Tips for Staying Shredded On Holidays

Everybody loves a good holiday; a time to chill out, relax and reset the mind and body. It’s a time we can let our hair down, relax the strings on the diet and even throw back a few too many drinks, but therein lies the problem. In many cases we take a well deserved holiday and a break from everyday life only to return in a heaped mess health wise. We gain a little body fat, lose fitness, our strength drops and sometimes even fall back into bad old habits!

Now I am not saying to avoid holidays to stay in peak condition because sometimes a break is the best thing for you, but we do need to understand the processes that start to occur and workout the best way to combat these to ensure we can maintain a good level of health and a physique that we have worked our arse off to get (in most cases so we look good on our beach holiday so let’s not screw that up in the first 2 days).

Firstly let’s take a look at nutrition, the last thing we want to do is shock the body with rubbish over processed foods that are full of sugar. However in saying that, we are on holidays, so no need to go find the chicken and broccoli bar…just be smart with your choices throughout the day. If you smash down a double stack of pancakes drowned in maple syrup with a side of  chocolate croissant for breaky it makes sense to seek out the lighter, healthier options for your other meals and vice versa; if you have dinner plans be smart with your other choices that day. The last thing you want is to bombard your digestive and endocrine systems with 3 servings of processed rubbish food per day washed down with a million and one cocktails that will send your blood sugar through the roof and fast track you to insulin resistance.

santa-monica-beach-pushup_web1In regards to training I’m sure we have all been on holidays and returned to the gym and feel like it’s our first day back, feeling weak maxing out on what you normally warm up with. It is unlikely that you have dropped 40-50% of your strength in 2-3 weeks but what has most likely occurred is a down regulation in neural pathways. All this means is that the sequences and firing patterns we were recruiting regularly to lift our weights before the holiday have started to switch off. Think of a sport. Lets say basketball; if you are practicing shooting hoops everyday your “automatic recall” of the motion becomes simple and you can quite easily get the ball in the hoop…. Hopefully. If you stop practicing for a period of  time and then come back things don’t seem as easy, you are missing shots and feel kinda unco. This is the same process of those pathways switching off when it comes to lifting, so in fact you haven’t lost a heap of strength your body has just stopped recruiting effectively in those patterns.

So when on holidays the primary point is not to make massive gains, rather the focus is to make sure we don’t lose any muscle, to keep our neural pathways switched on, get the heart rate up and keeping the sequences firing.

If we can stay on top of these few minor things whilst on holidays not only will you have a kick arse time but your health and well being will also return intact and revitalised.

Check out the video below to get a great holiday workout that can be done anywhere with zero equipment and keep you in line!

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