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Summertime fitness

With all the excitement and daydreams about cocktails, ice cream and amazing foods

we will discover and indulge in on holiday, we gladly set aside our healthy lifestyle.

Sometimes, that is exactly what our body requires after some stressful months at work,

family duty overloads, school events and life in general – so remember to just be and enjoy!

Photographs: Unsplash

Text: Alexandra Beck

Finally, the sunny days have arrived, and the prospect of some well-deserved time off is getting close enough to consider slowing down, turning off email notifications and leaving early. Flip flops (or the fashionable Birkenstocks) are out, suitcases are dusted off from the attics and/or basements, and it's just about time to get the passports, sunscreen, beach towels and swimwear out.

As a health and fitness professional, I am often asked how I maintain my routines throughout the vacation. Well, in all honesty, I don't. Keeping up with routines can be challenging when travelling. It's not always possible to find the same time or equipment as at home, nor is it possible to home-cook meals, which means that movement and nutrition will definitely change form for me during a holiday. However, change is healthy too, and with the right mindset, you can still stay fit and healthy no matter the circumstances.

Here are a few tips to help stay just a little bit fit on holiday:

#1 Indulge in the ice cream.

It's good for our souls. We don't, however, need to order the one that is the size of a football, nor do we need to have it in a waffle or with extra whipped cream and sprinkles every time.

This goes for any food - eat anything you feel like eating, and make a conscious decision about quantity. I understand how hard it can be to not want to taste everything on the all-inclusive buffet table - but remember, you are likely to be there for a few days and the chance to taste it all can happen over several days instead of in one plating.

#2 Ditch the cabs and public transport: walk or cycle instead.

Unless you have decided to travel to a country that recommends using safe means of transportation, walk or cycle the areas instead!

Walking is sometimes overlooked as a means to stay active - it's an excellent way to keep the movement going and enables you to actually "look up" and see parts of a country, city, or area that you would not have discovered otherwise. Lots of steps count as fitness too.

#3 Avoid taking fitness equipment with you unless you know you will use it.

Chances are, we won't use the suspension trainer or bands we bought with the best intentions, so they will take up space in our suitcase and give us a guilty conscience every time we take a glimpse at the open suitcase, with the equipment still fully wrapped in its original packaging - you know that feeling? I should… but … the pool… YESSS! Exactly, go to the pool and take a few laps, check if the hotel or resort has any group classes you could join, or get a day pass at a local gym if you feel like a workout, but only pack the extra stuff if you know it will be used more than once.

#4 Make a fitness plan for your return and sign-up for it before you leave.

If you were on a great workout routine and on track with your nutrition before you left, be sure to not let the 4-6 weeks of summer vacation ruin your comeback - take steps to make sure you have a solid plan in place before you leave, which will force you to get back on track faster. Sign-up for a class and pay for it in advance, make a date with your workout buddy and set it in the calendar.

Procrastination may make you feel miserable and ruin all the good, relaxing moments you experienced on vacation.

Have a great summer, rest, indulge and come back refreshed and excited to get started again!

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