health

BLOG: Have you packed exercise gear for your holiday? Give it up already.

See this? This is a holiday. No exercise gear involved.

By NATALIA HAWK

You know what’s a seriously bad idea?

Going on a holiday – and packing your exercise gear.

It’s a mistake I have personally made far too many times, and I’m officially giving up the charade.

See, I travel quite a bit. That’s what happens when you have a boyfriend who lives in another state and an unhealthy addiction to seeing your Frequent Flyer points go up.

As a result, I spend a lot of time packing suitcases. And every time I pack – I pack exercise gear. Even though I know, deep within the deepest realms of my guilty heart, that I will not use it.

I always find myself frantically shoving running shoes and multiple sports bras into my cabin baggage just before I’m due to leave for the airport. There’s a part of my deluded imagination that starts conjuring up magical visions of jogging along the lake in New Zealand’s Queenstown, or running a marathon under the lonely streetlights in Launceston, Tasmania.

I don’t ever go running in Sydney. I don’t even like running. WTF, brain?

If I’m going somewhere sunny, I always pack my Speedos, as well as a cap and goggles – completely under the impression that I’ll swim laps every day to keep my fitness up. Even though I invariably end up sitting at the pool bar with a pina colada, completely avoiding the lap pool.

And I’m constantly also packing yoga and Pilates gear. I don’t participate in either activity at home, but hey – in Bali, I’ll have a balcony overlooking the rainforest! It’ll be the PERFECT place to start a daily yoga routine!

Hint: It isn’t. It never is.

Would you rather be doing this, or sitting by the pool sipping a cocktail? I think we both know the answer.

So, unless you are climbing Everest or planning a skiing holiday, leave the Skins and the dri-fit Nike clothing at home. Join me in my giving-up-of-the-exercising-on-holiday-charade.

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I’ve even put together this handy list of reasons as to why you should remove the exercise gear from your suitcase. You can print this and put it on your suitcase so you can re-read it in moments of doubt:

1) You’re on holiday. The more time you spend on the indoor gym treadmill, the less time you get to enjoy the tropical island paradise which you paid really good money for.

2) Sometimes, bodies and minds need to rest. Act like an Olympian and treat your holiday as a Recovery Week, where your muscles can repair themselves. It’ll help to prevent injury and further fatigue. Everybody wins!

3) Holidays can involve a whole lot of incidental exercise, so you can forget about the guilt. Think: walking (sightseeing can involve ALL the walking), swimming, paddle-boarding, fishing, bike riding, shopping/fighting over awesome finds in the markets, wrangling hyper children, cocktail-making, sandcastle-building, carrying suitcases.

4) There is only so much room in suitcases. Leaving out the sneakers means more room for holiday purchases, like those all-important sarongs and frangipani hair-clips.

I totally understand that there are some people who are superior to me and will always exercise, even while they’re on holiday. Keep up the good work, superhumans. I wish I had half your strength and integrity. Sob.

The rest of you? My fellow comrades – the ones who keep packing their suitcases with exercise gear and unpacking the untouched gear again at the end of the holiday?

Give it up already. Give up the sham. And if anyone dares to judge you – make sure you start talking extra-loudly about how much your arm muscles hurt after all that cocktail shaking.

Do you exercise while you’re on holiday? Or do you give it up and let yourself have a rest?

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