Ah, holiday time. A chance to leave the stressful everyday routine behind and spend a few weeks indulging in endless food, drink, sun and relaxation.
But you don’t have to completely neglect your health and fitness while you’re away. Check out our 5 top tips for how to stay in great shape during your villa break, while still kicking back and enjoying yourself.
- Eat mindfully
It’s hard to resist the lure of all the tasty cuisine on offer when we’re on holiday. Who could say no to another cooling scoop of that delicious gelato? But if you want to still fit into your favourite jeans when you get home, you’ll need eat consciously rather than on autopilot.
So balance out those naughty treats with healthier choices. Savour rather than scoff each mouthful. Don’t pile your plate too high. And instead of dining out every day, why not stay at your villa and whip up a wholesome feast with fresh produce from the local market?
- Go easy on the booze
It’s not just holiday food that can wreak havoc with your waistline. Alcohol also packs a calorific punch and too many tipples will quickly pile on the pounds. What’s more, it can make you pee more often and lead to dehydration – which is bad news if you’re in a hot climate.
Instead of downing lots of drinks at once, pace yourself and try not to exceed the recommended maximum of 14 units a week. And if you’re watching your weight, choose your drinks wisely and consider swapping that calorie-laden wine or beer for a skinnier spritzer or shandy.
- Keep active
After an exhausting few months at home, it’s tempting to spend all of your well-earned break lazing and lounging in the sun. But by staying active for some of the time, you’ll keep your fitness levels up and burn off those extra calories too.
Why not swim a few lengths of your villa’s private pool? Have a rally on your private tennis court? Or get out and explore the local area on foot or by bike? Just be careful to avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Stay hydrated
We all know we should be drinking eight glasses of water a day. And it’s even more important to get plenty of H2O while holidaying in the heat, as dehydration can lead to nasties like headaches, nausea, dizziness and even heatstroke.
To keep your water levels topped up, make sure you always carry a bottle with you and take regular slurps even if you don’t feel thirsty. You could also munch on yummy snacks with a high water content, like watermelon or cucumber.
- Protect yourself from the sun
Most of us can’t wait to escape the typical British weather and soak up some rays in warmer climes. But too much UV light is is hazardous to our health, causing painful skin burns and even cancer.
To enjoy the sunshine safely, generously apply a good high factor sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside and reapply this regularly throughout the day. And when the sun is at its strongest, it’s best to seek out shade, wear a wide-brimmed hat and cover up with loose-fitting clothing.