by Olivia Walmsley, The Telegraph, June 23, 2017
It’s almost holiday season – hallelujah. But if you were looking forward to poolside dozing punctuated by piles of pappardelle, afternoon ice creams and rosé on tap, the news that just 14 days of lounging in the sun can wreak havoc upon your health will come as a cruel blow. Yes, according to a new study by the University of Liverpool, a two-week break from exercise and good food can destroy muscle mass and produce harmful metabolic changes.
But all hope is not lost: there are simple ways to keep on track by incorporating a little light exercise into your day. Here, personal trainers and lifestyle coaches Luke and Jo Gray of Living Retreats offer 10 easy ways to stay in shape on your break. Pick the exercises that sound appealing and work at least two into each day.
Do this by the shore, with the water gently lapping at your arms and legs to keep you cool. Assume the plank position (see main picture) with arms extended. Then take a side step, using the right arm and right leg at the same time. Move two side steps to the right and repeat back to the left. That’s one set. Aim for 10 sets by the end of the holiday.
Walk it off
Walking across the shore (not out to sea) in waist-deep water will not only tone your legs, buttocks and core, but also give you a good cardio workout. You can add the arms in too, extending the arms and hands as shovels to push against the water. Take medium strides, moving the arms in opposite directions. Walk for about 10 minutes, working really hard. Rest for five minutes and go again. Do this five times. Go a little deeper into the sea each time: start knee-deep to finish chest-deep (this all depends on the strength of the waves).
This plyometric exercise is best on a quiet beach. From a standing start, take off and see how far you can jump. Aim for 20 and be sure to land in a squat position. It’s great for thighs, glutes and core. If you’re holidaying in a group, organise a competitive version, marking your distances in the sand. Don’t be too disappointed if the kids beat you.
This is a great way to build up your stamina and tone up. Do one exercise for one minute at each corner of the pool. Aim for four circuits of the pool – but start with one to get a feel for it.
- The scissor: with your back against the side of the pool, arms out wide holding on to the side, float your legs out in front, toes pointing up, take your legs out wide then cross as you close them, push out wide then close again, holding your core in as you go. Swim to the next corner.
- High knees: hop from one knee raise to the next, raising the arms in front or up high. Swim to the next corner.
- In the deep end, tread water as fast as you can. Swim to the next corner.
- Run on the spot for one minute. Rest for a minute and then repeat.
Swim across the sea for a great full-body workout. Set a target, then breaststroke or front crawl there and back. The waves provide resistance. Depending on the distance, first aim for six lengths, then increase.
If available, kayaking is a great arm, back and core workout. Spend half an hour paddling vigorously.
Walk, run or cycle the surrounding area for 20-40 minutes in the early evening or morning, before it’s too hot. Or try to work in a 20-40 minute beach walk – doing it on sand is a great toner.
This can be done any time, anywhere – plank beside the pool and jump in afterwards to cool off. Set a time target – 30 seconds to one minute to start with, depending on how fit you are – and beat your personal best each time.
These can be done while sunbathing. Lie on your back, one knee bent, foot flat on the floor, the other leg extended, arms flat beside you. Lift the hips off the floor and down again, clenching the buttocks as you go. Aim for 10 then change to the other side for another 10.
Be sure to secure your lounger and go at it from the side, or get a friend to counterbalance on the opposite side. With your back to the lounger, place your hands on the edge, bottom raised, legs bent (or straight to make it more difficult). Bend the elbow to dip up and down. Work in sets of 10. Aim for three.