STUFF WE LOVE
I've always wanted to go to one of those posh retreats where they make you exercise and feed you exotic fruit for breakfast. It's all the rage now too - celebs checking in to sunny bootcamps to be kicked into shape.
I've always thought I'd be good at getting fit if I had hours free to figure out the gym, and a personal chef, or at least helpful person, to cut up my fruit for me. I love fruit, but I don't eat a lot of it because I don't like cutting it up (no, seriously, its a real thing).
This year, it's finally happening. Sort of.
I've only recently been introduced to the world of all-inclusive hotels. As my first week at a resort on the Canary Islands came to an end, I kept having the same thought: this would be a great place to come for a bootcamp.
There were impressive buffet of fruit and salads, there were several pools and a posh spa, and the swanky gym was virtually deserted.
So here's how I think it could be done:
Pack for the body you want
By that, I don't mean, pack for the body you wish you inhabited right now, but more, pack the tools to give yourself the body you want.
Leave some room in your suitcase for a lightweight gym kit and your trainers. As well as the cutting up fruit boredom - I also find that having a gym kit I'm excited about wearing helps me get into the idea. Treat yourself to some new, lightweight workout tops or shorts before your holiday.
And multi buy - don't kid yourself the you're going to do any laundry on holiday. Bring enough tops, sports socks etc to see you through. Look out for anti-bacterial fabrics and as long as you dry your kit along with your pool towel, you should get another day out of it.
On arrival ask for directions to the gym and get a timetable of classes, and ask if you need to book classes or book an induction. It's all to easy use anything as an excuse for not going to the gym. And when it's sunny and the all-inclusive bar is calling, it's going to be all too easy to say - "I can't go - I don't even know where it is…" or just plain lie and claim the classes are fully booked!
Unpack your workout kit from the suitcase. It doesn't need ironing, so don't it's not going to use up any hanger rations. Leave it next to the bed so you can hop straight in to it. I always find it tricky knowing what to wear to breakfast anyway. Do you get straight into your bikini? Do you put on something fancy? Jeans? This solves everything!
Breakfast like a hobbit!
Best thing EVER? Second breakfast.
Head to the buffet hall and grab a coffee and some fruit to fuel your morning workout. Hotel gyms open about 8am, breakfast buffets about 7am, so you'll have time to let it go down. Then head to your workout. Of course, you could always take advantage of the extra hours of sunshine and cooler mornings and head out for a beautifully scenic run.
After your workout, fill up on a second breakfast of the ultimate protein: eggs! Usually, hotels will make these fresh, any way you want!
And . . . relax!
Skip the warm shower in your hotel room and blast yourself in the cool outdoor jets instead. You can even follow it by jumping straight in the pool. The cold water is great for your skin and circulation - people pay for that kind of thing in fancy spas!
After that, the days is yours to chill by the pool, basking in the sunshine and your post-workout smug glow!
Check out our personalised towels - perfect for reserving your chosen sun lounger before your morning workout!
Make it a team effort
Of course, the idea of your family summer holidays is to spend some time together, so get everyone else involved too.
You might be hard pushed to get everyone in the gym, but most hotels also offer activities like tennis - great for some sneaky exercise and bonding!
Sneaky exercise is definitely the way forward where kids and teenagers are concerned. I'm going to sneak in some cardio in the form of a hike up a hike; I don't think they'll realise they're exercising when they're walking up a volcano. They'll be far more concerned about the lack of wi-fi .
Make it a proper team effort by getting your brood matching, customised t-shirt to wear with the date and destination. It'll be a nice memento too!
Join in with everything
Granted, multi-lingual bingo can't be classed as cardio, but water polo, or even boules, at least gets you vertical and moving some. And every little helps!
Move further away from the snack bar and don't rush to be as close as you can to the free drinks - pick a lounger a little further away and at least you'll build up some steps. That, or you won't consume quite so many cocktails.
Book a class
Everyone hates being embarrassed by the animation team into taking part in things. Use this to your advantage by booking a class. You'll be guaranteed they'll come to hunt you down in advance to make sure you stick to it!
It's a great chance to try out a new workout too; maybe some beach yoga will inspire you to continue the habit back home.
Go on an adventure to the coffee shop
You've got on a plane and flown to a whole other country - go see some of it. Leave the hotel bubble and head out for a walk, or run, around the local area.
It's also a good excuse to check out some local shops and to find a decent coffee shop so you're not reliant on the hotel rubbish!
Dance off dinner
Sneak in some extra calorie-burning by hitting the dance floor. It doesn't matter if you can't dance, you're never going to see these people again anyway!
Plan your evening outfit with dancing in mind. Don't bother with heels or anything too formal; classic, lightweight black leggings and a flashy top with some flats will keep the girls on their feet for longer, and something loose and cool with comfy shoes for the guys.