Wednesday, July 29, 2015

6 Lean and Fit Summer Vacation Tips

Summer is here and the big question is "what can I do while I am on vacation to stay lean and in shape?  Here are some tips that will guarantee that all that hard work in the gym will not go to waste when you go away on vacation and have no exercise equipment.

1.  No equipment needed!  You do not need a gym travel pass and there is no need to overload yourself with heavy equipment to carry around at your vacation destination.  Keep it light and simple.  I few therapy bands and a yoga mat are all you need.

2.  Do strength and stability training for your smaller muscle groups.  This is good enough during your one week stay away.  This is beneficial because usually people focus less on the stabilizer muscles.  The muscles that attach to your spine and pelvis, core muscles, are actually more important for longevity in training than your larger muscles groups.  

3.  Revisit the fundamentals of exercise with body weight calisthenic training. These type of exercises promote strength, muscle maintenance and overall mobility.  This program will make you realize that you can benefit exponentially from exercising without weights. 

4.  Do not change your diet plan while you are on vacation.  Usually people tend to increase there calorie intake while away while reducing the physical activity they do.  Remember you must eat based on the amount of activity you do in a day.  Portion control should be your main objective on vacation, especially if you plan to relax the whole time.

5.  Protein before carbohydrates keeps your muscles in check!  You must consume the your daily recommended amount of protein each day no matter what.  Your muscles need the energy to maintain themselves even when you are resting and relaxing.  If anything, while you are away and less active, reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat.  Limit your carbohydrate intake to strictly salads and whole grains.

6.  Do cardio everyday.  This is important.  If you plan on not gaining a pound of fat while you are on your retreat, it is important to boost your metabolism daily with some cardio.  Let's face it, a vacation includes a lot of unhealthy food and booze for the most part.  Keeping your metabolism in check and not letting everything go south can easily be maintained with high or moderate intensity endurance training in the morning.  

Got Water?

Have you been feeling faint, dizzy, nauseous, thirsty, or constipated?  If so, you may want to consider drinking more water regularly throughout the day.  This is important whether you workout or not or if you live in warmer than normal or cooler than normal climate areas.  

A good way to determine how much water you need each day is to divide your body weight in pounds by 2.2 to find your body weight in Kilograms.  Multiply this new number (your body weight in kgs) by 40 and you will get the amount of milliliters of water you need throughout a day.  Divide this number by 1000 and you will get an accurate amount of liters of water you need to drink a day to minimize the symptoms of dehydration, based on your body weight.  If you have a balance diet, you can factor in a liter of water from the food that you eat throughout the day.  Most people require anywhere from 2-4 liters of water a day but, this is highly dependent on how active or inactive you are.  The more activity you do the more water you must drink.

On days that you perform moderate to vigorous exercise you need almost 2 extra liters of water on top of your daily recommendation.  Before your workout it is good to drink 500ml of water or a 16oz bottle of water to help with joint fluidity and to maintain high blood volume.  Yes, you will prevent injury and your muscles and joints will feel and move better when you are hydrated. Dehydration can also reduce blood volume because blood is approximately 85-90% water. Your heart moves water packed bloods cells throughout your body at a high rate while you are active.  During your workout it is good to take a drink every 15 mins to maintain hydration.  Your lack of energy later in your workout could be because your body has to work extra hard to turnover oxygen and water.  After your workout, especially if you sweat a lot, it is good to drink a 1.5 liters of water within an hour.  This will guarantee that you restore all water lost and kick start the nutrient transfer of a proper post workout meal.  

Regular water intake is more important than you think.  The effects of dehydration may be the reason why you cannot improve your performance or body composition.  When your body does not have enough water it cannot function well.  This can decrease your metabolism and performance, mentally and physically.  The next time you feel thirsty it is important to know that your body has already started the unhealthy adaptation to the lack of water well before this feeling.  So drink water regularly and do not rely on thirst!