It's the time of year when you might be going away on your annual summer holiday or at least counting down the days until you go! Since you've probably been working hard in the gym in the run up to your holiday, it might be important to you to keep up momentum whilst you are away. Granted, you might decide to give yourself a few days rest (you are on holiday after all!). However, you may also use fitness as your escape from life's stresses and want to carry on even when away from home. Especially that is, if you don't see fitness as a chore but part of your ongoing lifestyle to keep things in balance.
So we thought we'd give you our top 10 tips for staying fit when away from home. You don't necessarily have to be abroad. Even if you are staying somewhere in the UK, your packing might still need to be economical for the car, bus or train. Here are our favourite 'keep fit' ideas to help you plan ahead.
1) Sandbags - If you are heading to the beach - home or away, it's likely you will seek out a beach somewhere. Sand is a great, abundant resource and acts as an amazing resistance weight. You obviously cannot take actual weights with you on holiday (unless perhaps taking the car and have room!) so sandbags are an easy way to make your own weight when you reach your destination. You can buy sandbags unfilled meaning that when you arrive, you can fill the bag with sand to your desired weight. A good example of a website that sells them is here. Only £20 and can be flat-packed into your suitcase for convenience. There are plenty of lower body and upper body exercise to do with sandbags. E.g. squats and lunges, bicep curls and overhead presses. It's a versatile piece of kit.
2) Skipping ropes - Excellent for cardio on the go if running or swimming aren't your thing. Easy to transport and you can skip pretty much anywhere - in a hotel room, rented accommodation or outdoors.
3) Resistance bands - A favourite of ours to take away with us. A good compliment to the sandbag as you can do shoulder exercises such as lateral and front raises with them. They are also good to support your pull-ups and chin-ups if you find a spot somewhere plus you can also do bicep curls and many more exercises. They come in a variety of resistances so you can choose the right one or two for you. We tend to use the handled versions but you can buy the simple elasticated versions which are super easy to pack. Argos sell the Men's Health set of 3 sizes for £34.99 below. Link here.
4) Water bottle - It's very important to stay hydrated during exercise and especially if you are going somewhere hot. Water bottles are a must. We take our 750ml protein shaker with us and make sure it's empty for the flight so as not to break the max. 100ml rule. Once filled with water the other side, it doubles up as a solid light dumbbell as well as a drinking bottle, not to mention a protein shaker for your post-workout refuel:)
5) Press up handles - There are lots of options out there but we use Nike's version because we love the way they can be dismantled into parts for the suitcase and they are super lightweight. The reason we take them is because it's often hard to give the chest a decent workout without gym equipment. You can perform a much larger range of movement during press-ups with these handy handles! You can also use them for tricep dips and calisthenic balancing moves.
6) Towel - Last year we posted our top 6 summer travel exercises and one of them involved a towel. If you find a smooth surface, you can place your feet on a towel and move your feet in and out whilst placing your weight on your hands. It's a great move to test your abs and keep them looking great. Plus also handy for wiping the sweat off your brow!
7) Plastic bags for protein powder - We obviously take WHEY AHEAD® wherever we go in the world. Our pouches are sealable and transportable. We suggest you double bag with a plastic bag though as sometimes luggage handlers can we rough and we wouldn't want you to have a powder explosion on your clothes! However, if the pouch is too bulky, you can decanter however many scoops you require into a zip-lock bag. If you are going for a 2 week holiday, this is just 7-14 scoops worth depending on how much you plan on working out. We suggest labelling the bag 'protein powder' so if inspected, the security staff know what it is.
8) Fitbit or equivalent - It's always handy to keep track of your progress no matter where you are in the world. Your devices should work anywhere and you can stay in tune with how many steps your City exploring or beach stroll took. Motivation on point.
9) Temporary gym membership - You might think this is crazy, but we actually do explore whether there are any gyms nearby that would accept a little bit on money for a 7-day pass. It's quite enjoyable to drive out and go to the gym before returning for some lovely holiday food. If you are staying in a hotel, they may well have one on site. It's a great feeling to have a proper workout when abroad and it also gives you a bit more confidence to have that ice-cream minus the guilt:)
10) Beach runs, Paddle-boarding & activities - There is nothing better than running somewhere different or exotic with amazing scenery or trying an new sport when away. Runs and swimming etc are free and an amazing way to stay fit. Paddle-boarding however, is one of our new favourite activities. You basically stand on a well balanced, sturdy surf board with a long paddle and move around wherever you want to go. Wildlife like Dolphins love them because they are quiet ways of exploring the sea. You'll have a lot of fun with this or other activities like surfing, snorkelling, sailing, row-boating/canoeing or whatever you choose. Happy adventure hunting!
Thanks for reading our fitness blog and plenty more hints & tips to come:)