You’ve finally booked that city break you’ve been desiring, but now you’re panicking – how many steps is it up to that cathedral?! Don’t despair, there’s still time to get fit before your holiday, even if you think you haven’t got time to spare.
Increase your stamina
With so many amazing sights and attractions to visit on a city break, you won’t need your exercise tracker to tell you how far you’ve walked – you’ll be able to feel it ! Increasing your stamina before you travel is easy and will really help you to enjoy your holiday.
Cardio exercise, which is the exercise which gets your heart beating faster, is great for building stamina and there are plenty of options to choose from. It doesn’t mean you’ll have to shell out for a costly gym membership – try jogging, dancing, skipping or cycling. Cardio helps to increase the efficiency of oxygen supply to your muscles, meaning you can carry on for longer.
Make sure you choose activities that you will actually enjoy doing, as you’re more likely to stick with them that way. It can also help to have a specific goal in mind, such as a weight loss or inch loss target for your holiday departure date. Experts also recommend finding a workout ‘buddy’ so that you can motivate each other. There are lots of friendly running clubs springing up locally that will not only help you learn how to run, but give you a friendly ear or two!
Combining cardio with strength training is also a winner. Strengthening exercises such as push ups and sit ups not only help towards your stamina, but they will also tone your muscles – which is great preparation for warm weather clothes or relaxing by the indoor swimming pool. Top exercises for toning up are shoulder presses, bicycle crunches, squats and classic arm circles.
Get some rest
You’re not training for a marathon, so make sure you take plenty of rest in any exercise programme you embark on. Particularly in the days leading up to your holiday, you don’t want to be too tired to leave your hotel!
Short on time
If you’ve left it to the last minute, or have a packed schedule, don’t despair! A recent study for the BBC showed that just three sessions per week of two minutes’ worth of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is enough to increase your aerobic levels and reduce the amount of sugar in your muscles. Some easy HIIT workouts include running on the spot, jumping jacks and burpees. Make sure that you do a quick stretch warm up before you start, and then go for it! Aim for 20 seconds of intensive activity followed by 10 seconds of rest, then repeat. There are some great videos available online to follow along to if you’re not sure.
So you can see that all is not lost, you can get fit before your holiday, even if you’ve booked a last minute break! Please consult with a health professional before embarking on an exercise regime, especially if you have an existing condition.
Gemma is a mum to two children and has recently changed career from accountancy to internet marketing. She runs Waist Trainer UK and writes a blog as Mummy’s Waisted, which features healthy living and family life.