How a week "off" could be good for you - Holiday Special

June 3, 2014

I recently returned from a delightful 7 night break in Cornwall with the family. I was very sad to leave but I feel that I had the right amount of rest and now feel refreshed and energised for the months ahead.

Most will use a holiday for a chance to be indulgent, and whilst this is true of most (my wine consumption was perhaps not "within government recommended" guidelines!) taking a break from every day life can have great health benefits and is something NOT to feel guilty for when you return.

Sleep


We are all guilty of not having enough sleep and I rarely get more than six hours a night. My first night on holiday I had 8 hours quality sleep and felt wonderful. You see sleep is where the magic happens. Our bodies repair, our muscles build and our body is calm. Personally this is something that has always been a barrier to my goals so catching up on zzzzz's has worked wonders for me.

Increased activity levels?


Depending on the type of holiday, for most of us it's all about relaxing by the pool, gentle walks along the beach and ambling round the local shops and restaurants. But if you actually break down the amount of exercise you do continuously, compared to the activity level at home you may be surprised.
My day job is desk based. So the most exercise I get to do is walking to the toilet/fax/coffee machine etc.  This is partly the reason I developed my Collypower Cubicle Squats! My job is the reason my body is able to sustain the amount of exercise I do. So let's break down what I do on a typical week day and compare that to an average day on my recent holiday:

Home

I start the day by strength training at the gym with a little HIIT training at the end to get the blood flowing. I then sit in the car for half an hour, to get to work and sit at my desk for 4 hours. Lunchtime I run or walk where I aerobically exercise for at least 35 minutes to an hour, before heading back to my desk and sit for a further 4 hours. I get in the car and sit for half an hour arriving home to an hours chores, then sit for the rest of the evening hunched over a computer.

Holiday

I started the day with a 10 minute walk to the local shop for a paper and some breakfast essentials. I then ran around the park with my children before heading off for a 3 mile walk along the beach, stopping for a game of beach cricket or football along the way. I would then have a splash in the sea, jumping over waves and running away from them. Lunchtimes was spent ambling round the shops, have a bite to eat before walking the 3 miles across the cliffs and finishing with racing my boys up a 400 metre steep hill. The afternoon would be spent splashing around in the pool where I also incorporated lots of stair climbing to get to the slides, before heading back to get freshened up and to make some shapes on the dance floor all evening.

So if you compare the two days, it's surprising that when you think about the activities you do on holiday. It may be on a par or even MORE than what you would do at home!

Lovely food


I have a rule when I go away that where possible I always try to order their local produce. Those if you who like the Collypower Facebook page would have seen me posting lots of fresh fish recipes that I would never try and home. Expand your taste buds!

Doing nothing!


Sometimes you just want to do nothing and this is great. Yes my holiday was active but there were times when we would sit with a drink or two and take in the stunning views, or lay back and listen to nature around us. What better way to lower those nasty fat-loving cortisol hormones?

Renewed interest in your goals 


By the time my holiday came to an end I was itching to get back into the gym and out for a run.  I did both today for the first time and loved every minute of both! I ache pleasantly from working out relaxed muscles and having that time away gave me lots if time to think about my next goals.

So before you feel "guilty" about that break away take a look at the benefits above. It's well deserved and well needed. Your body and mind will thank you for it!

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