Samoa. A wonderful pacific hideaway. Full of glorious beaches, crystal clear warm water, friendly locals, great surf, plus steaming heat and humidity. Here is a little snapshot of what you are missing out on below…
My family and I have had the pleasure of moving from the (relatively) big city of Auckland, New Zealand (1.5 million population) to the remoteness of Upolo Island in Samoa. A kind of break from reality for the next six months.
After several years of discussion and debate we finally made the break from city living to recharge the batteries, clear the mind and to spend more time with our young family.
As my 5 year old son has pointed out – ‘everything is different here… the men wear skirts’, the brass band holds up traffic at ‘rush hour’ every morning as it parades down the main street, buses won’t leave until they are chocca full with grown men and woman sitting on each others knee, and time is more of a guideline than a definitive appointment driver.
Now while this all sounds wonderfully intriguing, the one issue with any new environment is that often exercise endeavours focusing on how to lose your stomach fat or to enhance your general fitness go by the wayside.
That doesn’t need to be the case.
Todays article is about how to lose belly fat or stay in shape when you are well outside your normal comfort zone.
Get your exercise done early
When you are in place like Apia this one is super important. You need to get up and complete any exercise sessions early – before the heat of the day. Over here the temperature is 30 degrees by mid morning accompanied with 80% humidity. It may be fine for the locals to exercise in… but not for a ‘palagi‘ like me!
However, timing is also important when trying to shift belly fat wherever you are in the world. While some people are very adept at exercising at a specific time in the evening, for many as you move throughout the day tiredness kicks in, or you get busy making other plans – and voila the first thing to go is your exercise – with a promise that you will do it ‘tomorrow’.
If you can’t handle the mornings for whatever reason – try to get your session done before you get home and plonk yourself down on the couch… there is a 95% chance you will stay there! (I made that number up but you get the point).
Suss out the fitness and exercise options
You have stepped out of the plane, train or automobile. Within the first 24 hours you need to work out what your program looks like. What equipment or facilities do you have available – perhaps it is a local gym – or (like me) leveraging a couple of 6 liter water bottles to add resistance alongside a range of high intensity bodyweight exercises. Whatever it is for you – map out the plan for the first couple of weeks immediately and write it up on the wall or somewhere that is in your face.
I love to incorporate some of the local scenery into my workouts if I can. It allows me to have a look around, take in some of the local sites, while still getting a sweat on. A run up the Mt Vaea track a couple of days a week really gets my blood pumping and the views from the top here are staggering.
Track down the local market
Before you head into the ‘one stop shop’ supermarket – do some digging around and locate the fresh food markets. Normally you will find the freshest local produce – fruit, veges, fish and more.
Not only will you save some money – but you will probably stumble upon a few rare delicacies from your new environment. What’s more – you’ll hopefully avoid the temptation of processed foods at the local supermarket.
Don’t forget your journal (or go and buy one).
You are far more likely to stick to a fitness program if you are recording your activity as you go. If nothing more, a flick through the pages of what you have done (or not done) will guilt / encourage you to keep plugging away. The same goes for recording your food intake. Occasionally it helps to do a tally up of the calories you are consuming against total calorie goal. Not every day – but every so often is useful to keep you on track.
This is probably the most important point. Not everything will go your way when you are traveling or in a remote location. The gym hours might be different, your transport could be delayed, the weather is changeable, the local wine or lager is too tasty… noone said it was going to be easy! While it is important to have a plan in place about how to lose your stomach fat, you also need to be able to adapt. A 15 minute session on the lounge room floor is better than missing a gym session and doing nothing at all.