How to keep fit over the summer holidays

by Elloww Team

Article by Angel Merchant from Gulf News

School’s out and the plan to jet off for the summer break is looming over the horizon. Travel plans, the holiday wardrobe, finding the right camera angle and conduits of sunscreen are often on the checklist.

Passionate over-indulgences and lounging about often results in an added 20 pounds at the end of the vacation.

While binge eating on exotic foods, and enveloping yourself into the comfort of the hotel room bed, it can be rather difficult to keep your fitness in check. Nonetheless, with the right kind of advice on how to effectively remain in form over your holiday, you can come back home feeling rejuvenated, regret-less, and in remarkable shape.

Here’s a nifty guide by Gulf News tabloid! to keep these summer holidays healthy and bulge free.

Skip the tour bus


When travelling to a new destination, traversing around the city on foot will help you accomplish two goals. Firstly, you get a chance to experience the city in all its splendour. Walking down the bumpy paths, interacting with the locals, having interesting street food at every corner, and most importantly, capturing every single moment of your journey. These are not facets of travel mere tour buses have to offer.

Secondly, the long walks of wanderlust result in a great workout for your body. You spend the day enjoying your time, and simultaneously, contributing to the betterment of your cardiovascular system, and the environment. You can also hop onto a rented bicycle, and paddle your way around town. Both ways are win-win situations for anybody looking to maintain their fitness, when on vacation.

Choose the right hotel

There were days where holiday homes consisted of dingy inns or tacky motels, which involved a bed, bathroom, and television. However, with the direction the world is headed in now, it would be rather challenging to find a hotel limited to simply three amenities. On the contrary, hotels today comprise of world class luxuries that facilitate ease for occupants, every step of the way. Hence, when selecting a hotel, pick one that offers a gym service suitable to your work out needs and regime. We often interest ourselves in other aspects our potential impermanent residencies have to offer. We continually overlook the most essential one to our well-being. Choose a hotel with a gym that is catered to your needs. Perhaps scan the resort for any courts available, pertaining to the sport of your choice, such as tennis, squash or basketball. Most hotels have swimming pools freely available. Make full use of these amenities and enjoy a fun workout either solo, or with family and friends.

Eat right


It is unrealistic to stick to a rigid diet when travelling. A colossal part of the entertainment factor on any vacation, is the food you get to relish. According to Dr Babak Jamalian, a family physician specialist at many leading hospitals in the UAE, and a managing director at Ideal Fit centre, moderation is key. Eating from all classifications of foods is fine, so long as you practice moderation with everything you eat. The first meal of the day should be a large and satisfying breakfast. Individuals often tend to surrender to the comfort of their beds, sleep in, and miss out on the hotel breakfast. Dr. Babak stresses on the significance of not doing so, and ensuring the first meal sustains individuals for up to four to five hours of the day. If you begin to feel hungry two hours post your morning meal, take that as a sign that your breakfast was fairly unhealthy. You also need to make sure you drink lots of water before your initial meal in the morning.

Eating outside is fine, however, try and avoid two consecutive unhealthy meals. If you are aware dinner is going to be heavy and out of the diet you are trying to keep up, proceed your dinner meal with a relatively healthy lunch. Try and add in a short workout at your hotel before going to bed. This way you safeguard yourself from falling off the wagon entirely, and assist your body during the recuperation process.

Locate a nearby grocery store


One of the main contributions to embracing an unhealthy diet, is the persistent consumption of outside foods for lengthy periods of time. The best way to avert this likely concern, is by locating a nearby grocery store. This is one of the most effective ways to remain cognisant of what you are putting in your body at all times.

Download a workout app


Although technology is predominantly known for its significant contribution to individuals adopting a sedentary lifestyle, we seldom acknowledge that it has also contributed to quite the opposite. In the recent years, a myriad of effective work out apps have been created to help motivate fitness and diet. GuavaPass, HealthifyMe, ClassPass, and MyFitnessPal are some of the top leading fitness apps in Dubai, to name a few. With your workout strategies all accessible on your hand-held device, you can carry a personal trainer with you anywhere you go. Sift through the numerous apps present, and choose one that befits your work out style. Some apps include online classes, live and recorded, and others consist of data regarding every food item you place in your body. Find out exactly what you’re eating, what the potential ramifications are, and find out great workouts when overseas.

Jet Lag


The single most effective way of combating the monster of all travels, is constant hydration. Keeping your body consistently hydrated, helps battle all forms jet lag. Dr. Babuk mentions some additional methods to cure insomnia.

  • Have a cup of warm milk with 2 teaspoons of honey before bed
  • Try to take a bath with magnesium salt before sleeping
  • Get in a considerable amount of exercise. A good workout can assist staying awake during the day, and contribute to a better sleep at night

Workout tips from a professional


Andrej Kubura, a coach at Symmetry Gym Dubai, gives a brief description of some quick workout regimes you can practice when on holiday. Kubura mentions, the best holiday training to keep yourself fit is a series of short circuits. Circuit 1 should involve 10-20 squats, push ups, and planks. If you cannot do a full push up on the floor, keep your hands at the edge of the bed, to aid in elevating your upper body. Circuit 2 consists of lunges, alternating between each leg, and side planks, lasting 30 seconds on each side. The last circuit which is optional, is a set of 50 jumping jacks. Depending on your time, energy level, and daily activities, repeat these circuits between 1-3 times in your hotel room, gym, or in an outdoor park. It’s a perfect simple body weight exercise to help keep you fit, and feel a little less guilty when you end up over-indulging,

Healthy Snacks


Justine Corrado, a licensed nutritionist, and owner of Basiligo, a healthy gourmet restaurant in Abu Dhabi, stresses on the ease with which you can make a bunch of healthy snacks on your trip.

Homemade granola bars are delicious, sustainable and can be rather filling. There are endless recipes online with combinations of your flavour preferences. They are free from preservatives, added sugar, and they last for at least a week. Prepare the bars before your travel, and make sure to store them in zip locks and air tight containers.

Additionally, an exceedingly convenient snacking item is sandwiches made from leftovers. “In todays’ world of Airbnb’s, we are cooking dinners from fresh ingredients”, says Corrado. Pick up any whole wheat packet of bread, and spread whatever left overs you have from the night before. Examples include minced meat, pieces of steak, vegetables etc. Another great way to gratify your appetite, is by purchasing some of the local fruits in the country you’re visiting. Keep them with you for whenever you need a quick snack.

- Angel Merchant is an intern with Gulf News