six pack. Now there’s nothing wrong with slowing things down while on location but at the same time no one wants to be coming home having undone all the hard work they put in before they left.
With this in mind here are a few useful holiday tips to keep you on track without having to forfeit any of the holiday fun.
Let’s face it, most meals on holiday are going to be eaten out at cafés and restaurants which in turn makes it a lot easier to eat more than you realise. When eating out try to stick to these guidelines as best you can:
- Look for protein. Is there: grilled chicken breast, lean beef, shrimp tuna, beans, etc.? Start with that and figure out how to add veggies to it — you can usually request a substitution (such as a side salad instead of fries).
- Look for veggies. Is there a salad? Veggies and dip? Start with that and figure out how to add protein to it — you can often get chicken breast etc. on top of a salad.
- Look at side dishes. Often you can assemble a pretty good meal from a few side orders, such as a single egg or a cup of fruit.
- Look at the appetizer menu. Try ordering a small item or two instead of a table-crushing platter of ribs.
- EAT SLOWLY – you’re on holiday so there’s no rush. We tend to eat less when we slow down.
- Hydrate with water first – before you gulp down that ice cold beer kill the thirst with water. This will help to keep the calorie laden beverages in check.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of not exercising on holiday. For starters you don’t have your regular appointments booked into the perfect gym with the expert advice of your Matt Roberts Trainer! Despite this there are lots of things you can do to keep things ticking over. Remember the goal of exercising on holiday isn’t about breaking records, it’s about coming home fit and rested.
- Build in daily activity and exert yourself in whatever way you can manage – don’t fall into the routine of eat-sunbathe-eat-sunbathe-eat. Get up and explore the local area by foot or bike, go for a swim, play beach ball, play catch, play volleyball, build sandcastles, just get up and play!
- Do short 10 or 20minute body weight workouts – either first thing in the morning when it’s cool or during the midday sun when it’s best to go indoors and turn up the air conditioning.
- Do interval training – this is a great way to get more work done in a short space of time. You can use it with swimming, running, skipping, biking or even crawling in the sand! Simply work as hard as you can for 30seconds then rest for 1minute. Repeat this 6-8 times for a time efficient 10minute workout.
The important thing is to get some full body movement in each day to help maintain all the progress you have made through the year so far. Making good food choices and fitting in some activity on holiday doesn’t have to mean you can’t enjoy the best bits of being away and if you do your body and your trainer will thank you when you get back.