Let’s get this straight, everyone deserves a rest. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fitness pro, or just a sucker for a healthy way of living, you need a vacation. The vacation may be one of the strongest motivators when it comes to getting in shape. However, once they achieve their fitness goals and head to the beach, many enthusiasts find it hard to get back into the routine.
Your body does deserve the rest, but that doesn't mean completely ignoring the efforts you've put into it for the past couple of months and years. The most common mistakes fitness fanatics make is not exercising at all or exercising way too much. Here are the 13 most common mistakes fitness enthusiasts make while on vacation and tips to overcome them.
1. Not packing properly
There are two types of people. Those who pack everything fitness related and forget about the clothes and other necessities, and those who bring everything else but fitness equipment. Don’t be either of those people. Vacation is free time, away from the work, environment, people, and routines. However, that does not mean that you should simply forget the effort you’ve put into your healthy lifestyle.
When packing for vacation, make sure that you have everything you need for everyday life. You can always fit a resistance band and bandy tennis shoes. Additionally, a yoga mat can come in handy. You can do your morning exercise routine and later that day use it as a mat while sunbathing. There is no need for hand weights or any other equipment. You're not going on a vacation to gain stamina but rest properly.
2. Not creating a routine
Everybody knows how easy it is to slip off a routine or a plan if it isn't set in advance. All work, no play is as bad as no work for your body. That's why you need to plan your activities and workouts accordingly.
Not every vacation is sunbathing on the beach and going for a swim now and then. Some people enjoy active vacations. If you’d rather spend your time off on a mountain exploring the woods, you honestly won’t need the exercise plan. You’ll spend the entire day walking and exploring nature, so your body will be active. However, if spending the days at the beach is what you’re keen on, try to prepare a travel-friendly workout plan you can stick to. A couple of simple, bodyweight exercises and light cardio are more than enough to keep your body and your muscles active.
3. Not easing up on your cardio
Waking up early with the sun and going for a jog alongside the sandy beach, while the chilly, salty air refreshes you, is impressive. We’ve all envied those committed fitness fanatics that can strictly stick to the routine even on the vacation. However, what many of them don’t know is that strenuous and tiring cardio can be contra-productive.
While on vacation, a lot of walking, swimming, and sightseeing burns more calories than just every day sitting. Combined with strenuous cardio, you may end up in the catabolic state. What does that mean? Simply put, your body doesn't burn fat anymore but eats your muscles. So, when vacationing, be smart and ease up on the cardio and conditioning.
4. Neglecting muscle memory
Only you know how hard you’ve worked to get to the point where you are at the moment. It took you months or even years to build and tone muscles and possibly lose fat. So, do you think that all that could be gone during the 10-day getaway? If you do, you’re wrong. It’s easy to slip out of routine and habit. However, your muscles don’t forget so easily. What does that mean?
Even if you did nothing but rest for 10 or more days straight, your muscles won’t act like complete newbies once you return to the gym. Muscle memory is real! It allows you to quickly return to the stamina and physique you had before the trip. So, keep that in mind if you start panicking about being away from the gym.
5. Doing ABS every day
Is there anything better for a fitness fanatic than doing abs on the beach or by the pool? Probably not. It’s surely one of their favorite body parts and they are most likely very proud of them, as they should be! Forming abs is difficult and losing them can happen quite quickly and unexpectedly.
However, you must keep in mind that abs are muscles like any other. Which means that they too need proper rest while on vacation. When you’re constantly and forcefully building abdominal muscles, you can cause a lot of damage. So, remember that abs need extra “time off” when included in the intensive workout. Instead of doing an abdominal workout every day, switch to at least every other day while on vacation. Don't forget about your protein intake either!
6. Avoiding stretching
Finding a suitable place for your workout while on vacation is of great importance for fitness enthusiasts. They are so preoccupied with their routine that many of them forget how important it is to stretch. Stretching should be a vital part of everyone's day regardless of being a fitness freak or not. If you spent a lot of hours on a plane or on a long journey, feeling the need to stretch out should be natural. If neglected, your muscles can become sore and you might return home with a serious injury.
So, believe it or not, stretching might be even more important than the workout itself. Stretching routine doesn't have to be complicated nor waste your precious time. Do what feels nice to your body. Try to stretch before and after the workout if that's possible. It will increase your flexibility and mobility, plus it will prevent your muscles from being stiff.
7. Avoiding rest
Traveling is exciting and thrilling. Sleepless nights due to partying or exploring the new environment are bound to happen. Naturally, you want to do, see, and experience as many things as possible. It's also understandable that you want to wake up early and stick to your fitness routine. Is it really realistic to rest in such a fast-paced environment?
Even though you may not feel bad or drained at the moment due to the adrenalin, the long-term effect can be tremendous. Once you return home, you’ll feel like a zombie. You didn’t get proper rest. To prevent that, be smart and manage your time wisely. Balance is the key. Try being active one day and resting the other. That’s how you’ll get to experience and see everything while being properly rested.
8. Skipping breakfast
As you already know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Skipping it can only do you harm. This is a common practice not only while traveling. Waking up late and rushing to see the sights or hit the beach is usually why many fitness rookies neglect breakfast. A flat stomach may look good in a bikini, but it's not worth it.
Walking all day in the sun causes a lot of sweating and water loss. Less water in your body may contribute to the hungry feeling which leads to crankiness. Don't ruin the moment for everybody and eat your breakfast. Many travellers skip breakfast because they don't want to waste time eating. Therefore, it's better to buy something on the go than walk with an empty stomach.
9. Not drinking enough water
Walking or soaking in the sun all day is the easiest way to get dehydrated. Dehydration may cause a lot of serious health-related problems. Many people who get dehydrated while on the vacation experience severe headaches, dizziness, and even nausea. To think that all of that could be prevented if only they drank enough of water.
Drinking enough water can help you boost your immune system and flush down the toxins from your body. It can also help you recover your bodily fluids and muscles after strenuous workouts. It keeps you refreshed and energized during the day. If you frequently experience muscle spasms and fatigue, it is always a good idea to keep a cool bottle of water by your side.
10. Implementing a “less is more” approach
Many fitness enthusiasts forget about their proper dieting while on vacation. Your body needs a rest from the healthy food too, right? Sure, but that doesn’t mean that you should completely wipe out your memory of what’s good and what’s not for you, especially when it comes to the food quantity. Just by eating less food than you’re doing at home, you’re harming your body.
If you eat less, you’re only slowing down your internal metabolic rate. So, this means that if you don't consume enough nutrients, your body won't burn your fat, but your muscles and everything you have worked on. You're already burning enough calories by swimming, walking, and staying active. That's why you should properly fuel your body with enough food throughout the day.
11. Avoiding fruits and veggies
Many fitness fanatics use vacation as cheat days to eat as many fast and unhealthy food as they want. It’s sort of a free pass for them as long as they are away from their gym, they are allowed to consume whatever they like. However, that should not be your practice.
Don’t avoid eating fruits and veggies. They provide your body with a wide range of vitamins and minerals like no other food. You can get fresh fruit and vegetable in the local market. The truth is, not every apartment or room allows cooking inside. That’s why you’ll need to think of healthy but quick meal options such as raw food. Raw food diet doesn’t require mastery cooking and preparing skills and is nutritive enough to help you get through the day.
12. Low intake of protein
While we are on vacation, we tend to neglect the food we used to eat at home and stick to the sugar and a lot of carbs. That’s why insulin levels and fats in our body increase, but that’s completely normal and nothing to worry about. During the proper diet, sugar or carbs intake should be eliminated; while the protein intake should be calculated by your weight.
Neglecting this kind of diet may only cause problems for your body. Low protein doesn't transport enough nutrients through your body. To prevent headaches and nausea, consider consuming additional protein while on vacation. For example, natural moringa is packed with proteins, nutrients, and minerals. Just one tablespoon per day is enough to eliminate symptoms such as inflammation and blood clotting. This superfood does wonders for your cardiovascular system, liver, and brain. Don't neglect the importance of quality protein intake.
13. Drinking soft drinks and alcohol
A drink or two can’t hurt you, right? Yes, however, this is one of the most overlooked issues when travelling. By selecting a soft drink beverage, even if you consume a drink or two, you can feel bloated and gassy. They do taste great and are an amazing refreshment during the hot summer days, but at the same time, they contain an absurd amount of sugar. So, is it really worth it?
Instead of opting for a glass of bubbly champagne or a cold fizzy drink, find healthier alternatives. Many beach bars or restaurants offer freshly squeezed juices or smoothies with ice. They are a much healthier option. Besides that, they contain nutrients and minerals that can help you feel more energized during the day.
These are only the most common mistakes fitness enthusiasts make while on vacation. Be moderate at everything. Don’t push your body to the limits. You’re on the vacation, it’s your time to rest your body and your mind. You’ll have plenty of time to make it up once you’re back home. If fitness means so much to you, try creating a simple routine with easy exercises to stay in shape. Don’t forget that you’re burning calories by swimming and walking too. So, enjoy your vacation and avoid making these mistakes.