For many people, booking a vacation provides the necessary inspiration for individuals to embrace the fit life in an effort to achieve a lean and toned beach body. Having that date on your calendar provides a constant reminder and countdown to obtaining your fitness goals. So you spent the last 3 months trekking to the gym at the crack of dawn before the workday began or in the evening when you would have much rather gone straight home from the office to eat dinner and watch the season finale of your favorite reality tv show. In addition, your daily lunch breaks were filled with salads galore while you enviously watched your coworkers nosh on burgers and paninis….and after all that dedication and hard work – you did it! You’re on your way to the airport and feeling better than ever, ready to rock the heck out of that Victoria’s Secret bikini you scored for 20% off. You’re ready to get the party started but why sabotage your newfound fit physique by being lazy and gorging on junk food and booze all week?! It is your vacation and the goal here is to enjoy yourself and indulge a bit but you can easily splurge and have fun for the week without gaining all the weight back that you spent months trying to lose. Here’s how:
EXERCISE – Most hotels have a fitness center on site that includes treadmills, free weights and perhaps other great isolation machines. Take advantage of this and seize the day. Before stepping out to hit the beach or go site-seeing, hit the treadmill for 25-45 minutes of cardio. Make sure the intensity is challenging enough to get your heart rate up and include intervals to torch more fat in less time. For strength training, complete a full body circuit for 3 sets at a rep range of 12-15. If you are using your vacation to escape reality, which many people do, that means you will not step foot in the gym all week. Yet, this doesn’t mean you can’t work out. Participate in a good old game of beach volleyball, rent jet skis, go rock climbing or take a walking tour. These fun-filled vacation activities are a great way to get some cardio in without really thinking about it. Also, walk everywhere you go (shoes permitting) and use a pedometer app on your phone to track your mileage, pace and calories. Walking or running on the beach provides additional resistance and makes your muscles work harder. Don’t forget to engage your core to define those sexy abs!
EAT, DRINK & STAY FIT – For me personally, visiting a warm destination decreases my appetite substantially. Whether it be the fact that I am in a bikini 75% of the time and I don’t have access to my well-stocked kitchen or perhaps it’s the high price of dining out all week (another way frugalness comes in handy), I definitely tend to eat less on vacation. I also find that I eat lighter foods when the weather is hot. Salads, fresh fruit and grilled shrimp are much more appealing and satisfying to me as opposed to heavy, comfort foods like breads, soups and pasta. You are on vacation, so splurge and enjoy. Indulge in a piece of bread before dinner but order the tilapia oreganata and marinated vegetables. When its time to order dessert – do it! That’s what vacations are for and I’m certain the mild climate is making you crave a cool and refreshing treat. Order the sorbet with fresh berries and share it with your travel companion. Sharing is caring and slashes calories in half instantly! Now, what to drink? You may be tempted by that pitcher of sangria or margarita at the table next to you and if you absolutely must, go ahead and order one glass. Ultimately your best bet is to stick to clear alcoholic beverages like premium vodka with club soda and a squeeze of lime. This is a much lower calorie option and is also less likely to induce a nasty hangover in the morning. Red wine contains more calories than vodka but boasts a powerful antioxidant, resveratrol, therefore it’s another healthy option.
REST – Relaxation is most likely one of the top reasons you booked your getaway. Your heart sings at the idea of turning off your annoying alarm clock that regularly wakes you up before sunrise. The absence of your micro-managing boss who hovers over your back while you quickly minimize your Facebook page gives you a sense of true inner peace. Believe it or not, stress and lack of sleep negatively effects your health in many different ways and will absolutely hinder your fitness aspirations. Cortisol, is a hormone that is released throughout your body when you’re sleep deprived and/or stressed out. This nasty hormone makes you store fat, particularly around your midsection. Getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night and engaging in relaxing activities, whether at home or on vacation will inhibit your body’s production of cortisol therefore enabling you to successfully reach your fitness goals. While traveling, take pleasure in leisurely basking in the sun while the waves gently splash up on shore…all-natural SPF required. Use this time to set your mind free and meditate. At night, watch the sunset from your hotel balcony and give thanks for all of your many blessings…and yes we all have many. Some hotels offer morning yoga on the beach which is an excellent way to reduce stress while increasing flexibility and strength. Being on the water can also be very peaceful so enjoy a sailboat or dinner cruise if possible.
Most importantly, do what truly makes you happy and have a fabulous trip. Once you start to live the fit life you will realize that making healthy choices at mealtime and taking the time to exercise your body is a lifestyle that can and should be maintained in a balanced way all year round. If you do happen to overindulge on vacation, do not beat yourself up over it. Upon your return devise a clear fitness and nutrition plan to keep you on track and email me to schedule an amazing, heart-pumping, body toning workout. Bon Voyage and Be Fit!