Hello my thriving Holiday-goers!
Did you have a fun weekend of Christmas partying? In addition to being a personal trainer I also work in a hotel. We don’t have our holiday party until the middle of January, but we host a lot of parties for other companies and I always enjoy watching people make bad decisions 😉
One of the bonuses about having so many holiday parties at work is getting to nibble at some of the banquet leftovers 😉 The kitchen puts out some great salads and roasted veggie mixes, but they also put out a lot of rice, potatoes, and pumpkin tarts. With all that food sitting there for the taking, you really have to practice some willpower!
I don’t know about you, but I am DETERMINED to not let all this party food, Christmas cookies, and chocolates get the best of me. I’m really working to practice moderation when I’m presented with all of this good stuff. I’m still human and it doesn’t always go as planned, but every year I get better and better.
In addition to being mindful of my banquet scavenging, I’m also stepping up my fitness game. My time has been pretty limited lately so I’m keeping my workouts intense with heavy compound lifts and short HIIT sessions, and I’m trying to be more active in general by throwing in squats and burpees throughout my day.
If you’ve been following along with my Twelve Days of Fitmas Challenge you’ll know that today is day three, which includes three push-up side planks (each side for a total of 6), two man-makers, plus a one minute wall sit.
Phew! That’s a whole lot of sweaty fun! While it might not necessarily burn off all the holiday food, incorporating little bursts of exercise into your day will keep your metabolism revving and your mind fresh.
When you’re at home and in your own comfortable setting, this is pretty easy to accomplish. But what about when you’re travelling? Do all of your healthy habits have to go out the window?
Ooooooof course not!! You’ll likely have to modify your routine a bit, but there are tons of ways to stay active on the road! So your final Holiday Thrive Guide is going to be all about travelling!
In less than ONE WEEK I’m heading off to Mexico, and I plan on employing these tips so I can maintain my sanity and keep those holiday pounds at bay.
#1. Scope out your area ahead of time.
Are you staying at one of those fancy all-inclusive resorts that has a pool and a gym and tons of fitness classes for you to try? If so, consider yourself lucky – your work is done! Plan to get up a little earlier a couple of days so you can take advantage of the facilities and start your day off on a good note.
Or maybe you’re staying somewhere a little more snowy – there’s snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, or cross-country skiing to try. This can be a great way to explore the area you’re visiting and to try something new with your travel partners.
If you’re heading to another city, are there running routes you can look up beforehand to try out with a buddy? Again, running is an excellent way to see more of the city you’re visiting. Or if you’re visiting family that has some exercise equipment of their own, see if they wouldn’t mind sharing for a week 😉
#2. Use your layover time wisely.
If you’re stuck in an airport for 5 hours don’t just sit in the food court thinking about how miserable you are. Get up and get moving!
See how many times you can walk from one side of the airport to the other. Lunge your way around your terminal. Walk up and down the escalator. Do anything you can to KEEP MOVING.
Who cares if people look at you a little funny? A) You don’t know these people and will likely never see them again. B) While they’re grumbling about airlines and airports and whatever else it is people complain about these days, you are working to stay healthy and keep that body mobile.
#3. Bring some healthy snacks with you.
Depending on where you’re flying you’re a bit limited in what you can bring, but you can still take some homemade trail mix or energy bars, fruit, or veggies with you. As long as you’re taking my advice in #2, Clif bars are a great thing to bring with you because they’re easy to carry around and are very energy-dense. A little more processed than what I’d recommend on regular occasions, but it beats anything you’ll find in an airport.
If you’re going on a road trip you’re set! Bring a cooler and pack some full meals like meat and vegetables, yogurt, or smoothies. Hard-boiled eggs come to mind because they’re so portable, but I wouldn’t want to be travelling in a car with someone eating those 😉
#4. Eat at least one nutrient-dense meal each day.
I know, I know. “But I’m on vacation!!!” Even though your mind is on vacation, your body still needs nutrients to perform properly, preferably coming from more than one meal each day. But I’m cutting you some slack here 😉
If you’re staying in a hotel, see if you can have a fridge in the room to stock with vegetables and fruit. If you’re staying with family, see if they wouldn’t mind if you stocked a few healthy eats. Bring a nutritional supplement like Vega One, bring a blender with you, whatever it is you have to do to ensure you get at least ONE nutritious meal each day, just do it!
When you’re out to eat, pick your battles. If you’re just stopping somewhere quick for lunch, scout out the healthiest-looking option on the menu. That way when you’re out enjoying the local cuisine at night you can do so free of guilt. And if you’re dining at a family member’s house, see if you can help out by preparing a salad or your famous vegetable dish.
I know some people feel a little uncomfortable about doing this, but we need to stop apologizing for looking after ourselves! Who knows, you might even inspire someone else in your family to eat a few green things 😉
#5. Don’t stress out about your routine being disrupted.
When you’re in a groove and you’re seeing progress it can be tough to put things on hold. But part of a healthy lifestyle is being able to balance our adventures in the gym and super clean nutritious foods with spending time with our loved ones and making memories.
Don’t let yourself feel regret later down the road when you look back at this trip and only recall exercising and avoiding all of the holiday eats. Keep your goals in mind, but don’t keep such a tight leash on yourself that you end up missing out completely.
Vacations are supposed to be RELAXING, so don’t sweat it if you only got a 20-minute workout in as opposed to the 45-minute strength training and 15-minute HIIT session you would have otherwise done. If the only activity you get is walking along a beach or through the city, then THAT’S FINE.
It’s a whole lot better than sitting around doing nothing! And it may be just the break your body needs to come back stronger, faster, and better able to break through any barriers you were experiencing prior to your vacation.
So what about you, readers? How do you maintain your healthy habits when you’re on vacation? Do you let everything fall to the wayside, or do you try to maintain a little bit of normalcy?