Though it’s good to take breaks from working out, doing so on vacation can majorly set back your exercise goals. Luckily, technology makes it easy to keep up with your routine on the road.
If you’re passionate about keeping fit, there’s always a fear that comes with vacations about how much strength you’ll lose and how much weight you’ll put on. Often you’ll be away from home for multiple weeks, living a slower-paced, more indulgent lifestyle. Research shows that weight gain is harder to avoid on vacation, and we therefore need to either adjust our calorie intake or stay active on vacation.
It’s common to think that vacations are a good time to give our bodies a rest. Taking a break from your workout routine is not always bad. In fact, it can be mentally beneficial without impacting strength or fitness too much. Most doctors advise taking occasional breaks from high-intensity workout routines to allow your body time to recover.
5 months to lose vacation weight
However, when it comes to vacation periods, taking a rest can have a significant impact on your physical condition. Trips usually result in reduced physical activity and higher calorie intake, with regular business travellers suffering even more from these effects than others. A Harvard Business Review report showed that long-lasting health conditions can be consequences of the sedentary lifestyle of the business traveller.
Everyone puts on weight during holiday periods, according to a report from Cornell University. However, what stood out from the research, conducted with holidaymakers in the US, Germany and Japan, was that it takes an average of five months to lose the weight we put on during holidays. It was common for those who put weight on during their December vacation to still be carrying this weight in May.
Such effects can be a significant setback on your training journey. The hope is that it won’t take five months to get back in shape, but you’re likely still facing a prolonged period of frustrating and frustrated training.
Avoiding coming home heavy
Brian Wansink, co-author of the Cornell University study, notes that prevention is better than cure. ‘Everyone gains weight over the holidays,’ adding that, ‘it’s easier to avoid holiday pounds altogether than to lose them after they happen.’
Achieving this, however, is often easier said than done. You could just limit the amount you eat and drink while on vacation. For some people it’s definitely possible to follow the same diet as normal. However, most of us revel in holiday (over)indulgences, and are easily tempted.
How, then, can we enjoy our vacations without worrying about spending weeks or months afterward trying to return to top physical form? One answer is to continue your routine on holiday. You’ll be countering the higher calorie intake and maintaining muscle mass. But finding a decent gym to train in hasn’t always been easy, especially in a foreign country.
Working out on vacation
The growth in technological solutions has made it much easier to keep up with your routine when on vacation. From using TrainAway to access local gyms to Bodyspace, which gives you exercises you can do anywhere, there are plenty of apps to help you keep up your routine on the road. You can even track your calorie intake using the likes of MyFitnessPal and Livestrong.
According to Kenn Gudbergsen, co-founder of gym finder app TrainAway, until recently accessing a gym in some parts of the world has been extremely difficult. ‘The time it takes to find a gym, and then get over the language and administrative hurdles, often means that people don’t do it at all,’ he says, adding that, ‘luckily, technology has made it much easier to guide people to fitness centers anywhere in the world.’
The evidence points to it being much better to keep up your routine than to abandon it while on vacation. That way, you’ll avoid muscle loss and weight gain just by doing the same as you were doing at home. And with it being so easy to find facilities and information, there’s no reason not to.