Boot camps are creating a buzz in the health and fitness industry and it’s not hard to see why, when a course of early morning drills or a week of intensive exercise can improve tone, boost weight loss and even help you to drop a dress size or two!
But the work doesn’t start when you touch down in Spain or Thailand; to get the most from your boot camp holiday you need to prepare in advance. Here are my top tips on how you can make the most of your boot camp getaway.
Think carefully about what you want to get out of your boot camp experience. Do you want to lose weight, tone up, learn a new skill, or a combination of all three? Shop around to find the best location and style of camp for you, and conduct an independent hotel search to make sure that the boot camp checks out. Better yet, look for testimonials from other happy campers before handing over any cash.
Check Your Stats
Boot camp holidays are intensive by nature, so if you want to see real results it’s important to note down your vital stats before you travel. Record your hip and waist measurements, and pay a visit to your doctor to ensure you’re fit enough to undergo the activities on offer.
You could even ask them to check your blood pressure and respiratory rate, so you can see if you’ve improved when you return for your next check up. If you have specific, targeted areas of weight loss or toning, measure those parts of your body too, such as your upper arms or thighs.
Stock up on Sportswear
You don’t need to spend a fortune, but it’s important that you bring any items on your camp’s itinerary, and also that you have enough clothes to feel comfortable in. A suitable sports brand and decent socks are a must, but consider the climate and what you’ll be doing on a daily basis – daily hikes might require base layers and sunscreen, while indoor activities might require shorts and sweat-wicking vest tops.
Once you’ve identified the essentials it’s time to head out to a few sports shops and compare what they have for sale. By shopping around you’ll often be able to find some great discounts, while talking to shop assistants is an invaluable way of finding out which products are best suited to your needs.
It’s likely that as well as a hefty exercise regime, your boot camp holiday will also provide you with healthy, low fat or low GI meals, and advice on nutrition as well. Even so, don’t take this as a sign that you should eat unhealthily to ‘make the most of it’ in the build up to your holiday.
Eating balanced meals with healthy snacks in the weeks leading up to your holiday will not only give you more energy, but it will also prepare you for the boot camp diet, and make implementing the nutritional rules you learn easier upon your return home. There’s nothing worse than losing lots of weight while you’re away and then piling it straight back on as soon as you get back to the daily grind.
Try New Things
Boot camps abroad don’t come cheap, so make the most of yours by pushing your fears aside and trying everything on offer, from the local delicacies to the 5am sunrise hike. You have nothing to lose (other than more weight) and you could discover an activity that you really enjoy. By stepping out of your comfort zone you could also learn more, make new friends and come home with a new found sense of energy for your weight loss regime.
Whatever your reason for booking a boot camp holiday, it’s important to get what you came for – results. This will only be achieved by hard work and perseverance, so make the most of having nutritionists and personal trainers on hand by asking questions, taking advice and really pushing yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you can’t complete a whole set of reps on your first day, but it is important that you attempt one more, and aim to exceed that total the following day. It’s important not to push yourself to the point of exhaustion or illness, but when you think you can’t go on, just try another 30 second burst of running/sit-ups/circuits – you might be surprised at how much longer you can go for!
Have you been on a boot camp holiday? What did you learn from your experience?
Author Bio: Gavin Harvey is a personal trainer with a passion for travel. He writes for Hotelopia about everything from boot camps abroad to cheap hotels in London city centre.