Fitness is a big family motto of ours, but that’s doesn’t mean I don’t eat chocolate every day (I’m part Dutch, I don’t have choice in the matter). We live a healthy lifestyle overall, and to us that means exercising and eating well with those small indulgences (My husband’s definition of exercise is an hour run and some calisthenics, for me it may be 30 minutes of Barre Method at home while my toddler climbs all over me). We have found a balance that works for us, but maintaining this while we travel is a whole other story. It took some time, but we found ways to amend our habits abroad so that we can enjoy our adventures to the fullest and still fit into our clothes when we return home. We asked an expert on the matter, Personal Trainer, Martin Ebner of Ebylife, for some additional tips!
1 // Stay hydrated
Water is so important and often overlooked when out of your daily routine. Ebylife tip: water helps to stave off hunger, eliminate toxins from the body and keep your skin vibrant. It also helps prevent major vacation downers like sunstroke! If vacationing in a hot climate, drink at least 2 L of water daily (and no, sauvignon blanc doesn’t count).
2 // Exercise first thing
Studies show that exercise first thing gives the metabolism a boost, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the rest of the day. If you want to enjoy those midday cocktails guilt-free, get up, get a sweat on and be done!
3 // Soak up the scenery with a bike, walk or run
What better way to explore a new destination than by taking in the sights and getting your heart rate elevated at the same time. Take a run along the beach, enjoy a bike tour through the old city or meander through the local shopping districts. God gave you legs for a reason, Use them! *Ebylife tip: using a pedometer app can be quite motivational and rewarding. Aim for the recommended 10,000 steps per day.
4 // Take advantage of the water
Water sports are a fantastic and fun way to stay fit (and let’s be honest, a good way to get a tan). Ebylife tip: from snorkeling to surfing to discovering a new underwater cave, use the ocean to your advantage to satiate your adventure and burn some calories. Go on, be bold and discover your new sea legs.
5 // Keep the indulgence to a minimum
Ok, I get that you are on vacation which means the usual rules do not apply. I’m not one to deprive myself of sweets (can I use the Dutch excuse again?), but I have learned that I need to manage this intake in moderation. This can be especially difficult when you’re out of your daily routine, eating out a lot (and those breakfast buffets don’t help either) and eating foreign foods. But travel is also about exploration, and for me, that includes the local flavors, so I say, try it all (but yes, in moderation). Ebylife tip: when dining out, choose grilled over fried, a glass of wine over a bottle, share a desert and try not to eat dinner within 1 hour of bedtime.
Good luck with that “glass of wine” idea. Especially in France. Or Italy. Or just about anywhere in the world.
6 // Pack right
If you want to workout, you’ll need the right gear! Just bring the essentials: runners and a couple sets of tops and bottoms that you can alternate (we’re big on hand-washing our gear so each day we have a fresh set). Luckily most gear is lightweight and won’t take up too much precious cargo room.
7 // Train where you are
Sometimes the best gym is your hotel room. It’s convenient, it’s close, and it’s more than enough room for some barre, yoga, calisthenics or any other exercise routine that you prefer. After doing Bar Method for a few years, I had established a routine that I could mix up and incorporate into just about any space I was in, sometimes taking it outside for a better view!
8 // Cook, if you have a kitchen
When we travel, we prefer to stay in private homes or suites with kitchenettes because we really enjoy cooking our own meals. Part of the fun is exploring local markets and cooking with local ingredients (ok, I admit, the fresh goat cheese didn’t have to go on every thing we ate, but when in Rome, right?). Having a kitchenette also means that you can have food on-hand for some healthier snack options (as tempting as that mini-bar is…).
Exercise and food don’t have to be things that limit you when you are on a holiday, in fact, they can be just the opposite. Exercising can help you explore more of the area and connect you with others, while dining out and shopping local markets can open up a whole new world of flavors and cuisine that you might want to incorporate back home.