There are two types of people in this world: people who exercise on holiday, and people who don’t.
Personally? I used to be a bit of an exercise-holiday-naysayer. But then I wrote a post about it, and many came on to defend their holiday exercise habits, pointing out that yes – holidays are for relaxing – but incorporating a bit of exercise in there will make you feel even better (endorphins, and all that).
They certainly had a point. Just because you’ve moved yourself to a different location doesn’t mean you get an automatic license to not move from your deck chair for 10 days straight – especially when there are sights to be seen and activities to be enjoyed.
Also, holidays are a time to indulge in food you wouldn’t normally eat every day, and cocktails you definitely wouldn’t drink every day. Exercising while you’re away will mean that you don’t return from your holiday feeling, for lack of a better word, completely bleurgh, and do something crazy like adopt a juice cleanse diet. (Poorest. Choice. Ever.)
So if you’re keen, but not quite sure where to start? Here’s how to exercise on holiday…
1. When in Rome
Wherever you are, take advantage of what activities are on offer – regardless of what they are. It’s even better if it’s something you haven’t tried before, as it means that it’ll work different muscle groups to what you usually work during your usual workouts. Many summer sports are particularly good in that they will work all muscles, and they generally have the benefit of being low-impact. (Unless it’s bungee-jumping. Ain’t nothing low-impact about that.)
Stand-up paddle boarding is the latest sport to consume just about everyone that lives near some water, and it’s most likely available at a beach near you. Give it a go if you can; it is much harder than it looks and a surprisingly good leg workout, as you’re using your leg muscles to stay balanced on the board. Surfing is also incredible – even if you barely stand up, you’re still getting a seriously good workout.
– Bush walking
– Swimming (take a one-piece and some goggles along with you and take advantage of the pool, wherever you are. Speedo has just released some brilliant new programs with swimming training programs for every level – check it out here.)
– Sailing (catamarans are generally pretty easy to get the hang of, if you’ve never sailed before)
– Beach running (or even just regular running around is a great way to get to know a town or a city)
– Sightseeing. Make sure you walk as much as possible – and take shoes that aren’t going to make the process incredibly painful. Don’t be afraid to wear exercise gear out and about, especially if it’s warm weather – most exercise gear is made of material that will wick sweat away from your skin, making it perfect for strolling around town in the sun.
2. Pack accordingly
If you’d prefer to work out in the privacy of your hotel room, pack yourself:
– Some DVDs. Pop one on the DVD player and you’ll have a workout no matter where you are. My DVDs of choice: Michelle Bridges DVDs, Zumba (well worth the investment), Insanity and Brazil Butt Lift. I also recently scored myself a Barre Body DVD which is an amazing way of working out even the smallest muscles in your body without jumping around too much.
– A computer or iPad. There are so many brilliant Youtube workouts now out there and it’s so easy to find Wifi now that you’ll never be without a guided workout.
– A phone with some clever apps on it. These are my favourites.
– Some clever items to make exercising in a small space really easy. This cordless skipping rope is genius, for example: it measures how much you’re skipping without actually having any rope attached.
3. Take advantage of the hotel gym
I know – you’re on holidays to experience the location, not lock yourself away in a gym. But even 20 mins on the treadmill will make a difference to how you feel. Cool off afterwards with a dip in the hotel pool.
4. Book a holiday that automatically involves plenty of exercise
And then you’re really sorted. Mount Everest hike, anyone?
Do you exercise on holiday? What do you do?