Oh how I love long weekends. Shared meals with the family, no morning alarms needing to be set and time spent outside. A chance to have a break from the usual routine, explore some new places and enjoy a champagne or two.
But yes. Us ‘fitness folk’, we are a little bit different. We do like to ‘workout’ on our holidays. Now before you go rolling your eyes, hear me out.
The human body is designed to MOVE and works BEST when it’s active. The more INACTIVE you are, the harder it is for your body to feel healthy and for YOU to feel happy. And that includes when you’re on holidays. It’s why you might start to feel a little bit ‘blah’ after a few days of doing ‘not much’. Having said this, you won’t see me busting out my usual weekly exercise routine whilst on holidays. Because giving myself some relaxation and down time is necessary and taking a break from my regular routine is important. But, my body wants to move, needs to move, loves to move! And thats why, even when I’m on holidays, I keep an eye out for opportunities to MOVE my body everyday. Exercise is movement. Movement is exercise. Same same but different. At the end of the day, yes, a 30 minute high intensity cardio session is different to an afternoon stroll along the beach…. but….. as far as exercise is concerned, walking daily is more than enough.
With this in mind, here’s my top five long weekend ‘workouts’:
1. Afternoon strolls: Going for long walk at sunset is the best. On our holidays we are so blessed to stay just a stones throw from a seriously amazing coastal walk. Over 15kms of footpath that follows the beach all the way into town. Perfect for sunset stroll. If you’re holidaying somewhere unfamiliar, grab a map of the area, highlight some of your must see sights, and aim to see some of these on foot.
2. Exploring playgrounds: How good are nature playgrounds?! Just as fun for adults as for kids I reckon! Balancing beams, climbing frames, an open space to kick a ball. Some even have hopscotch, foursquare and more! When on holidays we actively hunt down cool local playgrounds to explore with our toddler. We pack a rug, soccer ball a few snacks and we’re off first thing in the morning before the holiday crowds (and heat) set in. Tell me keeping up with the kiddos isn’t a fun way to MOVE?
3. Gentle stretches: When I wake up, before I go to bed, or whilst I’m playing in the shallow waters with my toddler at the beach. A few gentle stretches can do wonders to help your body relax and unwind. It doesn’t have to be a yoga session. It doesn’t have to be anything too structured. You don’t even need to be able to touch your toes. Just move your body gently, hold poses for a bit, move gently again, hold a little more.
4. Beach adventures: Beaches are the epitome of holidays and can be seriously fun to explore. Climb rocks, explore walking paths, build sandcastles, trek up the dunes, splash in the shallows, tread water where its deep or play classic catches with a tennis ball. Depending which beach you head to there could even be Stand Up Paddle Boards or kayaks to hire, or waves to boogie or body board. Why not be a little (F)earless and give something NEW a go!
5. At-home-workout: Depending on the length of my holiday I like to have a couple of ‘at home workouts’ up my sleeve. If I’m heading away for a week or less, I’ll aim to fit in at least one 20min bodyweight workout, but if I’m away longer than that I might pack some exercise equipment (ie. skipping rope and resistance band) and aim for one workout every 3-4 days. I’ve found the trick to these is to keep them super simple. And by that I mean, choosing exercises I am familiar with because in my opinion, holidays are not the time to be learning new moves, testing your limits or pushing PBs. Ain’t nobody got time for ‘super sore muscles’ whilst on holidays right?! Choose moves that work well for YOU so you can continue to enjoy your holiday!
Here’s three at-home-workouts I’ve packed these holidays:
Workout 1 – moderate intensity
- 35seconds work, 15seconds rest.
- Rounds: Run, Incline Push Ups, Walking Lunges, Run, Dips, Squats.
- Rest 1 min.
Workout 2 – higher intensity
- 20seconds work, 10seconds rest.
- Rounds: Fast run, chest to floor push ups, squat jumps (slow pace, quality jumps), drop squats, mountain climbers (fast & light, on an incline if needed to ensure quality), repeat
- Rest 2 min.
Workout 3 – equipment workout
- 40seconds work, 10seconds rest.
- Rounds: Banded Reverse Lunge & Row, Banded Pallof Press, Banded Squat then Chest Press, Mini Band Lateral Walks, Mini Band Pulldowns, Skipping, Jog, Skipping, Jog
Feel like you don’t have a lot of ‘free time’ to exercise on your holiday? Perhaps in need of something a little quicker? Give Workout Snacking a go!
*Note: I start each workout with a warm up and finish each workout with a cool down. This involves walking, steady jog and dynamic stretches. If you have limited space and can’t run do high knees instead.