Oasis Magazine Articles

Staying Healthy on Summer Holiday

By Kim Hampton

Finally! Summer break has arrived. However, what is lurking under the surface of your consciousness is the feeling of freedom from your mundane, daily routine, as it has been one heck of a year. Vacations, family reunions, and summertime barbecues are luring you into ‘no boundaries’ food intake.

Having no access to a gym facility where you know which machines or group fitness classes work best for you may lead you to feeling possibly hopeless and lost. Well, we are coming to your rescue to provide some tips so you survive your summer vacation without gaining kilos/pounds and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on the road!

Summer time is actually a great way to get in touch with your body and know where you stand.  Of course, having a base line set of measurements is advised so you become accountable for your actions while away. An even better reminder is being able to see our problem areas, as we tend to shed the clothes in the summer due to the heat. Try to turn this into a motivational tool and not a deterrent.

The least that you can do when away from your home/gym base is to maintain your level of fitness. Think of your fitness program as 4 parts: cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and nutrition. Cardiovascular training can be achieved simply by walking, running, and swimming in your new surroundings. You don't need to have a treadmill or cross training machine to do cardio. Get out there and enjoy your summer vacation spot and let the natural terrain stimulate your cardiovascular abilities. Set goals for yourself each day such as "I will walk to the next museum" or "instead of the elevator at the hotel, I will take the stairs each morning."

Strength training can be done with small props that you carry with you in your suitcase, such as a TRX, Pilates Fitness Circle, stability ball with small portable pumps that assists you in blowing it up, and rubber bands. Think in terms of strengthening with muscle balance using these suggested props. Work quadroceps with hamstrings, abdominal with lower back, chest with upperback, and tricep with biceps. Strength training the general muscle groups is enough to keep you going and maintained.  Always incorporate deep stretching after all workouts.  Holding each stretch for a minimum of 35 seconds and avoid bouncing or jerking motions. 

Staying hydrated during traveling is a must, along with controlling your food intake. Keeping a food journal will help to assist you in staying on track with proper food intake and timing of meals. Start with a plate of salad to fill the stomach and then move onto your main course. Remember that the “eyes are bigger the stomach.”

In addition to the 4 parts we must consider, rest also as an essential key to proper health. Muscles recover during sleep, so make sure to get at least 7-8 hour continuous sleep per 24 hour period. If your body is tired, you are more likely to grab sweet food and/or caffeinated drinks to keep you going. When traveling to a new time zone, try and get on schedule as soon as possible. When you are wide awake and the rest of the country is sleeping, work out to tire yourself and then try to sleep thus getting on schedule. Most important, enjoy your holiday, as it won't be long before you return to the grind and you’ll be wishing for the next holiday. 

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