When travelling, it is hard as HELL to keep up a workout routine and resist overeating.
I’m on holiday damn it! All rules should be broken!
Especially the food. I digest the phrase “taking in the culture” quite literally.
Still, it’s frustrating to come back bloated – me sweating from struggling with my jeans is quite the opposite of the relaxed, bronzed version of myself I envisioned on return from a vacation.
Here are 4 ways I’ve found which work for me without (and this is key!) depriving myself of wonderful experiences.
1. Make informed decisions by tracking what you eat
This might sound like a turn-off for some, but I’ve found tracking what I eat with apps like myfitnesspal to be the biggest key to limiting gains of the horizontal form.
The idea here is to track for awareness, not perfection.
It’s easy to lose track of how many patisseries I’ve inhaled in a day, not realizing each one has the calorie count of a small meal!
It’s also next to impossible to accurately track intakes when eating out. On holiday, having an estimation is good enough.
The main thing is that you want to be empowered to make informed decisions.
Using a tracker lets me plan ahead and decide how I’d like my day to go.
Some days, I’ll have dessert(s) at lunchtime, and then decide to have a lighter meal at dinnertime to balance it out.
Other days, I may decide the dinner buffet is totally worth going over my day’s food goals.
Whatever you decide works for you when you’re on holiday, using a tracker gives you back a sense of control.
2. Prepare your own meals
Where possible, I choose to stay somewhere that allows me to prepare my own meals. Ideally within walking distance of a supermarket!
Preparing my own meals has three key benefits:
- Greater control over my meals
- Less worry about finding places which meet my dietary preferences
- Lower expenses on food
I don’t spend much time on meal prep; very often it’s just yogurt and eggs for breakfast, and simple dinners that I prepare.
Together with tracking, having the ability to make my own food gives me back some control in managing how I’d like to spend my calories for the day.
Also, checking out grocery stores is one of my favourite things to do in a new place… It’s so interesting to see the different variety in local produce!! #supermarketauntie
3. Explore through activities that combine physical activity
Activities you could consider going for are diving, snorkelling, hiking, cycling… There are so many ways to see more of the world!
Or even signing up for a fitness class, especially if it’s local (Muay Thai in Thailand could be pretty badass) or something new for you.
In Barcelona, upon getting off a 14-hour journey, my sister thought it would be a great idea to welcome me with… a cross-fit session. It was a first for both of us.
Not exactly the welcome tray of tapas I was expecting.
Still, no regrets. We joined the class, got through it without vomiting (#goals) and afterwards hung out with our new local friends.
It was a great way to challenge ourselves in doing something new, get some exercise in AND meet locals!
We even ran a couple of km around the gym, so I guess that counts as sight-seeing too.
4. A mini version of your usual workout routine is better than none
Some activity is always better than none, and keeping up a routine makes it far easier to get back into the usual rhythm once back home.
In holiday-mode, I keep things quick and easy, starting the day with 5 minutes of yoga followed by a 10 to 15-minute workout on Nike’s Training Club app.
I also bring along an exercise mat.
Going through the trouble of packing it and laying it out from night 1 serves as a great motivator to get some exercise in.
Gotta make it worth the precious 2kg of carry-on allowance it takes up!
Do you face similar struggles when travelling?
What are some of your own tips?