Having just come back from holiday in Phuket, I feel compelled to write a blog about how little I exercised. I run a fitness & health blog and am a qualified fitness instructor and trainer, I’m supposed to tell you to be hard-core and get in your workouts regardless aye…..yeah nah…….forget that shit. I’ve spent the majority of the last good chunk of my life making it my job to (hopefully) motivate and inspire others, but being a born again not-obsessed with calorie burning virgin though, I have a few new views about the topic of holiday workouts, to exercise or to not?
Rewind about 4 years ago when I was googling if the hotel I was staying at had ample gym facilities, and if not, where the closest gym was so I could get my calorie burn on so I didn’t get the holiday chub on. The last long haul holiday I had was Las Vegas, and what do you do in Las Vegas? Go to the gym apparently. As well as seek out where they cook egg whites for breakfast…..Vegas man, outta CONTROL! :/ I could have been enjoying a cocktail and extensively exploring the sites but noooo, I was working on maintaining 11% body fat and pretending I didn’t care spending half my vacation money on causal gym entries. I have always loved training in one form or another, but if I was being completely honest with myself, the reason for wanting to visit the gym on this holiday had very little to do with my love for the gym, but everything to do with fear of losing lean mass and gaining body fat – end of the world kinda stuff.
Fast forward to last week in Thailand and I was as happy as Larry strolling past the resort gym without an ounce of guilt, seeing the people on the treadmill in my head thinking *f#ck that*, making a bee line to the buffet breakfast where I loaded up on Tom Yum and spicy chicken for brekky. Mid way through the week I decided to go to a Pilates class, which on a side note kicked my ass. I turned up for the 9am ‘group class’ (after being at the buffet from 6am with a belly full of Tom Yum…..not recommended) which turned out to be a ‘group’ of just me. Waiting there until 9.10am the resort fitness centre receptionist man apologised and said that the Pilates instructor hadn’t showed up (probably because no one turns up to the fitness classes while on holiday, ever, reinforcing the theme of this blog). My reasons however for wanting to do a class was nothing to do with burning calories but everything to do with experiencing a class in Thailand where some of the best yoga/Pilates teacher training goes on, clearly not popular at this resort though. The fitness centre receptionist said he would take the session and took me through to the kids centre to find a spot to do the training. There was a bit of a language barrier but I did get out of him that he was not a Pilates instructor and was winging it, but for making up a class on the spot he did a blimen’ good job of killing my abs, and make the poor surrounding children question whether that chick on the floor was still alive. Overall an awesome class, and then I went back to the buffet for round 2 because it was open until 11am and I wanted some eggs.
For the rest of the time we did so much walking and exploring that there was no need to be stuck in a gym for any of this holiday. This trip really was a reminder of how my thoughts have changed with being in situations where routine is thrown out of whack and not stressing about how that will impact the ‘look’ of my body. How I take care of my body is absolutely no longer tied up purely in how it looks physically, I care more about taking in each experience at hand and what the holiday was offering personal growth wise, which in turn helps with the health and wellness of my body anyway. There are actually more ways to burn and use your energy in a positive way that isn’t just burning calories on a treadmill. Physical fitness is an important and beneficial way to do good for your body, but if you decide to use your energy in a different way for a week while on holiday (or even at home) don’t be scared of ‘going backwards’ or ‘not making gains’.
I love exercise and I love working out, and of course there is nothing wrong with training while on holiday if it’s something you truly love purely for the enjoyment and health benefits. But it’s not very often you get to go to Thailand for 7 nights so there was definitely no guilt playing on my mind, I was too busy thinking about baby elephant kisses and what type of pastries I wanted to pocket from the buffet for my afternoon snack.
My advice to you is to do what you love and use your energy in whatever way you feel is the best use of your time, and number one rule is to ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!
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