TravelFit Guide: Northern Croatia
Often I hear that travel isn’t conducive to a fitness regime. However, I strongly argue this isn’t the case, instead it just requires some modifications, imagination and creativity to explore & make the most out of your surroundings. In a bid to reaffirm this belief, I set out to train in a variety of ways in each location of the adventure around Northern Croatia.
My trusty skipping rope was the only piece of equipment I brought along with me on this trip. Super lightweight, no one can argue this cant be thrown into a carry on bag and its an exceptional tool to keep up cardio training, get a good sweat on and burn off some excess!
My chosen method is to crank the tunes, set an interval time for 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest (generally only to tighten my ponytail!!) and bounce around for 15-20minutes, pretty much varying my pace, skips and style to match the beat of the music. The fancy stuff isn’t so important, the aim is to keep it varied, at a decent pace, so I feel out of breath, sweaty and strong by the end of my workout.
A good stretch out, especially of the calves afterwards and done for the day!
This is a great option if you are staying in an apartment or hotel room that has tiled or wooden floors. Grab a small towel, check out the slipperiness on the floor and away you go!
A slider workout is perfect for endurance, strength and stabilization, creating a full body workout, whilst maintain core engagement and postural alignment.
12 reps (each leg) x 4 rounds
1. Reverse Lunges
Standing in parallel with the towel under the ball of the right foot, stabilize your left leg, maintaining alignment in the hip, knee and ankle, gently slide the right leg down into a deep lunge position and return back to standing. Aim to push through the posterior chain of the left leg, gently squeezing through the heel and the glute at the very top.
2. Side lunges
Standing in parallel with the towel under the ball of the right foot, stabilize your left leg, maintaining alignment in the hip, knee and ankle, gently slide the right leg out to the side, finding a stretch through the inner thigh and sitting back deep in the left glute. Activate the inner seam of the leg to bring the legs back together and stand tall back to the start.
3. Knee Tucks
In a high plank position, the towel is underneath the ball of both feet. You want to keep the back in a perfect neutral position, not rounding or tucking the lower back and on an exhale use the core to draw the knees towards your elbows, as you inhale shoot the legs back out the a long plank line.
4. Oblique Twists
Starting in a plank position, the towel underneath the ball of your right foot. Maintain a long neutral spine, extend your right leg out to the side, away from your midline, then as you bring it back in, slightly bend the knee, feed the leg underneath the left and lift your left arm towards the ceiling, so that you are in a side plank variation. Bring the right leg back to the start position as the left arm returns to the floor.
Possibly one of the easiest ways to fit in some cardio with the added bonus of sightseeing and exploration whilst in a new location! I’m not a committed nor advanced runner, easily falling in and out of love with running, however it truly is one of my favourite exercise hacks on holiday to get a real “local” sense of the area, offering perspective, a sense of the community and often provides some hidden treasures along the way that otherwise we may miss! As a general guide, I check out a map of the area, drop a pin and see what sort of distance that is, then head off in that general direction! Otherwise there are always forums on sites such as Map My Run that have running routes and guides from others that live, or have been in the area.
On this trip, whilst staying in Pula, I lucked upon a great trail, which sat just above the coastline in some cleared woods, called the Lungomare – or long beach. It actually is set up as a workout trail, so there are stations set up along the way of a 6km trail, including pull up bars & stretching posts, all whilst you can peek through the woods out to the Adriatic Sea – dreamy!
HIIT Bodyweight workout
Another great hack for the traveller is the HIIT bodyweight workout. You can’t really go wrong with this one, check out what’s available to you- do you have stairs, the side of a bed, a chair - use your imagination- pick a few exercises, set a timer and away you go to an effective sweaty session!
I did this one outside our apartment, making do with a small step, my skipping rope and my muscles! My timer was set for 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest, with 1 minute between rounds for 5 rounds.
- High Knees Skipping
- Bulgarian lunges
- Decline Push Ups
- Squat jumps
Pilates on the beach
Of course I always make sure I fit in Pilates, either as a full session or just incorporating a few exercises and sequences in to my day to keep my body strong, supple and supported – crucial when long hours are spent travelling in planes, trains and cars! I took the opportunity to spend some quality time near the ocean and do a Glutes focus flow session – which you can find here, much to the amusement of the elderly local men at sunrise one morning. It was a great opportunity to feel aligned within my body, whilst also soaking up some of the power of the Sea!
So there you have it, 5 workouts for a 7 day trip - not a bad effort and takes no more than 45 minutes max on any given day. Add that to the generally increased amount of walking (LISS) that is done whilst exploring, it is easy to go on holiday and maintain a sense of balance in your training & wellbeing!