I'm on holiday...


Right at this moment I’m sitting in a tent while I write this.  So, it seems that I didn’t completely think through the while blogging every day in February thing as right now, we are camping for 10 days and this makes it hard to keep a regular writing schedule – but I digress.

But it did give me some inspiration about what to write about today.  Once you are in the groove of training, it gets a little easier to fins the motivation to continue.  But when you are away on holiday this can be a challenge.  One way around this is to purposefully program your holiday when you feel like you will need some recovery time.  Use this time to stay active but give your muscles a little break from the gym.

This is valuable in terms of allowing our body to recover.  It is not just your muscles that need time off, your nervous system is challenged with your workouts too. So, don’t feel bad for allowing yourself some time off.

Another way to approach time away from the gym is to look for other ways to train.  A personal favourite of mine is the beach workout.  This of course requires a beach, so if you are going on an alpine holiday well, then this one isn’t for you.  Everything is harder to do on sand, especially soft sand.  This means that the work you put in will be of a higher intensity than normal, making bodyweight exercises like squats more challenging, basic cardio exercises like mountain climbers and star jumps difficult, and high intensity cardio like repeat sprint efforts near lethal!

The plus side of all of that is that you can get a lot of work done in a short amount of time.  It would be perfectly fine to do a 20-minute workout on the beach and then head to the pool and the nearest sun lounger to kick back for the rest of the day.

If you are training for an endurance event like the round the bays race, round Taupo cycle challenge or something along these lines then holidays can be great opportunities to get some extra work in.  Most holiday spots in New Zealand are pretty close to some walking tracks which can be used to challenge your cardio fitness.  They are also usually blessed with some pretty awesome scenery to go along with the exercise challenge.

Of course, if you are staying in a higher quality hotel like the Hilton or Novotel then they usually come complete with in-house gyms or fitness centres.  Which of course means that you can continue to train even if it may not be at the same level as you previously have been.  Even though they are called gyms, don’t expect them to be fitted out with the usual level of equipment you are used to training with.  I would expect at most some light free weights (usually dumbbells up to about 10kg), some cardio machines and if you are lucky a multi-purpose cable machine.  Despite the lack of equipment, you can still get a good workout in with this gear.

There is also the extra incidental exercise you can get from just being away from home.  Take us for example.  We are camping in a very well-equipped holiday park, with what only can be called a mobile house of a tent, but we still have a fair walk to use the bathrooms and showers, we also walk into town for the most part which is a 5-minute stroll each way, plus whatever walking we do around the town itself.  Everything is a little bit more effort – it doesn’t usually feel that way though because we are on holiday - the pace of life is much slower.  But we are still getting the extra steps in that we wouldn’t get at home where all the facilities are 10 seconds away.  Don’t discount this extra incidental exercise.

So, there are some options for you to consider when you head away for a well-deserved vacation.  You don’t need to let yourself slip out of your routine, just adapt and overcome and you will feel much better when you get back home to your usual training sessions knowing that you have not slipped back too far.


How do you train while you are away on holiday?  Do you have any special tips or tricks?  I would love to hear about them if you do, contact me through my website and let me know.


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