I workout on holiday.
It seems to be a very controversial statement when I travel. Everyone loves to throw in their two cents about my life choices when they discover i’ve squeezed a workout in before breakfast or after a day out sightseeing in a new city. It usually goes one of two ways. The aggressor, who gets angry that I would DARE interrupt a holiday with something as mundane and routine and ‘obsessive’ as a workout. Or my least favourite of the two, the guilt spiraller. They start to beat up on themselves for not doing the same ‘ugh I’m so fat and disgusting’ ‘ugh I’m not eating any carbs today then’.
It’s for these two reasons, I tend to keep my fitness and healthy choices under wraps when I travel, especially in groups. Which is ridiculous, I shouldn’t have too. I couldn’t give two hoots what other people choose to do or not do on their holiday, and they should feel the same in return. But experience has taught me it’s easier most of the time to just steal some time, and disappear for half an hour to bust out my sweat sesh.
Why do I workout on holiday? Because I enjoy it, because it keeps me sane, and because I like to keep some structure of a healthy lifestyle while traveling. No I don’t work out nearly as much. No I don’t work out as hard. And yes I do treat myself more.
I often get to see a different side to a country or a culture when I seize the day and wake up before my travel companions. I have done a HITT cardio session in an outdoor pool alfresco watching the sun rise over beautiful Chefchaoeun, Morocco. I have watched a wedding as I squeezed in some lunges and squats at a local Madrid park in Spain. Most recently on my trip through Greece and up to Croatia I waved to fisherman and watched the local Greeks set up their marketplace on morning runs in Santorini, climbed a fortress in Kotor Montenegro, and did an ab and arm session on the top deck of a boat in Croatia. Now you can’t tell me they are all horrible, boring gym workouts? I love finding new and innovative ways to keep fit while on the road. It’s my me time, and my time to see a country my way, from a new angle.
Eating wise, of course I splurge. More desserts, more wine – bring it on. But I do still try and stick to the 5 a day rule, which isn’t hard considering I love my fruit and vegetables and seek out those kinds of meals anyway. Despite maintaining some kind of healthy structure while away, I find the struggle so very very real when I delve back into reality and can’t warrant wine and ice-cream on a school night. I would hate to think how much harder it would be to resist, if I ditched my healthy mindset at the door altogether the second I clocked off on holiday.
This is what works for me, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But I do truly believe you can stay fit and eat well ( most of the time ) and still enjoy all the perks of a holiday. You just have to make sure you get the balance right, no one likes a vacation sap.