Healthy holidays CATCH SOME ZZZ’S


Hands up who is hanging out for the holidays and spending time with friends and family, chilling out at the beach, reading a book or two and generally lazing about.

In Aotearoa New Zealand we are blessed to have many amazing beaches, lakes, and camping sites on our doorstep, and as a nation we tend to pack up our cars and depart en-masse, hitting the road to escape and enjoy much anticipate­d downtime. The problem is, that we can end up taking the holiday vibes too far when it comes to diet and exercise and return feeling less rejuvenate­d than is optimal. Swanning around in togs and lavalavas is deliciousl­y free and comfy but doesn’t provide the same reminder that a snug fitting pair of pants might, to put down the left-over Christmas cake and chokkies occasional­ly.

At we fulsomely believe in a little indulgence and embrace the idea that on vacation many rules can, and should, get thrown out the window. However, we also reckon that with just a few tweaks to our thinking we can get home from holiday feeling not just relaxed but invigorate­d and ready for the year ahead. So, if you’re hitting the beach or lake this year, here’s a few tips to keep you on the straight and narrow.


In summer (hopefully) the days will heat up beautifull­y, so the best time to get a bit of sea air and blow out the cobwebs is at the start of the day. The beach itself can be your fitness haven and mornings are often cooler, making it the perfect time for a workout. Start the day with a sun salute on the sand. Consider a mix of cardio and strength training exercises. Running or brisk walking on the sand engages more muscles than on a solid surface, providing an excellent workout for your legs and core. If you’re up for it, bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats, and push-ups target di erent muscle groups and make a great alternativ­e to the gym. Otherwise, a good walk along the beach and back is better than nothing!


Take advantage of the ocean and its various fitness benefits. Swimming is an excellent full-body workout that is gentle on your joints. Snorkellin­g, paddleboar­ding and kayaking are not only fun but also great for your core strength and even a simple walk along the shoreline in knee-deep water can provide resistance and tone your legs.


Add some sports gear to enjoy games, whether its beach cricket, volleyball or a frisbee to throw around with the whanau, getting active doesn’t have to be regimented, it can be fun, not just good for the body but a way of connecting and creating memories with loved ones too.


Be mindful of what you munch on. Instead of reaching for packets of biscuits and a bag of chips opt for healthier alternativ­es. Pack a chilly bin with fresh fruit, cut vegetables, and hummus – snacks that aren’t just nutritious but also hydrating. Bonus points if you catch a fish (or other kai moana), which is often a healthier option than fried or processed alternativ­es.


Summer can see us loading up on sausages, hamburger patties and steaks while salads end up as more of a garnish. Make the most of cooking outdoors by throwing veggies like peppers and eggplant on the hotplate, and mix up the leafy options with loads of tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, celery, corn cut from the cob and fresh herbs. While on the subject of food,

don’t forget about fibre – not a very sexy subject, but neither is the idea of feeling clogged up. Add some drained tinned beans or lentils, some quinoa or grains like brown rice or freekeh and not only will your salads taste amazing they’ll also keep things moving!


While we’d never suggest holidays are the time to start a new diet or eschew all alcohol, neither are they a time to throw the rules completely out the window … at least not for more than a day or two! Consider what you’re drinking and make sure that water makes the list. A couple of glasses of wine on a balmy evening is a wonderful thing but a couple of bottles followed by a raging hangover is not.

Don’t forget the importance of sleep. Your body needs adequate rest to recover from workouts and incidental exercise, and to function optimally. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your overall wellbeing. There is something particular­ly pleasing about getting into the natural rhythm of sunrise and sunset to reset our sleeping while not needing to rely on an alarm. Not to mention the glorious feeling of falling into bed with that particular magical tiredness that comes from a day of outdoor activities.


Pay attention to how you feel. If you’re tired, take a break. Being active doesn’t mean that you need to become an over-night exercise junkie, especially if you have spent the year being sedentary. Overexerti­on can lead to fatigue and potentiall­y injury. Give yourself the permission to also rest and rejuvenate so that you can fully enjoy the rest of your holiday.

A summer holiday doesn’t have to be synonymous with weight gain and fitness loss. By incorporat­ing these tips into your routine, you can enjoy the sun, sand, and water while maintainin­g a healthy and active lifestyle.

So, don’t forget to pack sunscreen, workout gear as well as outdoor games and have a wonderful, active and restorativ­e break!

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