EXERCISING ON VACATION – OLYMPIC ADVISE
Taking a leave of absence from regular daily life can be much needed. This allows for recalibrating the system and rejuvenating the mind and body. However, you do not necessarily have to forego all of your improvements in terms of your physical condition every time you go on holiday. If you wish to maintain your cardio endurance while on vacation, there are plenty of activities – both fun and exciting – that will give you a proper workout.
In this article, we cover exactly what happens to your conditioning if you choose to rest from exercising completely for a longer period of time. Furthermore, Olympic runner and DANISH ENDURANCE ambassador Stina Troest gives us her take on how to exercise while traveling.
Trying to stay in shape while traveling is something that matters to a lot of people. With good reason. The science behind what happens to your body and fitness level, if you choose to rest from exercise completely, is significant. In terms of strength training, taking a break from exercising is not as detrimental to your fitness. It might actually be a good idea to allow your body to recover properly from time to time.
However, aerobic conditioning (which is what you train when you run, row, hike, etc.), starts to decline noticeably within just two weeks of inactivity, as much as 5-10 percent in three weeks. The harder you push yourself, the more your anaerobic systems improve, the longer you run, the more you work your aerobic systems. Anaerobic fitness increases the capacity of oxygen and carbon dioxide capabilities, while aerobic fitness improves the efficiency of the exchange, further allowing you to perform at higher levels. All those gains could be gone after about two months of inactivity, and the fitter you are, the faster you actually lose your fitness.
Taking a week off is acceptable and won’t make much of a difference. Much longer than that, however, could damage the gains that you have fought long and hard for, as your fitness actually starts to depreciate very quickly and rapidly. Therefore, it is better to get in a few short exercise sessions instead of skipping the workouts completely. Exercising on vacation is recommended on longer trips.
To give you some tips and tricks on exercising while traveling, we asked our DANISH ENDURANCE ambassador and Olympic runner Stina Troest for advice on how she does it.
DANISH ENDURANCE: “Hi Stina! How do you stay in shape while traveling?”
Stina: “ I love to explore. And I love to train. Therefore, when on vacation, I combine the two and try to explore new areas and sights of the cities that I visit by going on long runs or just a quick morning jog. I also enjoy attending fitness classes such as a yoga or boxing class”.
“I try to stay in shape as a general thing, but I also think that it is important to enjoy yourself and relax. If the day is quite chilled and easy, I try to get in a run and do some exercising before the day starts. If the day is very active and I know that I will be walking or hiking a lot, then I don’t exercise”.
”What advise would you give frequent travelers trying to exercise on vacation?”
”I always have my DANISH ENDURANCE bands with me. They make it possible to do some restricted movements and exercises wherever I might be. A morning run through the city is always a good idea. This allows you to explore and discover and get to know the area.”
”Bring a set of workout clothes, running shoes, and some DANISH ENDURANCE bands and socks. Then you’re covered.”
Diet is also a factor when traveling. It is not always as easy to prepare your meals and restrict yourself to what you are used to from home, as you have less access to the food you want.
”Do you try to eat healthy while traveling? And what does healthy eating mean to you?”
”I try not to change my diet too much when traveling. I fuel my body with carbs, proteins, and healthy fats, just as I do at home. However, I also enjoy ice cream and dessert while traveling a bit more frequently than I would at home.”
”Which kind of activities do you recommend?”
”I enjoy walking on the beach, swimming, volleyball, bike rides, running, and hiking. You could also golf or play tennis. All of these activities tend to be great fun on vacations, and they sometimes provide both cultural insights as well as knowledge of the city and area.”
The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Check out Stina’s Spotify playlist for workouts and exercising
For more articles on endurance sports, a healthy lifestyle, and self-development visit www.danishendurance.com/stories.
For quality products that help improve your performance visit www.danishendurance.com/shop.