With the Christmas holidays fast approaching, all I can think about it taking time off, swimming at the beach, soaking up the hot Australian sun, drinking bubbly with friends, dancing the nights away and eating a ridiculous amount of food. But what happens to my fitness routine when I am busy celebrating the best holiday of the year? Love it or hate it, a routine is absolutely essential for staying fit and healthy. After long days of exploring and generally having fun, it can be difficult finding the motivation to exercise and eat well.

And whilst holidays are about adventure and exploring, not everyone wants to spend time in a hotel gym sweating it out on the treadmill. Or do you? With this in mind I’ve pulled together 8 tips to stay fit and healthy when you travel.

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO KAYLA ITSINES Kayla Itsines has changed my world. She is a personal trainer hailing from Adelaide in Australia and 1.6million people following her daily workouts on Instagram. I bought her Bikini Body Guide a couple of months ago and in addition to using it from home, it’s perfect to use on holidays. You simply print the guide, pack it in your suitcase and set aside a little time each day to workout. The sessions only take 31 minutes but don’t let the short time frame fool you – it’s hard work. I am sweating, huffing and puffing by the end of each session. She also has a brilliant Nutrition Guide with lots of healthy, delicious recipes.

BUY THE SEVEN MINUTE WORK OUT APP My sister is a super busy mum with three very active kids under the age of five and not so long ago she introduced me to the Seven Minute Workout app when I told her how unappealing hotel gyms weren’t motivating me to exercise. Perfect for those who live busy lives and want to exercise in the luxury of their home (or hotel room!), the Seven Minute Workout will become your holiday fling.

USE YOUR HOTEL GYM If you are staying at a hotel during your holidays, do use the gym! Whilst I find it difficult and mostly uninspiring because they often located in a dark room with old equipment, if you don’t have another choice there is nothing worse than not moving at all. So make the most of your hotel gym – they are always free!

WALK - DON’T CATCH THE TRAIN, TAXI OR BUS Throw on a pair of sneakers and walk – don’t catch the train, a taxi or a bus unless you absolutely have to. Pounding the pavement will not only burn the calories but you will discover all the cool, secret spots of your holiday destination. It’s also a great way to meet locals and really ingrain yourself in a culture.

DRINK SMARTER I’m not a regular drinker of alcohol, but if there is a celebration involved I love a glass of bubbly! But use these celebratory moments as an opportunity to drink smarter. Drink low calorie drinks – my choice is Absolut Vodka with soda water and a wedge of fresh lemon. With that said, drink lots and lots of water to avoid next day hangovers and to stay hydrated.

SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP Ok so being on holidays can get a little exciting. I seem to go to bed a lot later than usual but I also seem to wake up just as early as I do when I am not on holidays. Enter the much loved afternoon nap. Whether you love to sleep in, indulge in an afternoon nap or go to bed late, make sure you’re getting at least seven to eight hours sleep a night. It’s important to rest and recover on your holiday, otherwise you might go back to work feeling like you need another holiday!

INCLUDE ACTION BASED ACTIVITIES The more and more people I speak with are now including more action based activities in their holiday schedules – I love this! A holiday for me wouldn’t be complete without hiking, sky diving, heli skiing and swimming. This kind of adventure not only increases your endorphins, they are a fun way to stay fit whilst on holidays without even noticing.

CHOOSE FOOD WISELY Christmas Holidays – the ultimate indulgence. My best advice is to practice the 80/20 method. So on your holidays, be eat healthily 80% of the time and allow 20% for fun. As Christmas Day and Boxing Day are fast approaching, these two days can be your 20% fun, but every other day you need to eat healthily and control your portion sizes. I don’t believe in abstention but I do believe in moderation, so be sensible. You don’t want to come back from your holidays to find out none of your clothes fit.


Image via Christian McLeod

TipsJaharn GilesComment