woman-stretching

After long hours and busy days at work, and months following the city’s hectic pace, we finally need to take a break from the urban hustle and bustle to remember what it is waking up without alarm for more than two days in a row.  No doubt, we are all waiting for this moment with much excitement, just as much as the dispiriting or even painful feeling of getting back to work and remembering that we need to get in shape!

If there is something better than having a nice holiday, it’s finishing it knowing that we have been taking true care of our mind and body and finding the right balance between healthiness and enjoyment. And we can do this by embracing the actual meaning of ‘treating yourself’.  That’s the reason why today we are sharing with you some handy tips, to help you enjoy your holidays while keeping fit.

Before you go on holidays, take a few minutes to think about your given chances to keep active. I am not saying prepare a specific fitness routine but at least check the possibilities to keep you moving so you start preparing your mind. Different studies have shown that our level of commitment and chances of acting on it are considerably greater when we invest time on planning the specific tasks. If you are going to stay in a hotel, see if they have a gym, training facilities or programmed activities. If you are going to the country side, perhaps you can find some hiking routes or bring your yoga mat. You can even browse on-line workouts if you want to get a little more serious. Going to a new destination? Why not exploring some new and adventurous activities? Fitness, yoga or martial arts classes, climbing, canoeing, paintball, horse riding, etc. Sure, you need a nice rest but a little bit of exercise will make you feel great!

Remember that public transport is rather a pain at warm destinations, even hotter than walking, so grab a bottle of cold water and walk to reach your destination when possible.

If you have the privilege of going to the coast, don’t miss the opportunity to take a refreshing dip in the sea. You will burn calories, stretch out your body and relax your mind within seconds. A swimming pool can do the work too.

Always stay hydrated and plan in advance at least a couple of days packed with enjoyable activities which involve staying away from alcohol and heavy meals.

Practice meditation or guided visualization daily. It has been proven to improve mental and physical health, increase well-being levels ,having been related to weight lose too, due its incredible power to decrease stress and anxiety feelings.

Food wise, simply remember that there is no need to put in your body a greater amount of calories than what it needs or going for the unhealthiest choices; it will make you feel bad physically and mentally afterwards. Take good care of your body especially in this period in which there is more time to explore new and more refined dining options. Keep space for the best foods. Skip the bread and pasta and go for that delicious seafood and fresh and summery salad instead.

Finally, we would like to help you to treat yourself a little more with two presents: one for the body and another one for the mind. A brief fitness routine you can practice every day (or every other day) to burn belly fat and avoid getting too stiff and a meditation guide you can practice even for just 5 minutes every day or whenever you decide. I encourage you to make the time to practice both of them back to back, in the order suggested, you will be glad you did it. Enjoy!

Fitness routine (10 – 20 minutes)

Bring your heart rate and body temperature up with 30 seconds running on the spot and 30 seconds of star jumps (like the girl in the image below) and repeat twice (3 sets).

star jumps

Then get into plank position (like the guy in the image) and hold for 20 to 40 seconds, depending on your fitness level. If you are a beginner you can do it on your knees. In any case, keep you back flat!. Rest for 20 to 60 seconds and repeat two more times (3 sets).

plank

Add to your routine 20 to 30 squats if you want to get those legs and buttocks toned and 10 to 20 push-ups if you would like to sculpt your arms (knee push-ups are also good).

Don’t forget to finish with a nice and gentle stretch and feel free to get in touch with us if you would like to have a session with one of our trainers to show you how to do the exercises and get the best out of your workouts.

Meditation (5 – 20 minutes)

First, you need to find a reasonably quiet place away from interruptions (such as mobile phone) and get into your more comfortable position there. This could be while everyone sleeps, in a separate room or even in the bathroom. Sitting is normally the most recommended position, unless you can hold the Yogi Lotus position (cross-legged). Keep your back straight with your chin slightly in, relax shoulders and neck and maintain a subtle tension holding your crown up, like stretching your spine.

Then close your eyes and start paying attention to any sensations in your body and around it: temperature, heart rate, tensions, sounds, etc. Avoid judging them, simply experience and observe them. Once you are a little more relaxed, take two deep and long breaths and then keep breathing normal staying focused on your body again.

It’s now time to keep your mind focused on the breath only. Every time you inhale I want you to count 3 seconds, hold the breath in for one second, exhale in 3 seconds again and hold with no air one second. Repeat this for at least 1 minute (3”inhale -1”hold -3” exhale -1” hold). After the first or second minute increase the counting proportionally, e, g. 4”-2”-4”-2” and keep increasing or maintain the pace for as long as you want. The longer you practice the more benefits for your mind and body. It is important not to force. Remember, this is not a competition but a treat for your mind so just go as far as it feels natural and relaxing for you. Practicing regularly this exercise will also build up your pulmonary capacity with the time. Please, allow yourself a few seconds of mindful presence before you open your eyes again, to notice any differences on your mind state and enjoy any feelings experienced. Then aim to keep that state for as long as you can.

Written by; Pilar

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