Thursday, 16 July 2009

Getting fitter on vacation

Some people find that over the vacation period it is really hard to keep the weight off and keep fitness levels up. It's all too easy to find other things to do than work out - after all, we go on vacation to have a break from our 'normal' lives don't we?

I'm currently on vacation in Sweden, and have been trying to work healthy eating and exercise into my daily routine.

So far, I've been 50% successful. Why 50%? Because the exercise is going well, but the healthy eating doesn't seem to be going so well.

Vacation exercise

This vacation, I haven't been able to run so far - the blister I gained in the 10k Samrun is only just healing (it stopped weeping a few days ago... gross...). So to keep exercising I've switched to a bodyweight exercise program put together by Craig Ballantyne at Turbulence Training. It's one of the bonus reports you get when you buy the full package.

I started off last week on the 'beginner' bodyweight program which I thought would be very easy, but I thought I'd do it to just 'ease myself back into it'. Well I surprised myself - certain parts of it were much tougher than I expected!

I think that what this shows is that my previous weights work has been focused on just a few body areas, and my untrained areas were seriously exposed by the exercises.

One of the great things about the program is that it focuses a lot on single leg body weight moves. Not just do these mean that you are putting twice the stress on your legs than if you were doing the exercise with both legs, but it also means that you need to balance yourself much more throughout each exercise, so making the muscles work even harder (as well as activating all those core muscles which I neglected in my previous gym work).

I've only done 4 workouts so far, so shouldn't expect results yet. But I do feel stronger, and a little more defined.

One of Craig's sayings, however, is that you can't out-train a bad diet, which brings us on to the part of my holiday which has been less succesful.

Healthy eating on vacation

weight loss

Other than a few days in the middle of my holiday, when my mother in law was cooking, I felt that I'd been eating and drinking fairly sensibly, and along the lines of my 6 eating rules I talked about before.

However, over the course of a week, I've only lost 2 lbs. It felt like it should have been more. So I've restarted using a food diary on Sparkpeople (it's totally free) to make a much bigger effort in recording the food I actually eat, as well as being meticulous about portion sizes. Just this morning, for instance, I found that I was eating 100g of muesli each morning - which is over 300 calories!! It's not so much effort to put the bowl on the scales each morning, pour in muesli until it gets to 50g on the scale, and then pour in 0.1% fat yoghurt until it gets to 150g total. Easy!

So let's see if in the last week of my holiday I can achieve a bit more weight loss!