How To Stay Fit On A Holiday

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After months of grueling work, and battling multiple life-stresses, we all deserve a nice and relaxing holiday. A break simply means a break from your work, your hectic schedule, to break the monotony, to refresh the mind and the body, but it never means a break from your health.

Some people are quite carefree, and literally go crazy in their holidays. And most of the times it doesn’t end up well. From untoward weight gain, to various digestive issues due to overeating and drinking, they face the consequences, afterwards.

Then there are others, who are quite disciplined, and have a well-planned schedule during the holiday. They are more concerned about their health, which may go haywire, due to frequent eating outside, and lack of exercising.

But, who said you can’t remain fit or eat clean when on a holiday? Yes, you may go overboard sometimes but then you have the necessary resources to balance it also. In fact, I have seen people losing weight when on a holiday and you can do it too with these simple strategies:

  1. When you are on a holiday try and explore the place on foot. Not only will it be an excellent exercise but also you will be able to know the culture and intricacies of the place much better that way.

Go for long walk on the streets, in the jungles, in the mountains and valleys. Explore the local sites, meet local people, enjoy the local delicacies which in most cases are much healthier than the junk you would find in the big cities.

You would not even come to know the amount of time you have spend walking when you are enjoying the place. When tired sit anywhere you like and just observe the freshness of the place, have some water, eat if hungry and walk again.

  • As I said in the above point that enjoy the local delicacies. Companies like KFC, McDonalds, Dominos, Pizza Hut etc. are found in most countries of the world and wherever you go the taste would be generally the same. That is the USP of these companies and that is why they are called multinational brands.

But a question you need to ask yourself is that what is the point in going to an alien land and eat the same food which you get at home that too when the food is one of the worst foods you can possibly eat for your health?

I remember the day when I was travelling in the eastern part of the country and was coming back in a taxi after delivering a lecture at one of the places. It was afternoon and I was hungry but in no mood to have any form of junk. I asked the driver who was a local to take me to a good restaurant in the way. He stopped the car at a petrol pump, next to which was a small but decent eating joint. I sat there, saw the menu and ordered a local fish after consulting the waiter. He got a whole fish cooked in mustard oil and some gravy with boiled rice. Believe me, this was one of the best foods I have ever had in my life. It was so simple yet so flavorful. A truly sensual experience.

  • This tip is for people who are hardcore workout freaks and would try and get their daily exercise quota anyhow. Most of the people when they come from a small holiday for a week or 10 days or a similar office tour, they feel a bit small and flat and they think that all their hard work has gone in the drain and they have lost all the muscles. but you don’t have to worry as this is not the case.

All the cells in the body have a sort of liquid inside them which has number of functions like exchange of nutrients from outside the cell to inside, transferring information and nutrients to and from the nucleus etc. in the same way the muscle fibers or cells have a similar liquid inside them called as sarcoplasm.

Now, when you eat any form of carbohydrates, it breaks down into its simplest form in the body and then gets absorbed i.e. glucose. The amount which is not absorbed is stored in the form of glycogen in the liver or in the muscles for future use. This glycogen in the muscles is stored in their cells in the sarcoplasm.

But with each molecule of carb your body also stores 3-4 molecules of water which makes your muscles look bigger and fuller. So, when you go on a low carb diet your muscles feel flat.

Now, when you go off weight training for a few days or week for a vacation or due some other reason, the amount of glycogen being stored reduces, which reduces the water in the muscles and thus make your muscles look flatter.

This is not a loss of muscle mass as a lot you think. Muscle loss starts after almost 15 days of inactivity or when you are starving yourself or you have a genetic tendency to lose muscle mass easily. So if you are on a holiday and you feel flatter then don’t worry as it is a temporary phase.

What a lot of guys and girls do is lift weights in the gyms wherever they are and whenever they get time in a day. If a person does not have a gym, then you could go for a number of body weight exercises. An interesting way would be to inculcate high intensity workouts like sprints in your workout.

If you are on a hill station, there could be nothing better than going on a high hill for sprints, or on a trek or hike in the forests and mountains. Similarly, if in sandy place like the desert or the beach, try and go for sprints in the sand. Running on sand is one of the most powerful form of training for the legs and a vital component of training for the track and field athletes especially sprinters, jumpers and middle/long distance runners.

You can also go cycling in the hills or on open roads and streets for long distances. An excellent addition would be to add some body weight workouts to it like pushups, pull ups on trees, squats, split squats, walking lunges, mountain climbers and a range of other exercises.