It’s almost time for the annual summer exodus from Scotland, as all the schools break up at the end of June and we hurry off to warmer climates. Of course, what we want out of our summer break will be different for all of us: there are adrenaline junkies looking for adventure, those who yearn for the chance to unwind with family and take life at a slower pace, sun worshippers wanting to become beach bums for a couple of weeks, or adventurers, setting off to conquer a new part of the world (or at least cross off all its top tourist attractions in the guidebook). But, if you’ve been following a routine – either personal training and fitness, nutrition and diet, or perhaps a wellness regime, sometimes things can come a bit unstuck when we jet off on our holidays. Here are seven top tips to enjoy yourself without undoing all your hard work:
- Keep it real – don’t suddenly put unreasonable expectations on yourself and your fitness routine, two weeks before you leave, wondering how to get “beach body” ready. You’ll just put yourself on a massive downer even before the plane has left the tarmac! Be confident in who you are, and remember all of us have parts of ourselves we prefer to keep hidden
- Don’t overdo it – have you noticed the classic airport phenomenon where people suddenly hit the bar at breakfast time as part of their jetting off routine? It’s probably quite out of character and will undo all the good work of the past few weeks. Avoid this at all costs if you want to enjoy the benefits of all your hard work. If you’re flying early, remember to stay hydrated and try to remain fasted until a couple of hours after you reach your destination (depending on the flight duration)
- Scale back your training – unless you’re training for an up and coming event, on holiday it’s time to ease up your training, give your body a rest and allow time for different experiences and a more gentle regime – not least because you’re probably going somewhere warmer than Scotland! Instead, why not look for a local nature reserve near where you are, explore some rock pools, or go walking or hiking to explore the local countryside? Swimming is great exercise too, or why not rent a bike and head off further afield to see what you find? If you want to maintain your routine, why not opt for a few intense 10-20 minute workouts in the week instead.
- Make time for the people in your life – there’s no point in heading off running, climbing and training, if you leave your loved ones alone on holiday. This time together is precious, so slow down the clock and put them as your first priority. Talk, share, listen and be together whether with your partner, your children or your friends. They support you the whole year through.
- Take time to be still – holidays are a wonderful opportunity to be quiet and at peace. They give you space to breathe and think about re-focusing the life you live, and direction you want it to go in. This wind-down process is necessary for all of us, so why not try some meditation or reading if you find it hard to be still
- Appreciate your surroundings – Travel helps us to grow, so slow down, be curious and really look around you to get a real sense of how people live their lives wherever you’re staying. Always follow your heart and don’t try and pack in too many things from the guidebook – sometimes the best experiences are just around a corner and off the beaten tourist track
- Food glorious good, but don’t overindulge – If you’re self-catering then our normal principles of buy local and organic will still apply, so find out where the local farm shops and markets are so you can try to stay primal as much as you can. Be sure to try the local delicacies and season treats – most products will taste very different from the same products we can find at home. Don’t worry, it might not all be primal but partly your holiday is about experiencing the place where you are…you’ll survive and you can always find dishes to suit the primal lifestyle if you’re not too prescriptive: fish, loads of fresh vegetables and fruit and often local cheeses!
And, it goes without saying, take some pictures so you can look back and share some happy memories. Happy holidays!