How to survive a holiday without a spare tyre around your waist?
Your coaches at Home Workout Challenge Elisa & Pekka are currently spending time in lovely Paris, France. Although it’s a semi-holiday (answering to your questions, blogging, creating fitness tips and making improvements on our coaching programs is still very much on the agenda!), the idea is not to go crazy with all the pastries, ice cream, wine, cheese and the like that’s on display on all the cute bakeries and cafés found on every corner of every street.
Our aim is to stay fit, healthy and active while enjoying the changed scenery, sites, sounds and the atmosphere of this metropolis.
Since we believe in keeping fitness with us wherever we go, we’ve collected here a survival kit on how we’re planning to spend the weeks here and how you can do the same on your travels!
Staying healthy and fit while on holiday or traveling is just a matter of attitude! Wouldn’t it be great to come back home looking and feeling energised and without a stubborn spare tyre around your waist? Check out our best tips for doing that!
This should be a piece of cake. In most cities you can easily walk from one place to another.
Even though Paris is a big city, all the main attractions can be reached by foot. If you get tired, there’s always a cosy cafeteria close-by to rest your feet. Instead of taking the metro, bus or going by car from door-to-door, walking from one place to another gives you more perspective and you’ll get to see and experience a whole lot more. At least get off the metro or bus one stop earlier than needed or park your car a bit farther away and go explore.
Strolling down the avenues slowly is better than nothing, but try to pick up the speed every now and then to increase the effect. Power-walk your way from one attraction to another! Walking will speed up your metabolism and is a safe way to incorporate some exercise into your days.
After a long day of walking, it’s a good idea to do some stretching in the evening and maybe even lift up your legs against a wall to revitalise them.
Walking is a good start for staying fit, although it’s not the whole story.
2. Take the stairs
If you want to take walking to the next level, try taking the stairs!
If you look for them, you’ll find stairs everywhere! There are stairs in every hotel, in metro tunnels, in shopping centers… everywhere!
Taking the stairs instead of just walking on level ground is beneficial, as it has a bigger impact on improving your cardiovascular fitness. According to the research studying the effect of taking the stairs, this form of exercise was found to have significant health benefits. You can read more about the studies and the benefits of stair walking here.
Additionally, one benefit of walking up the stairs that just can’t be overlooked is how it affects your lower body. Toned legs and perky butt, anyone?
Our flat is in the 5th floor with no elevator, so I’m walking up those stairs every day whether I want it or not!
3. Work out
Ok, so now you’re walking and taking the stairs. Great! Your lower body gets plenty of exercise, also you get to enjoy most of the positive effects that exercising has to offer:
- increased energy levels
- good mood caused by released endorphins
- health benefits such as lowered blood pressure and healthy heart and bones
- help with weight management
Just to mention a few.
But what about your upper body? What about improving your cardiovascular endurance?
In order to really stay fit throughout your holidays, you need to include a few proper workouts in your weekly agenda. By proper workout we mean doing something that makes you sweat and exhausts your muscles.
Naturally, a good choice is a Home Workout Challenge workout!
Bodyweight workouts are a superb choice while on holidays. For instance, try this one:
No matter how tiny your hotel room is, there’s always room for this!
I already know what you’re thinking! Your days are always packed with sightseeing or other activities, so how on earth are you supposed to add in a workout! That’s why we suggest doing it first thing in the morning to get it overwith!
When it’s done, you’ll be bursting with energy and ready to explore!
We’ve started our mornings in Paris a few times with a nice run through the streets of waking Paris or in one of the lovely parks and then done a quick bodyweight workout afterwards. What a way to start the day!
A word of warning though. On unknown streets it’s easy to get lost, so it’s probably a good idea to take your phone and a map with you. Otherwise your nice little morning jog might turn into a half marathon when searching for the right path home…
Pekka jogging with a teddy bear (don’t ask! )
4. Eat well
Once you got the exercise part right, it’s time to look at your holiday diet. I’m not trying to spoil your holiday by asking you to eat just carrots and celery sticks. Who would want to eat like that anyways? No one!
But there are plenty of choices that you can make to improve your diet and survive from your holidays healthy, happy and lean!
- In most restaurants, you can switch the fries to a side salad.
- A big green salad with beef, chicken, fish or beans for a healthy source of protein is a great choice for lunch.
- Watch out for the salad dressings though. They often contain all kinds of dodgy ingredients. Ask the dressing on the side.
- Take it easy on the alcohol. A glass of wine every now and then is ok, but not the whole bottle!
- Don’t let yourself get to the “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse” state, as that’s the time you’re bound to make poor choices! Keep snacks with you to avoid those pangs of hunger. Excellent snacks are nuts, dried figs or dates, apples and bananas.
- If you have a possibility to prepare your own food, it’s always a good choice. For example making a healthy breakfast is an excellent way to start the day. Below is our breakfast a couple of days ago: clean, lean, and healthy! If your goal is to get fit, avoid croissants, waffles, muffins, white bread, etc.. Those are just empty calories you really don’t need.
5. Drink water
Are you often feeling exhausted when traveling? Of course going out and about to explore takes its toll, but one of the reasons for feeling tired might be that you actually are dehydrated!
In order to revitalise and energize your body and to clarify your mind, drink water! You’ll be happy to find out that water is also a natural detoxifier that keeps your body and skin in top condition.
How much is enough then? Go for at least 8 to 10 glasses a day. Start your mornings with a big glass of water and carry around a bottle all the time.
If the tap water is not drinkable, go to the local grocery store to get a big can of mineral water. Get also a smaller one to keep with you and refill. When carrying the big can back to your place, you’ll get exercise at the same time!
6. Sleep well
When you’re enjoying your travels to the fullest, you might feel like sleep is a waste of time. I understand, although staying in Paris for a few weeks, I feel like there’s just no time to visit all the wonderful sites, not to mention the cafeterias and restaurants I want to go to. There just isn’t enough time.
However, compromising on sleep is not a good idea. In addition to having numerous health benefits, good night sleep is an amazing booster of energy, vitality, vibrancy, and good mood. It also makes you look radiant.
Combined with regular exercise, sleeping approximately 8 hours per night is one of the most efficient de-stressors there is. Considering that relieving stress is one of the most efficient ways to lower your body’s cortisol level thus making it easier to lose weight, good night sleep is a must when on holidays, too!
Finally, holiday isn’t a holiday if you don’t get to relax and enjoy life.
Relaxation increases overall wellbeing. Wellbeing, on the other hand, means less stress and less stress will help maintaining your figure and aid with weight loss. Everything is so much easier when you’re not tired or stressed out.
Exercising, drinking water eating and sleeping well will certainly all add to your wellbeing. Moreover, regular exercise and clean eating leaves room for indulgence. If you eat clean 90% of the time, you can satisfy your cravings 10% of the time!
Having an occasional dessert at the restaurant or ice cream on the beach is totally ok, as long as you don’t do it every day! Also, a glass of wine (or even two) will do, as long as it’s not the whole bottle!
Enjoy your holidays!