With the holiday season upon us, it becomes more difficult to remain on track with our exercise programs and remaining healthy. Many Australian’s will flock to the coastlines of Australia to spend their holiday period. It is a personal favourite way of mine to spend the summer and I have discovered many ways in which my family and I are able to still enjoy the treats of the holiday period without the compromise at the waistline and in our fitness levels! Read below for my top holiday period tips!
My approach is simple; stay active and be active! Let me explain. I emphasise this outlook to all my clients and patients, no matter their current physical ability. A personal way I remain active over the holiday period is by engaging in what is known as ‘Incidental exercise.’ Incidental exercise is the physical activity we accumulate over the day, whether it is going for a walk to the shops, taking the stairs instead of the lift, even completing physical household chores. Little by little, over the day, this cumulative effect of being active is a form of informal or ‘unstructured exercise’. By completing incidental exercise, you burn kilojoules (kJ) or calories without even knowing it!
Over the New Year, families will expect to travel on getaways, and many will not participate in any structured exercise in a gym. To remain active when away from the gym, I advise you all to spend as much time as you can outdoors. Make a conscious effort to engage in activities such as bike riding, bush walking, even beach walking for at least 30 minutes per day. The National Heart Foundation recommend, to walk at least 30 minutes per day to remain healthy and active. If you are unable to walk 30 minutes, accumulation of 30 minutes over the day in smaller bouts is just as effective.
A great way to maintain time spent walking and counting steps is by using a pedometer. I often compete against mum and we see who has accumulated the highest number of steps over the day and burned the most calories. If I’ve had a relaxing day at the beach with friends, mum will often beat me as she usually spends the day at the local shops wandering around! Remember the goal is at least 10,000 steps per day.
Another suggestion to all you planning a holiday this season; is to research what is available in the area you are travelling to engage in, whether it be walking tracks to explore, bushwalking, local town markets and shops. For those families who have children, pack their bicycles, and each afternoon spend half an hour to an hour exploring the local area on provided walking tracks while the kids enjoy exploring on their bikes.
I hope you all have a prosperous New Year, and expect to see you achieving all of your health and fitness goals in 2018!