27 Jun 4 Secrets to Keeping Fit Over the Summer Holidays
You’re away for the summer and your usual workout routine is in danger of disintegrating into lie-ins, time with friends and family, celebrations and, hopefully, plenty of relaxation. But just a little bit of planning and research throws up numerous ways to include exercise, whether you’re in a city, in the countryside or by the beach. Flex instructors Charlotte Douglas and Karin Ubbiali talk us through how to include fitness during your next summer holiday.
1 – Take a break – Yes, you read that right. It’s important to let your body, and mind and spirit, decompress whether you’re chilling by the beach, appreciating the countryside or exploring a new city. And a quality break helps inspire you to get back to the mat.
“I always love to switch off and relax, either by reading a book in the garden or strolling by the lake eating gelato,” says Karin, who often returns to her native Italy.
“Every summer I go back home to the UK and I try to give my body a rest during this time, Hong Kong life being so busy and fast paced,” says Charlotte. “At every opportunity I will be outdoors. I will be based at my mothers house, set in very idyllic countryside, and I feel the need to enjoy every second that I am there.”
She adds, “That being said I do not just stop…”
2 – Look for fresh workout opportunities – Taking a break from your Hong Kong routine can throw up some interesting opportunities for working out in a different way.
“I love to go for a run through the beautiful English countryside, so much easier without the humidity and heat,” says Charlotte. “I enjoy walking the dogs and being out and about with my children, and when we go to the South West coast I love to go surfing.”
“It really depends where I am on holiday,” says Karin. “I like to be creative, try new things and think outside the box of my normal exercise routine. I like to discover new areas on foot or by bike, as it is the best way to have a feel for the place. If I travel back home to Italy, I try to do some hiking with friends around the local mountains. I also tend to do more open water swimming and other water sport activities. I am off to Bali in the next few months so I will definitely head to the water for my workout and try SUP.”
3 – Take some equipment with you – There are some practices you don’t want to interrupt for too long, whether it’s because you love them or because you fear the inevitable pain when returning to them once your holiday is over. Pack your mat and other fitness equipment and you’re more likely to make time for exercise.
“I always pack my TRX suspension straps as I can use them virtually anywhere whether I am on an island or a beach holiday,” says Karin.
“Of course my yoga practice never stops,” says Charlotte. “I bring my mat with me and roll it out first thing in the morning each day. It may be just a few sun salutations or even a five-minute sit, but either way I squeeze my yoga practice into my holidays where and when I can.”
When on holiday Karin can’t abandon her Pilates practice, and so her Pilates mat and magic circle travel with her. “I like to try to keep my mat work practice daily, especially in the morning. The mat work is your flexibility training, your functional training, your core training all rolled into one efficient workout! I like to add the magic circle to some of the original exercises; it is like an assistant teaching you about control, offering resistance and assistance. It is a great tool to deepen the understanding of the work and it can enhance pretty much any routine. Plus it fits in your carry-on luggage. The magic circle “routine” always leaves me feeling fit and toned: arms, low abs and inner thighs get extra sculpting attention and it helps create a stronger core for an effortlessly better posture. As Joe Pilates’ protégé, Romana Kryzanowska taught – the circle is magic because when you squeeze it you feel your powerhouse.”
4 – Rope in some friends – It’s always easier to keep a fitness or wellness routine going when you have company.
“I have some friends who are always keen to get onto the yoga mat with me,” says Charlotte. “We may put on a yoga glo class or something like that, always outdoors if we can. But most of all going out for a walk with family and friends helps me connect to nature and to people. The best chats always happen on a walk.”
“My mother has recently started Pilates, so during my last visit, we practiced together quite often,” says Karin. “I am also fortunate that most of my friends are very active, so it is pretty easy to stay fit and healthy even on holiday.”
And after a refreshing break from your usual routine you’ll be full of energy to get back to the mat or the reformer once you’re back in Hong Kong. Check out Flex’s Autumn classes for some inspiration here.