• Caroline

Holiday workout ideas

Like many of you, I'll be taking time off this August to rest and recuperate. But that doesn't mean that exercise has to stop. In fact, I view holidays as a chance to move my body in different ways to what I normally do and experience my destination at the same time.

Here are three ideas for those of you who're holidaying in the UK or abroad:

-Explore your holiday destination by walking, cycling, running or roller-skating. When you're somewhere new, your senses are busy taking in what they see, hear, taste, feel and touch which is a great opportunity to get some 'free' exercise in at the same time. Many holiday places offer bikes etc for rent. I particularly like it when you can put your little one at the back or at the front as in a cargo bike as then you're burning more calories and getting stronger due to the extra load.

-Use the sea/ocean as much as possible. If you're lucky to be near water, the options are endless: why not try one of the many water sports on offer such as kayaking, windsurfing, scuba diving or sailing. But if none of those appeal to you, then swimming is always fantastic. Swimming is a low-impact, full-body exercise that feels amazing postnatally and also in pregnancy. If you're suffering from pelvic girdle pain, avoid breaststroke and stick to front crawl instead.

-Play with your child! This one might sound obvious but I'm often surprised at how little some parents get moving with their child. Not only is it a great opportunity to connect and laugh with your little one but you'll also get a great workout. From playing hide-and-seek, tag, building sand castles to taking part in countless handstands and cartwheels (my daughters' current favourite pastime). If you have a newborn, then add on some kisses and cuddles to your exercises on all fours when your baby is with you: bird/dog, push-ups on your knees as well as donkey kicks & fire hydrants are some of my favourites.

And for those of you who are staying at home in August (and maybe taking time off later in the year), below are some simple ideas for you too:

-WALKING is one of the best forms of exercise you can do so walk wherever and whenever you can (walk & talk with a friend, walk & listen to a podcast, get off the bus/tube a few stops earlier). Start with 2,000 steps per day and build up to 10,000 steps per day.

-GARDENING is both a great, sweaty workout and also therapeutic due to the contact with the soil and plants. Just make sure you keep your core on and use your legs as it's easy to do your back in while bending excessively or lifting heavy pots.

-MOVE YOUR BODY in small ways at every opportunity: take 10 squats when you go to the toilet, balance on one leg when you're waiting for the kettle to boil, do your pelvic floor exercises while you brush your teeth and every time you need to use the stairs, go up and down 5 times.

If you prefer a more structured workout, last summer I filmed a series of six low-impact workouts based on my Strength & Conditioning class (you'll need a mat and a long resistance band). You can find them in the video section of Facebook (ww.facebook.com/mamastefitness) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/mamaste_fitness). These are suitable from circa 12 weeks postpartum onwards once you've done some initial core repair work.

I hope that has given you some ideas. August is also a wonderful opportunity to rest and repair by letting the sun and heat work their magic so I hope you are also able to incorporate a few naps, lie-ins and meditations in nature. Even if it means some heavy negotiations with your other half.

Have a great rest of summer and see you in September!

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