Importance of Keeping Fit While On Holiday
Travel and holiday routine
You know the drill when you are travelling ( happens with most of us ) - wake up as late as possible ( around eleven or noon if one can help it), get through the rest of the morning having Tea and snacks and at lunch time indulge heavily at a restaurant on all your favorite drink and food, a snooze in the afternoon ( made inevitable by all that eating ), tea and snacks in the evening and some sight seeing and shopping in the evening, may be visit a pub or a restaurant, down a couple of cocktails and another heavy dinner and then to bed. Do you recognise this routine and does it seem somewhat familiar?
Of course if you are travelling on work, it is a bit different though not much - wake up as late as possible, rush to your spot of work and have a morning of high stressed negotiations, a beeline for the buffet lunch or a packed sandwich or take way lunch, an afternoon spent guzzling coffee or tea, fighting to stay awake, and of course shopping and a round of the night club, unlimited drinks and food and to bed...Agreed that it is hard to stick to routine all year round and even harder when you are away from home.
It is also agreed that vacation is meant for relaxation but everything life has to have a limit and when it goes above that, results are bound to be negative. Keeping to our fitness routine when we are travelling takes some planning and motivation.
Many people suffer from travel sickness and travel fatigue or jet lag as the case may be, you may not have the jogging tracks and gym equipment that you were used to and had back home. You also may have forgotten to pack your motivation to keep active during your vacation. But according to fitness experts, travelling also has the unexpected potential to give your fitness regime a boost.
I have seen people come back with knee ache, back ache , headache and every possible kind of ache after their holiday which was supposed to have been a relaxing rejuvenating experience. The reason being they have not planned out their routine properly taking into consideration their fitness regime . A trip may take the earlier routine out of your routine and you may have no choice but to try new strength exercises or jog in the pool instead of swimming 20 laps and you may even find this new routine so enjoyable that you may want to add it on to your regular routine back home!
First of all remove the word exercise from your brain since that’s what causes a mental block and comes in the way by being a deterrent to your enjoying it.Once you have done that you will see brave new ways to put fitness on your itinerary as you enjoy a new destination.
All it takes is a little lateral thinking, some planning and the enthusiasm to get off the couch , armchair or bar stool. Before leaving for a holiday find out whether your hotel or guest house is equipped for fitness – for example does it have a gym? Or a swimming pool? a jogging track? Some establishments have tie ups with local gyms too.
Make sure that you are carrying your fitness gear and let that not be an excuse for you to stay away from your fitness regime. This should include track suit , which you can also use while going out on day treks , so it will not be an added burden , swimsuit and walking shoes. Carry a small towel and music if you are used to listening to it at home. Most plans work only when there is determination to act upon it otherwise it is of no use. Similarly, when you start out and make plans you need to decide in advance how much time you are willing to devote to your feel good regime.
Taking a flight
Taking a flight usually entails a certain amount of inactivity, but only if allow that. Instead of sitting around trying to make the newspaper or the book you are carrying last until the boarding time or watching a movie on your screen, if you are taking an international flight, try to walk and do some stationary exercise by moving your ankles and hands if it is possible. Even the small movement helps in keeping your system ticking. If you are waiting at the airport on transit, take the opportunity to walk up and down the corridors at a brisk pace or go exploring the place even if you have to drag your cabin baggage around – thereby you have even more exercise !
A long flight can really play havoc with your feet and back since you sit within the narrow space for long hours , which can lead to the rare but potentially deadly deep vein thrombosis, where blood clots travel to your heart, lungs and brain. Do simple muscle contractions and releases in your seat, flex and extend your legs and do deep breathing exercises at frequent intervals. Even getting out of your seat and visiting the rest room just to freshen up or getting a newspaper or a magazine from the rack helps.
If you have an aisle seat, try and do a subtle jog ( sort of like a bouncing walk ) and make the foray last as long as possible. The idea is to keep moving and be active so that your muscles don’t relax and totally collapse. We see some people unable to get up after sitting for a long period of time, and this is because their muscles have caved in and take a while before they come back to their original shape.
Round and About
If you are lucky, the hotel you are staying in will have a gym and a health club, if not look at what is available and make the most of it . Here are some easy ways to build and incorporate exercise routine into your holiday ! Once you start there will be no holding back..
Mental conditioning - It is important for you have the right mind set. Being vague and undecidecd about what exercise to do and whether it is possible to do it will only dilute your intentions and will power. So condition your mind before you set out on your vacation regarding your workout routine.
Use your hotel’s sports facilities – Make use of everything that is being offered to you. Swim in the pool, play squash, use the gym and jog around the garden. Basically, you should be attentive and make the best use of what is available..
Take the stairs - In cities with high rise buildings , hotels and guest houses may not come with any of the facilities like a swimming pool or any other sports facilities, so the best option is to use the stairs every time you step out, go to keep an appointment if you are on a work related travel.So, every time opt for the stairs instead of the lift.
Find a local park or stadium - Most cities have some breathing space provided by the city authorities, so try to locate one close to your place of stay. walking or jogging will increase your fitness and decrease your travelling costs. In fact many fitness experts suggest that carrying an exercise Cd is a good option, simply use it on your laptop and get going .
Make use of your room - Exploit the room you are staying in to the maximum advantage. You can do Yoga, some bending exercise, spot jogging and pushups, sit ups, tricep dips off the chair etc etc...These simple exercises can be done to make up for doing nothing. I have seen people using water bottle as weights, so being innovative and practical helps.
Jump Rope - Carrying a jump rope is something that I have found very useful,hardly takes any space and you can use it as frequently as you want and when you want. Even using it for as less as five minutes in the morning and evening has immense benefits for your health.
Carry collapsible weights – Fitness experts recommend carrying collapsible weights that one fills with water. When you are done with them, you just empty out the water and fold them back to fit into your bags while travelling.
Walk to dinner and other places – Look for different options and different restaurants that are located at least 2 or 3 kms away and walk to the spot. It is fun walking alone or with family as you explore the new route. Some of us were discussing this issue and one of my friend was against such a thing since she liked dressing up for dinner and wearing a saree or a nice dress and heels is not an ideal situation for walking. Why not wear your walking shoes instead and change into high heeled slippers which you can carry in your hand bag after you reach the restaurant. Worth trying when health and fitness is an issue !
Dancing is good – if you are planning to visit a restaurant why not make use of the dance floor since dancing for half an hour provides you with a good amount of calorie burn and can be counted as exercise.
Since we all agree that it is important to stay fit while travelling, we also should be able to realise that putting off fitness routine even for a few days can come in the way of continued well being.We all tend to think that we will be gone for a few days only , may be for a week, a fortnight and it will not make any great difference if we don't exercise regularly. However, according to experts fitness needs to be a day today affair. Being fit and healthy does not mean sweating away in the gym, instead you can have some fun filled activities.
In fact some experts even suggest that taking a Fitness holiday is good . So why not take a fitness holiday ? Backpacking and trekking holidays will get your heart pumping, so also activities like kayaking,diving excursions, mountain climbing etc..Of course all these activities require a basic degree of fitness, but this can also serve as an incentive to start upping the stamina levels. Many Europeans and Westerners go on cycling and camping holidays which are extremely healthy and bring them close to nature.They rough it out and reap the health benefits in the long run.
Eat wisely and enjoy your food
Travelling often blows away our resolutions about healthy eating, weight watching etc , but the following tips will let you enjoy your food without taking any extra baggage around your hips and stomachwhile you go back home after your vacation.
1, Water is very essential to cleanse and maintain a balance within our system. So, drink lots of water. Stay hydrated all the time by consuming water and other fluids particularly when you are flying or on a long road trip.
2, Eat at least three times a day, so that you don't feel famished or stuffed. The idea is to keep your energy levels high and flowing all the time by eating right and on time at the right intervals. When you eat right you have enough energy for all activities and this in turn keeps you fit. It is a cyclical action.
3, Whenever you get an opportunity, buy fruits and healthy snacks from the local markets or shops.You can carry some with you while going out and keep eating it since fruits and other healthy snacks like a sandwich is any day better than eating junk food or oily food that is served at most tourist spots.
4, Eat local cuisine whenever you can. I personally feel that it is wiser to eat what is available locally and easily since it is most convenient to do so. Go ahead and splurge on regional dishes even if they seem to have higher caloric content than you are used to. Just maintain a balance by eating fruits,nuts and consuming water and other fluids at other times.
5, When you have had a heavy meal either at lunch time or dinner time make sure that you compensate by adding some extra activity the next day and also eating healthier next day. This kind of adjustment and compromise goes a long way !
Holidays are enjoyed by all in varying degrees. Some people seem to never get tired with what they do regardless of their age? They seem to have so much stamina and energy and passion for their day today activities and they continue to have an action paced holiday .The secret formula to becoming physically fit which is often neglected is because most people get easily engaged with what their eyes can visibly perceive.
An active mind is a great influence for having a fit and healthy body. Staying mentally fit is as important or even more important than staying physically fit. The most important factors that help you keep fit are Eating better and healthy, Thinking positive, Feeling good about yourself, Doing regular exercise. Other than that , reading books, communicating with others on subjects that are interesting and help you grow as a person or even simple bonding with family and friends are all healthy activities that keep your mind active and thereby physically fit as well. There is no denying the fact that your brain cells too need regular workout like your body does.
A holiday where fitness and exercise is not given any consideration, tends to leave one tired and short tempered at the end of it. No wonder after you come back you are ready to take another holiday since you feel inactive and tired as a result of the extra weight you would have probably put on and also too much relaxation ,rest and sleep would have made you lethargic. So opt for a healthy holiday.
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