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Ask a Pro: Six Simple Ways to Stay Active and in Shape While Away, According to a World-Class Certified Fitness Coach & Trainer

Ask a Pro: Six Simple Ways to Stay Active and in Shape While Away, According to a World-Class Certified Fitness Coach & Trainer

Ask a Pro: Six Simple Ways to Stay Active and in Shape While Away, According to a World-Class Certified Fitness Coach & Trainer

Ask a Pro: Six Simple Ways to Stay Active and in Shape While Away, According to a World-Class Certified Fitness Coach & Trainer

Going away on vacation is always something to look forward to. However, the lure of all-inclusive indulgence, late nights that lead to late mornings, and novelty of trying new things can be as stressful as they are exciting to those trying to maintain their health and wellness. Some may dread feeling out of control, coming out of their routines, or be worried about losing any weight they night gain while enjoying themselves.

We realize these concerns are a reality that dulls the anticipation of treating oneself to an amazing getaway, so once again, we chose to Ask a Pro. We spoke with Tristan Phillips, a certified Functional Strength coach and Pain-Free Performance Specialist who is also certified with Original Strength and as a kettlebell expert with StrongFirst. Here are his top tips on how to stay well while kicking back beachside.

Start your morning with some movement.

“Get your training in before you leave the room for the day, before the day gets away from you,” Phillips advises. “Each workout can be as short as ten minutes or as long as 40 minutes, depending on how serious you want to be, how much or how little rest you integrate into your workout, et cetera.”

Any movement is better than no movement, in his opinion, and you’ll feel better and more energized to do more with your day. Whether you’re doing recuperative stretches to recover from that cramped flight, some morning yoga to welcome a new day, or getting a few body weight sets in, the important thing is to allow your body to warm up and get into a state of “go.”

Choose a resort with a gym that revs you up.

The tennis courts and single treadmill or elliptical of the days of yore are far behind us as wellness has become an increasing priority for travelers. Nowadays, many of the best all-inclusive resorts now boast state-of-the-art fitness centers and facilities.

In fact, certain brands pride themselves on offering unique programs and high-end gyms at their properties. For instance, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, including those in the Inclusive Collection; Hotel Xcaret’s resorts; the Body Rock gyms at the All-Inclusive Hard Rock Hotels; Karisma’s El Dorado Resorts and Azul Beach Resorts; and Planet Hollywood Costa Rica all invest heavily in their fitness centers and fitness programming. Check out photos of the gym of the resort you’re going to and see if they have equipment that you don’t often have access to or usually have to wait for at your local gym. Prioritize those and get jazzed about working out with new equipment!

Also, an all-inclusive vacation is a great time to try something new, especially when classes are offered. The RiuFit program offers instructor-led Pilates and TRX classes, and Hard Rock and Planet Hollywood offer personal training in addition to dynamic classes like kickboxing, spinning, and aerobic dance. And Meliá Punta Cana Beach offers pole fitness, bicycle tours, and even fitness weeks.

No gym? No problem!

As attractive as a resort gym might be, it might be harder to get motivated to go across the grounds to get to it. Or, you’re in a crunch for time and just want to get the basics done. Phillips has solutions for that – just pack a resistance band and use what’s in your room for a quick body weight strength session.

“I like to do a combo of split squats (not to be confused with similar-looking lunges), push-ups, glute bridges, pull-aparts, face pulls, and leopard crawling,” he says. “To increase difficulty, you can always decrease leverage, slow down tempo, or add pauses or pulses into the exercises!” He says.

Some tips he offers to maintain your form as you work out in your room: “Keep your knees pointing the same way as your toes on your split squat,” as many people will often wobble out of alignment. And rather than resting on your knees for push-ups, “elevate hands as high as necessary to perform a solid push-up. That can mean using a chair, the bed, or a dresser.” And for leopard crawling, it doesn’t look or sound like much, but it’s tough when done right and certainly does get the heart rate elevated without disruptive jumping or necessitating a lot of space. “Keep your eyes facing forward, chest proud and open, knees hovering an inch over the ground, and back table-straight, as if you’re balancing a cup of water on it,” he advises.

Don’t take the too-easy route.

Elevators are great, especially when you’ve got a lot of luggage to haul. But are they too convenient? Save (electric) power and use (man) power to get to your second- or third-floor room if you can, instead. “Always take the stairs,” Phillips advises, for a few extra steps and some minor strength-building. Close those rings on your fitness tracker easily this way, and even save time. More often than not, by the time the elevator comes, you’ll already be at least halfway up!

When it comes to excursions, Phillips says, “Pick the more active ones versus the inactive ones.” For instance, take a jungle hike or a bike tour instead of a bus ride or a day cruise.

His final rule of thumb? “Walk often, as often as you can.” Skip the golf cart and explore on foot, take your time moseying around town and souvenir shopping, and indulge in those long, romantic walks on the beach.  

Use the airport as an opportunity.

All of the same goes at the airport. “Travel with a big backpack and walk while you are waiting for your flight,” Phillips suggests. Loaded carries like this will help keep your back from cramping up, and provide a good way to get your steps in and get invigorated for your trip. Even doing laps around the terminal is better than sitting still and breathing stale air from the sleeping and snacking passengers!

“If you’re using a suitcase, carry it on one side as long as you can, then alternate as necessary instead of using the rollers,” he says. At his gym, he frequently integrates the aptly named suitcase carries into his clients’ workout programs, which offers great benefits for “strength and endurance in your shoulders, arms, abdomen, and back, while improving your core stability,” according to an article in Greatist. After all, “Strength training is far more valuable to burn sugars than cardio while on vacation,” he shares, so pick up and put down as many things as you can as often as you can!

Prioritize protein.

Believe it or not, nutrition might even be more important for staying healthy and in shape than exercise. Phillips holds to one easy rule that helps to keep everything else in check. “Prioritize proteins for your meals,” he says. “Eat extra protein to limit how many empty calories or junk foods you might consume. Eat your protein first – after you consume your protein, you can eat or drink what you want, since your body will be more satiated so you’ll naturally consume less and stay leaner as a result.”

We all know how important it is to Plan with a Pro when it comes to travel. After all, Travel Advisors Get You There. But equally important is making sure advisor pros are supported and surrounded by pros themselves, particularly when it comes to topics peripheral to travel. That’s where TravelBlogue comes in as we Ask a Pro on your behalf to provide you with tips and advice from fitness, health, nutrition, mental health, beauty, wellness, and travel gear experts from around the world … and put it all at advisor fingertips.


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