While an exotic vacation may seem like the perfect excuse to ditch your gym routine, why let all that hard work go to waste? Goli Hashtroudi Cramer explains how to maintain your regular regime without compromising that much-needed time off
When it comes to holiday goers, we generally fall into two camps: those who recline on a sun lounger, book in hand, and refuse to move all week, and those that prefer to stay a little more active. If you count yourselves among the latter then you’re not alone, and incorporating a healthy lifestyle into your time off, while still enjoying all the delights a holiday has to offer, is easier than you think. Where to start? According to fitness professional and Dubai Lululemon ambassador Goli Hashtroudi Cramer, it’s all in the planning. First point of order? If you haven’t got the right tools, you’ll struggle to get the job done.
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“The secret to keeping up exercise while on holiday is to start by packing your favourite gym gear,” Goli tells MOJEH. “If you plan ahead, the idea of working out will stick in your mind and you’ll have a much better chance of heading to the gym for your daily exercise.” What’s more, while plenty of us are guilty of thinking it’s not a real workout if our hearts aren’t thumping and our legs don’t feel like jelly, holidays provide more enjoyable ways to keep active without falling off the wagon. “We often go on holiday when we’re tired, and if that’s the case, why not simply modify your cardio and do some mobility and flexibility exercises instead?” asks Goli. “You don’t have to keep up the same routine as at home to be active.” Keep in mind there are times you’ll be exercising without even realising it, too, whether that’s splashing in the sea, strolling around a new city or indulging in a little retail therapy—“sometimes there’s actually no need for more cardio. Instead try some gentle stretching to take pressure off the joints,” she adds.
If you’re holidaying in a sunny climate, then exercising during the day can seem nigh on impossible. Instead, Goli recommends giving yourself an early morning endorphin boost by getting your reps out before breakfast. “If you’re normally a self-starter, you’ll be fine during your travels as long as you prioritise exercise in the morning,” she says. “There’s no better way to start your day.” Train smarter, not harder too, she adds. “The key to all exercise is push-ups, sit-ups and squats. If you can fit these three moves in regularly throughout your trip, you’ll be targeting 99 per cent of your body.” You’ll be sipping mocktails by the pool before you know it, too.
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For many of us, however, the real struggle is to keep the motivation going while taking a break from everything else, especially if you rely on a personal trainer to keep you moving while back home. “A great thing to come out of the pandemic is the emergence of virtual training,” adds Goli. “If you’re struggling to get started, why not join an online yoga or Pilates class, or even hire a virtual trainer who can work with you at a dedicated time while you’re on your travels?” Even better, get a friend or family member involved too—not only will it decrease your chances of opting out, but, let’s be honest, exercise is always more fun when there’s someone else along for the ride.
If there’s one thing that goes hand-in-hand with exercise, it’s food, and while you can’t out-run a bad diet, there’s no need to restrict yourself or shy away from the breakfast buffet if you keep a few simple tricks in mind. “When we travel, our diet is often the first thing that goes out the window,” explains Goli. “The key here is balance. If you have a light lunch, such as a salad or soup, you can enjoy a great dish such as steak or pasta for dinner without any guilt. Or if you have a big breakfast, why not swap lunch for a healthy snack such as fresh fruit and veg? It’s little changes like this that make all the difference.” Good food, a little activity and returning home feeling revived. Now, that’s winning all round.
Photography by Ausra Osipaviciute
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- Words by Naomi Chadderton