Sheraton Fiji Resort
Before a holiday, travellers often worry about losing their fitness. They want to eat without inhibition, sleep in later than usual, and abandon the typical pressures from home. But Camilla Bazley, internationally acclaimed athlete, Influencer, and one of the most sought-after Personal Trainers in Australia, who works with a client list that includes Mark Beretta and Roxy Jacenko, has found ways to make it easy to maintain health and fitness on holiday.
We sat down with Bazley to get an expert take on how to stay fit during a holiday and what positive effects travel has on the body and mind.
7travel: What do you tell clients who are afraid of losing their fitness on a long holiday?
Bazley: You might be going away for a two, three, four week holiday, but that’s only a few weeks out of an entire year. Your body will respond to having rest. We so often forget that part. But if you take a break, your body will respond better when you return to training. And so many people underestimate the effect that happiness has on the body. Your body’s response to fitness and health includes happiness because that feeling has a hormonal effect. And when you’re travelling, you are so genuinely happy!
When you're dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, common sense will prevail. You’re on holiday to enjoy yourself, so don’t overthink it. Just stay accountable. If you know that you’re going to your favourite restaurant in London and you’ll be feasting, make sure you train that day or walk around more than you normally would. Then the next day, go back to having a chilled day.
7travel: What are some ways to integrate fitness into a holiday in any destination?
Bazley: When we travel, we walk all the time. We don’t know where to go, public transportation isn’t always easy, and many destinations are best explored by walking. So ‘accidental exercise’ - just walking to sightsee - is the best way to keep your foundation of fitness.
Then you can elevate that foundation by choosing activities that require more movement. If you visit Greece and want to see the Acropolis, you'll find yourself hiking. In Los Angeles, you can see the entire city at the top of the Culver Stairs, but you have to walk up all of those stairs to get there. You can get physical without thinking of it as exercise, it’s just sightseeing.
If you want to engage in purpose-based exercise, and you might not have a gym available, all you need is a square metre in your hotel room. You could be stuck in a blizzard and still fit in a workout!
The biggest tip is to keep any workout simple. You don’t need to do more than rely on body weight or small pieces of weight-based equipment.
7travel: Do you have workout props or products that you bring on holiday?
Bazley: I always take a skipping rope while I travel, no matter where I go. It fits in a backpack or hand luggage. When I went to Abu Dhabi, I had a strong urge to move after such a long flight. I skipped right there in the airport!
Another one of my favourite pieces of equipment to take with me is a torsion bar. I’ll pack a 10-12kg bar and because of its slim shape, it fits easily in a gym bag. You can use it for strength exercise like squats, lunges, back work, and so much more.
And in this day in age, it’s so easy to rely on a timer app or social media to guide a short workout or circuit. I use a Tabata app that counts 20 seconds of effort, 10 seconds of rest, and combine skipping rope with body weight exercise for four sets each. You can pick any exercise you want and the combinations are endless!
Of course, there’s always running, which requires no equipment at all. It’s a great way to see countries and travel through cities.
7travel: How can travellers use the beach as a gym?
Bazley: Beach workouts are the best! It just doesn’t stop at the sand - use the water. Here's a routine I did at Venice Beach in California:
Run into the water from the beach
Swim out 15 laps - whatever that distance is for you - and swim back 15 laps
Run back up the beach to the sand
Do 10 body weight exercises - try pushups, burpees, or squats
If you’re not a swimmer, leave out the laps in the water and do shuttle runs with a body weight exercise at each end. I suggest starting at 10 metre runs, doing three exercises with 10 reps of each. Then run 20 metres with the same three body weight exercises. Then 30 metres, and so on until you hit 50. This ladder can feel better for those of us who don’t train on sand regularly.
7travel: What are some of the most fit destinations that you’ve visited?
Bazley: Sydney is one the fittest cities in the world. We’re so blessed with the beautiful coastal walks and beaches that require ‘accidental exercise’. Brisbane and the Gold Coast are two more active areas to visit right here in Australia.
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