Going on a holiday or on a travel adventure? Prepare your body physically to make sure you get the most out of your trip.
Before the fun bit begins there is some lifting and pulling of heavy bags and suitcases, down stairs, out of car boots, through airports, into overhead lockers and off baggage collection belts. To ensure you don’t start your time away with an injury that could derail your fun, workout your back and shoulders. Exercises: Lat pulldown, seated row, one arm row, kettlebell swing, dumbbell shoulder press
Sitting – As often happens, slumping, on planes, trains and automobiles, leads to the core muscles that support your spine and improve your posture switching off. As your deep abdominal muscles take care of so much, from preventing back pain, as you lift the suitcase containing 10 pairs of shoes, to making your stomach look flatter in your swimmers, don’t neglect these muscles before you take off.Exercises: TRX side plank, cable side pulls (across body), mountain climbers, fitball rollaways
Walking: Do a quick analysis of what your trip entails. Will you be roaming the cities of Europe? Dancing the night away in the clubs of Brazil? Climbing steep mountain paths in the Himalayas? Navigating ancient staircases to visit temples of forgotten eras? All of these activities will be more enjoyable if your heart and lungs are on your side and your leg muscles can take it in their stride. Exercises: uphill walking, stairs (run or walk 2 at a time), jog, cycle, Zumba, walking lunges
Food: Holidays and travel often involve some (over)indulgence in culinary delights – it is part of the whole experience. It’s easier to enjoy new and experimental, as well as favourite and anticipated foods, if you are not preoccupied with potential weight gain. Starting your holiday at goal weight means a temporary 1-2 kilo fluctuation from savouring a few taste sensations is easily remedied on your return. Exercises: combine cardio and strength exercises for maximum fat burning effect during all day long
Mental strength: A backpack full of positivity and confidence will go a long way to increasing your destination joy. Exercise can improve your mental as well as physical wellbeing in preparation for a jaunt overseas. You will be better able to deal with the challenges of travelling alone, meeting new people, speaking a different language, embracing another culture, navigating strange cities and pushing your physical limits – and accommodation, transfer and weather mishaps. Exercises: anything – just get moving, regularly until it is time to pack your bags.
By Rachel Livingstone Personal Trainer & Owner of The Health Hub www.healthhub.net.au