If you follow me over on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve finally booked myself a much needed vacation. I’m off to Barbados in September for 10 days and it’s just what the doctor would’ve ordered!
Having confirmed this less than two weeks ago, there won’t be enough time to “get fit” (whatever that is supposed to mean anyway!) specifically for this trip.
Apparently, nearly half of Brits have injured themselves trying to get fit for summer, according to new research by Hayward Baker. So check out the infographic below along with a few pre holiday tips to help you get the most out of your time in the gym…
Book In An Induction
Personally I haven’t used resistance machines in so long that I’m not sure I would remember how to use them properly. Every gym should offer a induction when you join so you can ask any questions you may have.
Some may even throw in a Personal Training session too which is a great opportunity to get some inspiration for a workout. Knowing how to use the equipment properly will reduce any risk of injuring yourself and not being able to do anything active!
Warm Up & Cool Down
This one is a bug bear of mine from the classes I teach. Every single class I plan has a warm up and cool down and it’s for a very good reason. When you’ve been sitting at a desk for the last four or eight hours and walk into a high intensity class doesn’t it sound reasonable that you’d build up the intensity gradually rather than just getting straight into those insane burpees?!
And then it’s just as reasonable to bring your body back down from all that mad sweating before you return to sitting still?! Running straight out of class after the main set makes you feel like superman / woman right?! So off you off sprinting for the bus and… that five minutes at the end of class is the least your body deserves so treat yourself!
Saw this and just had to share after my little “rant” last week ?? . Still figuring out how to explain to peeps that the cool down is just as important as the main workout… ? Had an epic morning teaching my Lift classes at Frame Shoreditch this am and now just home from a little ??♀️ spin round the Olympic Velopark… . Had to get out and enjoy the sunshine! ☀️ . Here’s to tomorrow being Friday and hopefully no unicorns get harmed . Any plans for the long weekend?! . #keepitsimpElle #londonbloggers #quote #quoteoftheday #likeafitpro #unicorn #unicorns #sweatpink #fitfluential #fitnessprofessional #30plusblogs #ukfitblogs #ukfitnessblogger
A post shared by Elle | Fitness Pro & Blogger (@ellelinton) on May 25, 2017 at 12:41pm PDT
It literally is the responsibility of the gym (and its staff I guess, including myself as an instructor) to keep you safe and reduce the risks because if a gym-injury or accident occurred in the facility, the management could be liable to prosecution following a claim. If you’ve personally had an accident in the gym you can check out this free to use injury compensation calculator [link removed Feb ’20 – 404 error].
Hire A Personal Trainer
If a Personal Training session isn’t included with your membership then consider purchasing a one off or short package (3 – 5 sessions). Not only will it give you ideas for things to do in the gym and make sure you do them safely, it’ll mean that you’re more likely to put in maximum effort when you’re under the watchful eye of a professional. If you only have a few weeks before your holiday mix up your classes and gym sessions by adding in one PT session a week which also adds another level of accountability.
Build Up Sensibly
If you decide to jump back on the fitness wagon after a long break in preparation for your holiday don’t jump straight in the deep end with heavy weights or long mileage. Start exactly where you would’ve done should you not have a holiday coming up in a matter of weeks. Use a program like Couch to 5k to start running and just pick up where you left off after your break or simply start again.
If you want to lift weights but don’t know where to start most gyms offer lift based classes (like BodyPump, Lift at Frame or Ripped &a Stripped at Gymbox) …ask the instructor if you need help choosing which weights to use and then keep that in mind when you try them by yourself.
Seek Professional Advice For Niggles
If something starts to hurt, don’t leave it till it’s too late to get it looked at. Personally I don’t recommend a GP for anything gym related; my first port of call would be an Osteopath, followed by a Physiotherapist or a Sports Massage if its just muscular tightness.
Also ask for advice on technique as usually small tweaks can be made to alleviate stress that may causing pain such as making sure your wrists are extended when chest pressing to reduce the load and pressure through them.
Don’t Undo It At The Dinner Table
There’s little point putting in the work in the gym if you undo all your efforts with your food choices. Make small changes in the lead up to your holiday like cutting down on sugary drinks / snacks, prepping your own meals at home a couple times a week or eating out a little less.
The last thing you want is to feel worse after a workout; you should literally leave the gym feeling on a high and excited for your next session. So essentially, don’t do anything different before a holiday than at any other time… make the small changes to start creating new habits and allow yourself to be more mindful on your choices on holiday (… yknow, one ice cream rather than 4 just because you’re on holiday!) and then regain some balance when you return!
What is your top tip for getting holiday ready?!
I'm always so surprised when people don't stay to at least stretch at the end of a class – it's just soreness or an injury waiting to happen. I think you're right in that 'preparing for a holiday' should be the same approach you have to fitness year round. Don't go mad, be sensible and enjoy it!