New Year, improved you: Health hacks to kick-start the New Year
Here are five health hacks to start your New Year strong
Have you ever come back from a holiday feeling sluggish, ready for another break and with a few extra kilos around your middle? You’re not alone. It can be easy for your health and fitness to slide down the priority list when you’re travelling, but what if I told you that you could stay trip fit without too much effort?
And, the benefits are huge. Apart from having more energy to explore, you’ll generally feel happier and healthier for it too. Oh, and the best part is, you can enjoy all those tasty local treats without the guilt.
Here are my top five tips to help you keep up your fitness routine when you’re on your next work trip, weekend away or holiday.
Exercise equipment doesn’t have to be bulky, heavy or expensive to be effective. Try packing a few lightweight items in your bag for your next trip. A skipping rope will get your heart rate up in a short amount of time and it’s easy to skip it out in your hotel room if you can’t get outdoors or to the gym. Try 100 skips when you first wake up in the morning and another 100 before bed to give you more energy in the AM and a good night’s sleep in the PM.
Resistance bands are also highly effective and easy to pack in your hand luggage. You can use them for your butt, back, arms and core – I guarantee you’ll be feeling the burn in a matter of minutes.
Once you’ve hit a new place, do everything you can to explore it. I’m sure you wouldn’t pass on the pizza in Italy, right? Apply that same mindset to staying fit and active. Adventure through the streets on foot or bike, hike up a mountain to watch the sunrise or get involved in a local sport (Muay Thai, anyone?). If you’re on a work trip, use your free time to try out a group fitness or dance class at a local gym. Whatever you’re doing, immerse yourself in the destination without sacrificing your sweat session. I promise you’ll feel better for it!
There are so many exercise programs available online that will keep you motivated and fit on your getaway. From Pilates to HIIT and yoga, pick an activity that suits your mood and a program that meets your budget. Can’t afford a program? No worries! Just look for a free workout video on YouTube and remember something is always better than nothing. Think of your workout as a little energy snack (minus the calories); it will give you a boost to help combat tiredness, stress and fatigue and set you up for an incredible day spent exploring a new place.
Get your steps up and burn some calories by walking instead of catching a taxi, Uber or public transport. Factor in some extra time to get to your next location so you can get a little sweaty while checking out all the sights. Sightseeing and getting your step count up at the same time sounds like a win-win scenario to me! For bonus points, check out my running tips for beginners and try running your way across the city.
It might sound silly, and a little childish, but we’re all a sucker for a bit of bribery, right?! Create some mini goals to achieve before you can enjoy all the tasty treats your new location has to offer. It could be a half an hour walk before a glass (or three) of wine with dinner or a sequence of exercises (20 squats, 20 push ups, 20 sit ups) before that delicious breakfast pastry. Whatever it takes to negotiate your way to that big, beauty of a buffet…
Cassey Maynard is one of Sydney’s most recognised fitness experts and health advocates. Also known as The Energiser, Cass (@cassey.maynard) is passionate about energising people’s lives through health and fitness in a playful, fun and educational way.
For more articles by Cassey, check out The Check Up’s dedicated section.