express asked Gareth Smith, a certified Personal Trainer, for some tips and tricks on how to stay in shape when jet-setting across the world.
OK! Let’s talk travel, A common question among anyone with some kind of health or fitness goal in mind will always be, “How do I stay healthy, fit and active, while still enjoying my holiday?”
Firstly, I feel like I need to point out that any goal we have towards our health and fitness will always be 70 per cent what we eat and 30 per cent what we do. Exercise therefore, is the ‘easy’ part. Prioritise your exercise for first thing in the morning, before you begin whatever amazing adventure you’ve set yourself for the day.
If you don’t have access to a gym, then go for a run! Familiarise yourself with the route first though to avoid getting lost!
You can also do a few rounds of some simple body weight exercises in your hotel such as: Squats, Lunges, Push Ups, Burpees, Planks and if you happen upon a playground or a fixed bar, beam or even tree branch, why not try some Pull Ups or Chin Ups? Can’t do those? Find a low bar, about waist height and try some Inverted Body- Weight Rows. Exercise doesn’t have to last for hours on end, a quick 30 minutes a day, or 1-3 times per week is more than enough to help you keep on-top of your health and fitness.
Secondly, and hopefully this goes without saying, walk when and where you can. Do things like riding your bike, hiking, and going for walking tours is a FANTASTIC start to building a healthy body. It’s exercise that doesn’t really feel like exercise, because you’re also exploring new surroundings.
Now, I’m well aware that nobody wants to be told that most of how you look and feel will come down to what you eat, especially on holiday. It’s a given that you can’t out run or out-train a poor diet. Not to rain on anyone’s parade but the key thing we’re trying to prevent is the crash dieting that usually follows a trip away with consistent over-eating.
With exercise covered, let’s talk about the real elephant in the room, FOOD. Or more importantly a rock solid, simple-to-follow nutrition strategy to take away on whatever holiday calls your name.
A few key tips to remember:
- Eat real food as often as possible.
- Do the best you can and make the healthiest choices in whatever your situation.
- Find a good balance.
- Try to avoid having two bad meals in a row.
- Remember you are human, moderation is key.
Ideally, we want the majority of our food to consist of vegetables, protein, some fruits and nuts, and occasionally potatoes and rice. Try to really minimise things like bread, pasta and liquid calories such as alcohol, soft drinks and fruit juices.
Every meal should have at least one source of protein and one serving of vegetables. You don’t need to just eat broccoli and chicken when travelling and ignore anything that tastes good. Instead, try to make 80 per cent of your meals healthy, and then eat whatever you want the other few meals. Your body won’t balloon up after one bad meal, but if you let one bad meal become a month of eating poorly, it will cause problems.
I believe drinking can be done occasionally in moderation, and a healthy lifestyle can still be achieved. If you decide that you want to drink, good for you. If you decide that you don’t, that’s fine too. You know yourself best – be smart. Rather than give up drinking, let’s find a way to fit in into your schedule.
A few key tips to remember when drinking:
- Red wine and vodka soda water are your ‘healthiest’ options
- Light beers are your next best option
- Avoid sugary mixed drinks and energy drink-alcohol combos
- Drink a glass of water between each drink
Following these suggestions will not only help you stay healthy and fit while on holiday, but it’ll ensure you look banging whether sunbathing in the Mykonos or covered in paint dancing the night away on a beach in Thailand!
Gareth works full time as a Personal Trainer at Vision Personal Training. To find out more, pop in at Level 3, 202 Ponsonby Road, Auckland or call Dean Williams on 021 942 712.