Guest editor: Laura Frankland (mio enthusiast and general health nut)
Holiday, the word alone releases endorphins, bringing images of sand, sun, sea and long, lazy days under a blue sky. As wonderful as it is, escaping day-to-day life and jetting off for a week or two, shouldn’t mean our healthy lifestyle is left at the departure gate.
Here are a few mio recommendations that will keep you on a healthy track, while enjoying those indulgent moments:
Walking, an activity that with our busy schedules is no longer appreciated and has turned into a race from the station to the workplace. So when better to put your best foot forward than on holiday when you have plenty of free time.
It’s the perfect opportunity to accomplish those 10,000 steps a day we are meant to do, so get yourself a tracker and set yourself the challenge!
The best thing about doing holiday by foot is all the places you will discover. Who knows the cute little boutiques or adorable restaurants you will find tucked away in a cobbled side street.
Exercising on the Copacabana
You are on holiday, so of course the last thing you want to do is spend hours stuck inside a gym. There are four words that mean this doesn’t have to be the case, High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. A workout technique that is literally a hit with personal trainers and works through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short recovery periods.
It promises to burn more fat (excess holiday calories included) in a shorter amount of time and all that’s required is you and a pair of trainers. Jumping Jacks, Sumo Squats, Push-Ups, Tricep Dips, Lunges, Sit Ups, all HIIT workouts suited to any terrain: on the beach, by the pool, a balcony, or in your hotel room, from 10 to 30 minutes, you choose the amount of time you do.
Take a quick look around Instagram or youtube and you’ll be able to find a quick HIIT circuit that can be done while listening to the waves and breathing in that fresh sea air:
Just keep swimming
Swimming, a form of exercise like no other and it’s all down to the fact that water is denser than air. This natural resistance acts as weights giving your body the ultimate aerobic workout, toning every muscle group, without putting pressure on joints and bones. On top of that it helps with lung capacity and blood flow, which explains that amazing warm, fuzzy feeling you experience following a swim.
And what better place to practise your breaststroke than in nature’s swimming pool, the sea.
The health benefits of seawater have been known for centuries, healing properties include removing toxins and acting as an exfoliator. Who needs a spa day when you can immerse yourself and soak up the minerals of the sea, treating your body to a natural detox while building your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.
The goodness doesn’t stop there either. Swimming not only helps with your physical wellbeing but also benefits your mind and soul. The sound of water coupled with the rhythmic strokes and breathing makes it relaxing and meditative.
What are you waiting for? Take the plunge this summer holiday!
The power of the yellow citrus fruit
The humble lemon, taken for granted, yet, concealed within its waxy exterior and sour taste is nothing but goodness. Often thought of as a very acidic fruit, the first surprise is that it is actually alkaline, which means it balances out PH levels. Just what you need after over-indulging on acidic foods (alcohol, caffeine and meat all fall into this category).
This little gem of the citrus family works wonders on the digestive system too. Drunk first thing in the morning it will kick-start your metabolism and thanks to its high vitamin C content, it also loosens and flushes out toxins. After all, we are all guilty of having one too many mojitos, especially during holidays when you’ve let your hair down. One slice of lemon is the only ingredient you need for a detox drink which will aid your liver the morning-after-the-night-before.
As much as holiday is a time to unwind and relax, you can often feel sluggish and lethargic. Yes, believe it or not, all that lounging around in the sun will have that affect on you. Again, our little yellow superhero comes to the rescue.
Think back to when you have anything with a squeeze of lemon, it immediately leaves you feeling invigorated and refreshed and provides an instant energy and mood boost, making it the perfect drink to have by your side for all that lounging.
All of this while keeping skin clear and rejuvenated from the inside out, a lemon (or three) is a holiday essential.
You are what you eat
Eating out is something that goes hand-in-hand with holiday and shouldn’t be compromised. After all, the point is not to think ‘what am I going to cook?’ instead, ‘where am I going to eat?’
Queue the 70:30 rule, but don’t be disheartened, moderation doesn’t mean you will miss out…
For foodies, holiday offers new culinary tastes and experiences, take full advantage of this and let local and seasonal produce dictate your food choices.
Indulge in the flavours and colours of the rainbow, eating fresh salad, fruit and vegetables.
Visiting a local farmer’s market, not only allows you to absorb the locals, community and culture, but also means you can stock up on healthy snacks and ensure you are getting your five a day.
Top up on foods like tomatoes and red grapes which contain lycopene. Lycopene is the phytochemical that turns these fruit and veg red and is a useful addition to protect yourself against UV rays and preventing you from turning the same shade as shade of lobster.
Watch out for those empty calories too, especially drinking your calories! Not only is a Piña Colada full of sugar but alcohol is extremely dehydrating. Ensure you are constantly drinking water throughout the day, particularly when alcohol is involved. You can even eat your water by consuming foods with high water content, watermelon is a great way to stay hydrated.
Of course, when in Italy have a gelato or when in France have a croissant, you are on holiday after all. Enjoy indulgent moments but remember that balance is still key, that way you will return raring to go and glowing with vitality.