With summer just around the corner and holidays booked, I wanted to get you thinking about the idea of using a city as your playground. It’s a common worry that fitness levels will drop on our holidays but you won’t do as much damage as you think, if you just use a little imagination.
A Running Tour
When we aren’t training with our team, many of us associate exercise and fitness with a gym membership. Don’t feel you have to forget about fitness when you're abroad. A gym membership should not restrict you. But where do you start when training abroad?
Well, the obvious choice is to go for a run. By taking an early morning run around your destination of choice, you not only start your day the healthy way but it's a great method of exploring a city. You get the chance to scout out restaurants, landmarks and activities you might not have found before. It gives you time to plan the day ahead and avoids just ticking off the top ten list that every tourist follows.
Running on holiday doesn’t have to be something you do on your own. Most cities have organised running tours in which you have a guide and regular stops, ticking off some of the top sites. It’s a great and cheap way of seeing a city, particularly if you’re on a short city break.
Keep Your Body Moving
If running isn’t your thing then don’t worry, you can use the city itself as your gym. I did exactly this last week when I was in Florida.
We landed in the airport and the first thing everyone did after a seven-hour flight was stand on an escalator! Next they all stood still on the travellator. I couldn’t believe it as there was a set of stairs and a walkway right next to them. I wanted to shout “get on the stairs, you have just sat still for seven hours”.
We need to keep our bodies moving, anytime you're in the airport look around and see how you can move more. There will always be a healthier alternative of getting around.
After we collected our luggage, came the wait for the taxi. It was a long queue and we were feeling pretty restless. All that was around us was one, concrete bench and that’s when the spontaneous workout broke out. We squeezed in all of this using just one block of concrete:
- Elevated push-ups x 10
- Lat Dips x 20
- High knee step-ups x 20
- Squats x 50
- Raised planks for 30 seconds
After three rounds, fifteen minutes had passed and we’d got a proper workout in. We had got our bodies moving after being still for so long and felt so much better for it. I am not saying this workout didn’t get us a few strange looks but it shows you do not need equipment or a gym to get your training in.
Don’t worry if you don’t fancy hitting the city and using their landmarks as a gym, instead you can simply challenge yourself to walk a certain number of steps in a day.
This is something we tried out on our last day in Florida. We were in a theme park all day, something which many people may associate with being sedentary but we managed to get a whopping 9.69 miles in before 2pm. I was pretty impressed with myself. It meant we had exceeded our average steps in one day, all before heading back on another long flight. Do not underestimate the power of the step.
Just because you are on holiday and not with your team doesn’t mean you have to ruin the fitness you have built. You can go on holiday and still come back an athlete for the season ahead. Don’t let two weeks away throw you off track, instead be creative and you will see a different side to the city.