Aug 02 , 2021
So you’ve been doing your activity for a few months, but now the children are at home and possibly you’re going on holiday. It seems a shame to put your new-found, hard-won fitness aside and having got into a good habit you may be reluctant to let it go in case you can’t get it back again.
If your problem is the children being at home (please tell me that’s not just me!), then there are some things you can do to incorporate them into your routine.
Depending on size/age, your children can run with you, scoot whilst you run or cycle while you run. The main issues are:
The talking! I run to clear my head, but unfortunately a “family” run doesn’t help this much;
The potential to be tripped up. Be clear about which side they need to be on, what to do when arriving at a crossing, how to deal with other people on the pavement etc.
Depending on your children, this may be less of a workout for you, but remember that anything is better than nothing. If you’re worried about traffic, seek out traffic-free cycle circuits (for example, Redbridge Cycling Centre), canal tow paths, or forest bridleways.
Exercise to music activities/circuits
I have found my children will tolerate these activities for long enough to get the benefit of having done them, particularly if they feel they are doing it better or faster than me. The music variants tend to be more enthusiastically engaged in, so if you have a session that doesn’t involve music, just put some on – the cheesier the better!
Some gyms have a creche facility and some allow children into the gym itself, so do check before writing this off as a possibility.
Group activities and team activities
There may be a way to work together with the others in the group or team to take it in turns to occupy the children so everyone can carry on with some form of activity.
But perhaps you are lucky enough to be going away, then what?
This depends on what sort of holiday you are going on and the accommodation you are using. Now that you’re factoring physical activity into your lives all the time, perhaps you might choose an activity holiday, such as a walking, cycling, sailing, or multi-activity holiday. The YHA offers such holidays in stunning UK locations.
Many holiday centres (Center Parcs, Haven Holidays, for example) have many options for being active with and without children. Take as much advantage of these as possible, particularly if they are free. You may even get the opportunity to try something new.
Whether beside the sea or inland, walking is usually an option and hiking is often a possibility. To increase the effectiveness of walking, increase the pace, and head for hilly areas.
Bike hire is often a possibility and will allow you to explore further around the area in which you are staying. Make sure that you hire a bike that is comfortable for you and either take your own or hire helmet as well.
If quarantining is an issue and you’re going to be inside in a small space, there is our ever growing Yoga Library so you can maintain your flexibility and mental equilibrium. Holidays aren’t always completely stress-free, despite our best efforts.
I can also recommend the Daily Workout app. It requires little space to do the exercises (about the size of a yoga mat) and has a range of workouts from 5 to 30 mins. You can specify cardio, full body, upper body, lower body and abs. Some of the exercises use weights, but most of those that do can be done with just body weight anyway. There is a free version of the app which is perfectly adequate. The paid-for version also gives access to pilates, stretch, ball and kettlebell exercises and is ad-free.
A simple kit made up of a skipping rope and some exercise bands will also offer plenty of potential to maintain your fitness whilst you’re away and won’t take up much space in your luggage.
It may be that you decide you want a break from exertion on holiday, and that’s fine, but if you do want to continue with your activities, it’s important to plan them into your holiday before you set off.
Dawn is a British Triathlon level 3 coach and also qualified to coach cycling, teach swimming and is a YMCA level 3 Personal Trainer. Her aim is to help individuals and groups, whether novice, GB age group or somewhere between, to achieve their goals whilst remembering that for many athletes their training needs to be balanced alongside a full time job and family responsibilities.