Tips for returning to your fitness routine after a holiday

In a perfect world, holidays wouldn’t disrupt our fitness routine.

We’d plan on staying in hotels with exercise rooms.

This was Vegas. Lots of great hotel exercise rooms in Vegas.


We’d pack our resistance band or do mini body-weight workouts in our B&B’s before the children awake.

B&B push-up workout in Bath


We’d research local gyms and spinning studios in advance and add them to our itinerary.

We’d pass up daily pints at the pub and scrutinize the menu for healthier options.

Not a meat pie 🙂 at the Tollhouse Tavern, Edinburgh


We’d build lots of movement into our adventures.

The best way to see York? Walk the old city walls.


And return home in the same shape we’d left, with a couple of personal bests to boot.

One of my personal bests (the standing stones at Clava Cairns; gateway to my book boyfriend…)


Because my world (like yours) is less-than perfect, I’m sharing my best tips for returning to your regular fitness routine after a holiday. The exact same tips that I’ve been following for the past 5 days (and will continue to follow because #jetlagisreal ).

Do you know where this photo was taken? Hint: I’m a huge fan-girl of the books and TV show…


Tips for returning to your fitness routine after a holiday


  • Return to routine ASAP

Regardless of how many time zones you crossed to return home (8 for us), the best way to get back to routine is to get back to routine.

That means eating, sleeping and exercising at the same times you normally would. Even if it feels like you’re heading to the gym at three in the morning and having dinner for breakfast.

One of the best ‘breakfasts for dinner’ I had in England. At the Corbridge Larder, in Corbridge, England


Don’t delay that first trip to the gym. Act like you’re back in your usual routine and you soon will be.

  • Re-set your circadian rhythm

That’s the clock in your head that tells you what time of day it is, energizes you accordingly and gets your digestion moving again (a common problem when travelling, especially to places that don’t have the same quality and quantity of fresh fruits and veggies as you’re used to…).

Indoor plumbing comes to the White Tower


Early-in-the-day exercise is a great way to re-set your clock (and if you’ve just travelled west, it will never be easier than this to be the first one at the gym).

  • Dial it back at bit

You can’t expect to take several weeks away from formal exercise and maintain your strength and muscle mass; even if you were super active on vacation and walked 15 to 20K steps each day.

The top of Arthur’s Seat, in Edinburgh (but who can tell in the fog…)


Some deterioration is bound to occur.

Thankfully, I don’t look as decrepit as Nunney Castle…


Check your ego at the gym door, pick up lighter weights than you’re accustomed to lifting, and shorten the length of your usual workout.

Your initial task is simply to re-build the habit; lifting too heavy or too long during those first few workouts only increases your risk of injury and undermines your return to regular exercise.

Save the heavy lifting for another day (the stones at Castlerigg Circle haven’t moved for years; I don’t suspect these guys will budge them an inch)


  • Be gentle with yourself

Expect to feel like a beginner and experience some delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the first week or so back.

Instead of feeling poorly about the fitness you’ve lost, let your less-than-stellar performance motivate you to create a workout schedule and stick to it.

Find that competitive spirit and let it propel you upwards and onwards.

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