Monica Heisey Tried It: How to Stay in Shape on Vacay

All summer, the Canadian comedian and author will be trying the latest workouts, health food fads and self-improvement schemes for FLARE. This week: staying fit while holidaying in Europe

I recently spent two and a half weeks in Europe, which was great for my Instagram and kind of a disaster for my #fitnessgoals. Except that it wasn’t, really. I came back with a “tan” (slight bit of pink around the nose) and without any croissant-induced excess baggage. Since I take this to mean I am a Fitness Expert of the highest order, here are some helpful hints for staying in shape on vacation.

Hot vacation fitness tip: beer cans double as hand weights

Hot vacation fitness tip: beer cans double as hand weights

1) Try not to take up smoking
This is first because it is probably the most difficult tip. If you are in Europe, everyone around you will be smoking and looking very cool and relaxed at all times. Like, at all times. They will be smoking indoors. Outdoors. Improbably, both indoors and outdoors on a ferry. While wearing cool hats. Near their children. Near other people’s children. They will produce a bunch of mysterious little packets from their immaculate suit pockets and manufacture their own little cigarettes in a way that makes them look extremely in control. It will be very hard to not want a piece of all this “looking cool while smoking in Europe” action. And yet, we all know that smoking is incredibly bad for you and greatly reduces your lung capacity, so try to only have a cigarette if someone very handsome is nearby with a lighter.

2) Find some tall shit to climb
Europe is brimming with tall shit you can, for a small fee, sweat your way to the top of. Old churches, clock towers, cool mountains, you name it: the world is your Stairmaster. Most of the time your sweaty hike will reward you with a beautiful view of nature, or a painted ceiling, or a very old bell or something, and you’ll have gotten in a sneaky little workout without having to learn the Greek word for gym (NB: it is “gymnasium” and they invented it).

3) Go for a swim (classic “on holiday” activity)
You’re right by the ocean (probably!). Why not? Find a body of water, check to make sure it’s not brimming with eels, then jump in and paddle around a bit. Well done.

4) Eat like the locals
Ignoring the fact that it is extremely sad to travel halfway around the world to eat a burger you could get at home, there’s a reason Italy and Greece are the 9th and 5th healthiest countries in the world, respectively. Europeans look better than you. Find out why, one seafood platter with complimentary glass of wine at a time.

5) Really go for it with the fancy drinks
It is very easy to feel good about your life and confident in a bathing suit after three or four high-sugar, high-alcohol beverages with fun names.

6) Just, you know, make the most of your vacation
After sightseeing (walking near old things and around art places) and lugging a few weeks’ worth of clothing into and out of various modes of transportation you really don’t need to worry about your activity levels. You’re on vacation! Due to a few days in Santorini and widespread European refusal to acknowledge the existence of elevators, I woke up gym-sore in the legs more than a few times throughout my trip. Plus, walking is the superfood of fitness, or something. You’re fine. Happy holidays!

More Monica:
Monica Heisey Tried It: I-Hate/Love-Counting-Calories
Monica Heisey Tried It: Beyography Dance Class
Monica Heisey Tried It: Sweat Your Ass Off Fitness Class
Monica Heisey Tried It: Tight, Bright Workout Gear
Read an Excerpt From Monica’s First Book,
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better
Meet Monica Heisey, the Author Who Makes Lena Dunham LOL

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