Cape Town - Can you stay in shape while on holiday?
Most of us sacrifice our fitness regimes to the holiday gods while travelling, but you always wonder if the laziness was worth it when trying to get back into shape at home.
Sticking to exercising while on holiday doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up parts of your fun times to the gym. A few simple tricks can keep your muscles toned and the food baby at bay, and will even keep your stamina up for those extra busy holiday activities (or if your hyper travel partner doesn't want to slow down for your out-of-breathe butt).
These tips are especially useful if you're travelling long-term and need to keep up some level of fitness with limited access to your gym-bunny dreams. South African media personality Liezel van der Westhuizen also shows how she stays in shape while traversing the world for work.
SEE: Get running fit for the 2018 Marakele Marathon
These 5 tips will keep you going for longer while travelling:
1. Check if your gym membership travels with you
If you're a gym-bunny and travel a lot, check out what gym memberships lets you go to other branches of your gym's chain. You may pay a little more, but if you're an avid business traveller then spending those extra bucks could lose you a few kilos as well as money.
Bonus tip: Want to try something new? Virgin Active is launching their latest workout this March that will make you feel like you're in the ring with Muhammad Ali. With its own specially designed soundtrack, you can box, jump and jab your way to a cardio-heavy sweat.
2. Walk instead of Uber
If you're exploring a city you won't even miss your runs if you just skip catching a cab and walk to your destination. The best part is that you'll find hidden shops and attractions on the way, and even discover some urban street art you don't have to pay to see.
Be sure to pack some good walking shoes and that your Google maps keep you out of dodgy side alleys.
SEE: Long layover? How about a workout at an airport gym?
3. Don't only eat one thing - stick with a variety
No one ever goes travelling telling themselves they'll eat healthy along the way - holidays consist of only cheat days. But if you're doing a long trek and don't want to torture yourself getting back into a healthy routine at home, here's a handy tip to manage your meals.
Don't eat two bad meals in a row, and plan for when you know you're going to eat something deliciously unhealthy by balancing it out with a healthier meal beforehand. Variety is also key to maintaining a semi-decent diet, and rather opt for a local cuisine take-away rather than a world-conquering McDonald's Big Mac.
4. Workout with a deck of cards
Need a little motivation to get you into a workout routine in the morning? A pack of cards in your travel bag can be more than just a game to keep you occupied while travelling between places, according to Liezel. You can use a deck of cards to determine how many reps of a certain exercise to do. Just shuffle them and pick a card, and that's how many reps of an exercise you'll do (Jack=11; Queen=12; King=13; Ace=1).
It keeps your routine varied and you can either do half a pack or a whole pack, and can start with three different strength exercises (push-ups, crunches, lunges etc.) and work your way up to ten, alternating between each card pulled.
SEE: #TummyMustFall: Top SA walk, run and hike trails
5. Find a play park
If you want to escape your hotel room, most cities and towns will have a kids' play park where you can use most of the jungle gyms, swings and even the roundabout for a few fun exercises. You can do various strength exercises and can even just use a bench for various types of exercises, just like Liezel, who has more travel fitness tips for you in the video below.
Bonus tip: Use the deck of cards to see how many of each exercise you should do.