Health and fitness on holiday: Diet and workout tips
Deni’s reveals her top tips on keeping up your fitness regime on holiday (and still enjoying it – promise!)
I love going on holiday – it’s the absolute best. But I don’t like letting my fitness regime slip for too long – it makes me feel sluggish and unhealthy if I do so.
I’ve found a way to go on as many holidays as I like and also maintain my physique through a few useful hacks.
There are certain safeguards and tactics you can put into place to make sure you don’t fall completely off the wagon if you’ve got a work trip or holiday coming up.
I went on a cruise around Cuba recently, with just a few weeks left till I hit the fitness competition stage.
Here are my top tips from that trip – and what I often do when I go away but want to maintain my figure:
Make the most of a so-so hotel gym
Often in a hotel or cruise ship gym, you’ll find a couple of treadmills and steppers, a pulley machine, a bench, some dumbbells and mats.
You can adapt these to smash out almost any kind of workout.
Here’s my guide to a great workout using just the equipment outlined above:
Start with some cardio on your preferred CV machine (I always go for treadmill), then grab some dumbbells which you can push over your head without too much difficulty.
If you’re wanting to work your chest and triceps you can do some bench press, shoulder press and change to lighter weights for lateral raises. On the pulley, you can do some tricep extensions.
If you fancy training back, do some dumbbell rows. Move over to the pulley machine and set up a cable row on there.
Legs? You can lunge on the spot or walk-lunge from one end of the gym to the other if it’s not too tiny. Just make sure you’ve got a dumbbell in each hand by your side. You can deadlift with dumbbells too, did you know? Go for it.
Then, grab an even heavier dumbbell or kettlebell if there is one and do some goblet squats. You can put a step or dumbbell under each foot to really engage your core, and increase the balance challenge and depth of the exercise.
No gym? Is there an outdoorsy area you can run in?
Pretty much any piece of public furniture can double as a fitness aid
You can do upper body resistance exercises on a lamppost using resistance pulleys, and even use versatile monkey bars to do some sit ups.
This is pretty important but I know you’re going to find it tough. I actually find this smart tip quite tricky myself and often workout slightly hungover. It must be done.
If you must go for cocktails (you must go for at least one!) opt for lighter varieties i.e. ask for no sugar in your mojito. Choose ones containing light spirits and optional diet mixers.
Alternatively sip a sparkling wine (usually 100-150 calories) while the rest of your group glugs down a couple of sugary cocktails. This way you can still be involved in the fun.
If you have willpower of steel just try soda and fresh lime in a glass with a straw and little umbrella to feel like part of the party.
Round the pool, instead of a midday margarita, try sipping sugar-free soy iced lattes. Just as refreshing and you won’t feel woozy or headachey halfway through the day needing a nap before dinner.
Be clever with buffet choices
You know that bit at the beginning of a buffet you always skip? The green, undressed stuff before the greasy hot dishes – the meat, the pasta and the bread?
Yeah, get involved right there. Pile your plate high at the salad bar at lunch time.
You’ll find everything you need right there – lots of low-carb foods full of vitamins and minerals and healthy plant protein.
Don’t worry, you won’t miss out on your fat or sugar intake when you think about what you might be having for breakfast or lunch
For brekkie, I recommend opting for a few pieces of tropical fruit if there is some, followed by a bowl of porridge with some seed sprinkles. If you really need more or fancy a change, a brown bread peanut butter and jam sarnie is not a bad choice.
At dinner, again go for lots of vegetables and perhaps tofu if there is some, or a bean dish. Do your best to limit enjoyment of the bread basket before your food even arrives (guilty…!).