No one really wants to go to the gym on holidays, but perhaps you don’t want to sacrifice all the hard work you’ve put in to your fitness routine either. Check out six tips to keep you on track, without even mentioning the word ‘exercise’.
A holiday is not the time to think about routine. You want to invest in inspirational activities, rest and relaxation. Therefore, forget about your fitness schedule and think outside the box, to stay fit in between buffets and cocktails.
1. Use nature as your gym
The mind boggles at the ever-changing exercise industry, in terms of what you should and shouldn’t do to maintain fitness. However, the bottom line is that exercise is simply movement. So, as long as you’re active on holidays, there’s no need to overcomplicate it. Find parks and play soccer with kids, hike that nearby mountain or trek through the rainforest – all offer holiday rewards, including incidental exercise.
2. Create your own workout
If you’re a regular gym-goer or take fitness classes, creating your own workout is fun and easy, as you already know what it takes to break a sweat and work off that last pina colada. For example, use all the fun stuff at your destination to form a 30 to 60 minute session each day, like a vigorous game of tennis followed by laps in the hotel pool.
Fun holiday fitness with water sports
Water-skiing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding work core, arm and leg muscles with a large dose of cardio - though they’re so much fun you’ll barely notice.
3. Get into water sports
When you’re enjoying a beach break, exercise is a given with long swims and beach strolls. It’s easy to amp it up though, when you get into water sports. If you’ve never tried surfing, book a lesson and take the opportunity to learn a new physical skill. Water-skiing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding build core, arm and leg strength with a large dose of cardio - though they’re so much fun you’ll barely notice.
Hire a bike to explore
4. Hire a bike
Too often we forget about the simple joy of riding a bike in a new location. Depending on where you’re going, it’s also one of the easiest ways to get around in order to discover the sights at your own pace. For the ‘morning after’ a 12-course gourmet feast, fit in a few hill climbs and you’ll soon forget your guilty pleasure (so you can do it again the next night).
5. Check out traditional classes
A getaway overseas is the perfect opportunity to take part in local traditions, as part of a workout and cultural enrichment. Join in on the action with Tango lessons in Argentina, learn tribal craft in Africa, try capoeira in Brazil or Taiko (Japanese drumming) in Tokyo.
It’s all too easy to call a taxi or jump on a tour to see the attractions, however many locations are fantastic to discover on foot, once you know how. Ask for walking maps from tourist information venues, so you can set off on your own adventure. It’s just a matter of timing your day with walking distances, so you don’t miss out on anything you want to do or see.
When you mix energetic movement with holiday activities, you might even increase your fitness, before you return home!
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.