Going on holiday for 7 days doesn't have to equate to gaining a similar number of pounds. If you've been sweating it out at the gym/bodypump/pilates studio and don't want to let it slip and put on weight while on holiday, panic not: put in some savvy planning and the only thing that'll be heading south is your aeroplane. Keep reading for our essentials tips for how to stay seriously fit on holiday.
Walking has all too long been neglected as a form of serious exercise, but don't underestimate the effectiveness of it as LISS cardio (that's low intensity steady state - the long-lost cousin to much-lauded HIIT). LISS cardio has little effect on fat burn until you reach over 30 minutes - but keep strolling after that magic tipping point, and it works wonders. Aim for 20,000 steps a day, ideally on a varied terrain, and enjoy that cocktail smug in the knowledge that you've spent all day toning your touché on the pavements.
Be realistic about the hotel room workout
Ever gone away with the good intention of jump-squatting before the breakfast buffet and planking away a hard afternoon's sunbathing, to find that it just hasn't happened? You're not alone. Be realistic about what you can do (and what will have the inclination to do) on what could be little more than a coffin-sized patch of floor. If you do one thing, train your abs: crunches, leg raises and planks in all their variations are the most realistic piece of training you can achieve. Aim for 10 minutes a day, every day (consistency is, as ever, key) to feel noticeably more toned by the time you're back in the departure lounge.
"I haven't got my kit" is an excuse that should be left in the PE changing room where it belongs. Pack your lightest top, sports bra and shorts alongside a resistance band. This golden piece of kit is best used around your thighs while squatting to mimic the effect of holding a weight and hooked under your feet and held in your hand for bicep curls. The best part? It folds up to take up the same precious suitcase space as a pair of socks.
Plan & prepare
Of course, the easiest way to keep up that 4-times-per-week religion is to book a hotel with fitness facilities in the first place. But, we're not just talking about a dingy basement with a couple of dumbbells and a treadmill decorated with cobwebs: scout out a hotel with a gym that you will actually want to use. Reward your dedication with a dip in the pool or steam room afterwards - after all, you are on holiday, right?