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Top Five Holiday Workouts - Beating the Holiday Bulge

If you're planning your next holiday before you board the plane it's important to think about your health.

Losing your fitness and packing on flab instead of muscle whilst you're away is a curse many cardio kings often have to endure; however, that doesn't have to be the way.

Staying active during your time in the sun needn't take more than a few minutes a day and will help ensure your beach body doesn't turn into a beach ball body overnight.

Our Top Five Holiday Exercises

Let's face it, putting on some extra pounds is a necessary evil when you're on a break, but if you follow our top five holiday workouts then you can fend off the negative effects of excess without eating into your sunbathing session:

1. Drink at 30,000ft - Airplanes can wreak havoc on both your weight and your immune system, so it's important to counteract the impact of your flight as much as possible. According to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph you should drink one pint of water every hour to avoid dehydration.

Changes in atmospheric pressure mean an aircraft's cabin is extremely dry and when your body becomes dehydrated you leave yourself more exposed to infections.

2. Take a Dip - Virtually every holiday destination has a swimming pool or, better still, the sea in close proximity and you'd be a fool not to make use of it. Aside from being a way to cool off when the heat becomes too much, swimming is a fantastic cardiovascular workout. Aim to complete around 20 minutes of continuous swimming at a steady pace each day and you'll be able to enjoy that dessert or extra drink you've been craving.

3. Use Your Body - Your body is the most efficient and portable piece of exercise equipment you own and something you should make full use of when on holiday. On top of providing a great strength aid, body-weight exercises will help improve your cardiac performance.

The main areas you want to target when performing body-weight exercises on holiday are your major muscle groups. The larger the muscle, the harder your heart has to work which, in turn, means you need to spend less time training in order to maintain your current fitness level.

Our top tip for performing body-weight exercises would be to perform each exercise ten times for three sets and target the following movements: Squats, push-ups, triceps dips, planks, burpees and sit-ups.

4. Talk a Walk - Current fitness wisdom states that regular runs on the beach can cause undue stress on the ankle and knee joints; however, that doesn't mean you shouldn't utilize this resource. A brisk walk along the beach each day (aim for around 20 minutes) will elevate your heart rate just enough to maintain your cardiovascular health without putting too much stress on your joints.

5. Stretch it Out - If you don't want to feel like you need a gastric band when you return from your summer holiday then consider packing a set exercise bands. These elastic strips will take up very little space in your luggage and are perfect for replicating a number of weighted exercises. Our advice is to use a band for the following exercises: shoulder presses, upright rows, press-ups, bicep curls, single leg lunges and squats.

Each exercise should utilize the band's elasticity which means you'll need to either attach it to the bottom of a door or stand on the band. After anchoring one end of the band you should perform each exercise as you would if you were holding a light weight and perform 8 reps for 2-3 sets.

BONUS -  Take Some Sporting Equipment with You - If you have a favourite sport, why not take some of your equipment with you and practice your chosen sport while on vacation? It doesn't matter whether it is tennis, golf, archery, etc - if you have the extra luggage space and have the option to bring it you could potentially bring anything that is small enough to count as luggage. A bicycle might not be so good however, but look into renting a bicycle when you get there.

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