With every long weekend comes temptation—and time away from the weight room. Every junk food pig-out and missed workout count, especially when those workouts could be the difference between making the team or being the last one cut.
Follow these trainings and nutrition tips to help minimize the damage over any holiday weekend.
Fill Up on Fiber
Fiber creates a full feeling, so eating more of it can help minimize binging on junk food. Fruits and vegetables are good choices overall and “important for a properly functioning intestinal tract,” says Dr. Liz Applegate, director of sports nutrition at the University of California at Davis. It can be as easy as grabbing an apple to bring to the beach and avoiding cheese fries from the snack bar.
Be Careful at Restaurants
Eating healthy all day can be ruined with one high-calorie restaurant entree. Some pasta dishes at restaurants have as many as three full servings, when one would fill you up just fine.
Try dividing up portions beforehand. Ask for half an entree and wrap up the rest. Go for roasted, baked, boiled, broiled or steamed foods; pass on batter-dipped, fried foods, cream-based sauces and dressings at restaurants. Try olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Do Push-Ups, Pull-Ups and sprints to train the back, chest, arms and overall conditioning. A few sprints can usually be better than jogging for a longer amount of time, and something is always better than nothing when it comes to training.
“Running on sand and against the current provides resistance, which makes for a more difficult workout and increases an athlete’s stamina,” says Thomas Heffernan, strength coordinator for the football team at the University of Hawaii.
Even at the beach, go out for 20 minutes and get your cardio done to stay on track.
Pack Some Gear
A few items in a duffel bag can provide enough motivation to keep your training consistent, even if you’re out of town for a few days. Grab a few light resistance bands to substitute for traditional lifting, and use a speed ladder to increase agility and footwork on any surface—grass, sand or pavement. Plus, jumping rope might be the simplest and most effective cardio available.