Get healthy and fit on holiday, really?!

Meyken Houppermans, PhD. CrossFit Level 3 Trainer.
Founder and Head Coach
Staying healthy during summer holiday is a challenge, but starting a new regime when you're back home is also hard. The crux of the problem is: time- limited healthy living. What can you do about this for sustainable health and fitness?

Stayning healthy on holiday

Stayning healthy, losing weight of exercising regulalry during a summer vacation can be challenging. Your daily routine is different, you are eating different foods, and maybe drinking more alcohol. And the gym is often not around the corner. But, it is summer time so you might as well enjoy yourself, right?

On the other hand, extra pounds and a deconditioned body are not something to look forward to at the end of summer. It is often very hard to pick up a healthy regime and can almost feel like a punishment. Sometimes life suddenly feels too budy for a healthy lifestyle (Too busy to lose weight and go to the gym?)

Time- limited healthy living

The crux of the problem why many people do not succeed in maintaining a healthy lifestyle when their daily routine changes or when they go on holiday is:

Healthy living is often seen as time- limited.

We do it a certain period of time to achieve a certain goal such as lose weight. We follow a diet, go to the gym regardless of whether we like it, and we lose excess weight. For many people, this is where it stops. The pounds are off so now we can go back to ‘ normal ‘, to how life was before the healthy regime. The consequence: the weight also goes back to ‘ normal ‘, to the overweight it was.

During the phase of healthy living people have not learned how to develop sustainable healthy habits for life, 365 days per year and also during holidays or business trips for example. (Tips to keep your healthy routine on business trips)

They have not learned make healthier food choices or cook healthier dishes, independent of a diet program or coach for example.

They also have not learned what type of exercise they actually like to do, it instead of doing something that feels like a punishment.

They have not developed new healthier behaviour.

That is why people often fall back into old habits and why it is so hard to keep a healthy regime on holiday, or pick it up back home.

Four tips

1. Have reminders insight

Before summer holiday, a business trip or any other event that interferes with your daily routine, find something that reminds you of your goal, of your wish for a sustainable healthy lifestyle. For example a picture of the dress you would like to fit again. Take that picture with you where- ever you go, and make sure you put it somewhere where you can see it every morning.

2. Stick to your routine

- Try to stick to your regular routine as much as possible. Maybe for parts of the day that is impossible, but maybe for other parts it is doable. This is not a matter of all-or-nothing: everything little thing you can do helps.

- Be prepared. Take a healthy snack on the go to avoid getting raided by a snack stall. Take your running shoes with you.

- Consciously choose when you are going to drink alcohol or eat a snack, enjoy and remember those moments. This helps to keep them within an acceptable range.

- Ask restaurants to alter the menu to your needs, with extra vegetables and no sauce for example.

- Stay active every day

3. Relax

Summer holiday is meant to relax and recharge. Relaxing is very healthy and it can for example support the process of losing weight. Relax by doing absolutely nothing at least 10 full minutes per day. No music, no books, no phone. Let your mind run free, enjoy the present. 

4. Involve others

Developing a new lifestyle is a difficult process that can feel lonely: You may feel you are letting people down by saying no to cake. Not everyone will be an immediate fan of your new lifestyle. Your health process can be confrontational for others because it makes them aware of their heatrhl behavior. Yet, many people secretly want to live healthier and also admire others for taking this brave step.

It can be helpful to share your new lifestyle and your struggles with others. Tell them you’d rather not drink alcohol, but this is very difficult for you when you and your friends are having dinner together for example. Tell your family you would rather not have those pastries, but you’re afraid to tell because you do not want to hurt their feelings. Most people will understand your choices. By sharing your process with them, you give them the opportunity to help.

Create your own health!©