I crossed paths with this challenge on my trip to Dubai this January, and the only goal I had was to stay fit while in paradise.
It is a real threat, not an imagined one, say experts: 8 out of 10 people come back slightly overweight after a winter holiday. This reality is never a part of my vacation dreams. I always choose a refreshed look, recharged energy, a tanned body and some extra pounds –A joke, that I definitely do not want. Let's avoid those extra pounds.
I want to share my personal experience on how a healthy lifestyle enthusiast like me behaves during a winter holiday/holidays. I also want to give you some tips into how to treat yourself without strict restrictions or feelings of guilt afterwards.
Trust me, it's possible to stay fit without guilt during the holidays.
My first question is, do you guys really need to overeat or have that much food during the holidays?
I know and I believe that those splendid buffets like mine @Shangri-La, could be the biggest challenge. The temptation game to try everything available is also very real at those breakfast moments. Besides, you already did pay for the breakfast, right? One thing really funny to me is that those breakfast buffets also make us wake up early in the morning like nothing else could.
In any case, when you are already there, admiring the buffet tables, and of course realizing that there are many healthy options, you somehow end up with one plate loaded with cinnamon rolls and cupcakes, and another one with fruits and muesli with peanut butter and chocolate chips on top.
My everyday breakfast choice was a loaded plate with any possible tropical fruit, chia and flex seeds on top, strawberry smoothie, grass wheat shot, almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkins and sunflower seeds on the side. Sometimes there was a protein Greek yogurt instead of the smoothie, or organic muesli with hot soy milk. Trust you me, I enjoyed this breakfast with all my heart and soul.
What I can advise you guys is that you have to change the focus. Let's be frank, the hotel doesn't offer you all those variations of food so you should feel obliged to consume everything possible. I know that you have the ability to do that, but you simply do not need to. Try to change your focus and fill your holiday time with positive emotions.
Another thing that you should have on your mind is who you are sitting with. I am happy that I don't have this problem, because my boyfriend is an inspiration for eating healthy and working hard to burn calories even during the holidays. It is very important not to be surrounded by people who treat every meal as if it is the last they will ever eat.
Next thing you should do is to get your amazing butt up and move around.
As we all know almost every resort and every hotel has a gym. Usually they are empty which is a perfect call for you to get up and work hard.
My 15 minutes spent on the treadmill were memorable thanks to the perfect gym view . Tip number 1 is: don't forget your gym clothes and shoes, even if you have to pay for excess baggage(like I did , it was worth it).
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What about the hotel swimming pools? I definitely love the pools being part of my workout, an outdoor or indoor pool can always help you with staying fit during winter holidays. Our outside pool was more like a chill pool/cocktail bar, so there was not a big opportunity to swim back and forth. But I was always able to complete an aqua aerobics session with doing some high jogs, lunges or squats in the water.
The indoor pool was heaven, with a view of the city and the amazing Burj Khalifa. I was even lucky to be alone there few times, and I was as happy as a kid in a candy store.
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One more thing that can definitely help you with staying in shape is going on discovery trips. Preferably by foot(which was a little bit impossible in Dubai ), but once you arrive at the Dubai mall, the dessert , the Miracle Garden, you can still spend two hours walking around and losing some calories. Discovering the city by foot is the best thing you can do(when you are at the places you want to discover, ofcourse).
Even if it is impossible to walk because there are no options for pedestrians – like in Dubai(most of the times). Luckily I have the perfect option for you.
Go shopping in the Dubai mall. It’s true. I can complete 50 000 steps in one day in the mall. Even If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, go to the Dubai mall and just explore the local culture, the shops and the interesting things around.
Lastly, choose to be active. If you ask me, there is no ‘right’ way to stay fit – you have to explore your options and discover what is best for you and your body. But I can promise you that overeating and hibernating during the winter holidays is definitely not the answer.
Published by Ana Najdovska