In the holiday spirit
How to resist temptation and stay in shape despite those tempting treats
As the holiday season approaches Red Bull athlete Shaikha Al Qassemi shares her health and fitness advice so you can keep yourself in tip-top shape when you’re on vacation.
When we travel the temptation is usually to lounge by the pool and eat more food, or certainly more fast food because it’s easier to spot when you’re away, but you can still find healthy options when you’re on the go. To make sure you’re staying fit and healthy try and leave your sugar and fried foods at the door, or at least choose the days when you want to have those so you can fit in some exercise around them. If you are looking to have dessert or a cheat meal or food that’s not necessarily healthy try and do some exercise beforehand, even walking to and from the restaurant can make a difference.
I usually holiday in Europe and try and buy my own groceries and cook myself so I know exactly what I’m putting into my body. If I’m somewhere where I can’t do that I’ll eat healthily throughout the day and then only have one cheat meal. Try not to stress about it though, you shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying food but if you’re trying to stay fit be mindful of the calories you’re taking on board. Sometimes, a healthy-looking breakfast can be deceiving. You can get apps that tell you exactly how many calories your food contains so you can measure what you’re eating and drinking - such as my Red Bull when I train.
In terms of exercise, if you’re staying at a hotel there’s usually a gym so try and do high intense exercise that’s one minute of exercise and one minute of rest. I like to do that on the rowing or cycle machine, as it’s a great way to burn calories and improve your cardio. Swimming and running are also things you can do on vacation, there’s usually a pool or the beach around that you can use. Burpees, squats and push-ups are all great exercises you can do just in your hotel room. I love burning my legs so getting on a cycle machine is something I do, followed by lunges or squats for two to three minutes, and repeat five times. Burpees in water are a great way to exercise, which is really fun to do and will burn loads of calories because it’s harder than regular sets.
Feel the burn: Shaikha Al Qassemi likes to do short intervals of high intensity exercise – such as cycling – when on vacation.