A holiday is all about getting those good feelings coursing through your body. Whether it’s time spent soaking up the Vitamin D-rich sun, trying local delicacies or meeting new people, a holiday is a time to feel alive and really enjoy the world. And there’s nothing like the good feelings that exercise brings.
There’s no need to lose track of your fitness goals, simply because you’re away from your usual surroundings. Being out in the warm weather and sun offers the perfect opportunity for healthy living. To make sure you come home as fit as you left (or fitter), we’ve teamed up with 11 fitness experts to give their advice for staying in shape on holiday.
Let Your Exotic Surroundings Motivate You
Poppy, Poppy Cross
If you want a complete holiday away from any kind of routine/home-life then why not let your new exotic surroundings motivate you? Workout outside and feel even better on your holiday whilst discovering more about your new location. Holidays are designed to make you feel better, so get more bang for your buck by keeping active – you’ll feel even more revitalised throughout your stay and the holiday effects will last longer when you get back. Grab family members/friends to do it with you too – this will motivate you all and maximise your enjoyment.
Beach walks/runs are a great way of keeping fit and the unstable ground means you engage more muscles to help you balance which makes you work harder. This is great news because you’ll burn more calories – all against a beautiful backdrop. Choose off-peak times like early morning and sunset when the beach is quieter giving you the freedom to run and think uninterrupted.
If you’re in the mountains/hills then hiking is a great way to explore as well as get your heart rate up. You could even try climbing if it’s on offer – which works both in the upper and lower body. Regular climbing can improve stamina as well as muscle strength. In addition, all the reaching and stretching for holds improves ﬂexibility and agility.
If you love your circuits in the gym then take them outside. It’s amazing how little equipment you need to have an effective workout. Burpees, lunges, squats, mountain climbers, push-ups – these exercises all require NO equipment and use your whole body.
Take Resistance Bands With You, They’re Incredibly Lightweight!
Cantara, Gymbags & Gladrags
Take resistance bands with you. They weigh next to nothing and can easily be rolled to fit into your suitcase or hand luggage. Once you are on holiday you can use the resistance bands to do a full body workout before you leave your hotel room. A quick 20 minute workout with resistance bands before your morning shower, away from the heat in your hotel room will help to get your blood pumping, wake you up and burn a few hundred calories before breakfast. If you don’t fancy getting hot and sweaty then you can use them to help you get a good stretch before heading out to explore your new location.
Be Adventurous With Your Surroundings
Tashi, Tashi Skervin
Keeping fit on holiday is actually a lot easier than you think and there are so many different ways to fit exercise into your day, without it feeling like a chore.
If you are by the beach; paddle boarding, snorkeling and scuba diving are all great ways to burn calories and you’ll be having so much fun, you won’t even realise that you’re exercising!
Feeling adventurous, how about climbing a volcano? I climbed a Volcano in Bali to watch the sunrise and it was the most mesmerising experience. The climb was about 2 hours long so it was a really good cardio workout, and because we were walking uphill it worked our glutes and legs too.
Kamila, London New Girl
I always make my own breakfast no matter where I’m travelling to ensure I have a healthy & nutritious start to the day. I either bring something from home or go shopping on my first day to stock up on fresh fruit, yoghurt, muesli and nuts. If I indulge in local specialities for the rest of the day, at least I know I’ve already had one really nutritious meal, after all, half the battle is in your head.
Walk everywhere! Walking is my favourite way to discover new cities. Pack your comfiest, yet still stylish, shoes (you still want to look good in your travel photos) and walk your way around as much as possible. I always make an effort to stay somewhere really central or in a neighbourhood that I love the look of, so it makes it easy to make my way around on foot.
If I’m away for longer than five days then I incorporate some strength workouts into my days by doing at-home body weight exercises. I normally do three circuits of body weight and cardio exercises, repeating each circuit three times. For example, Circuit 1 could have lunges, squats and rear leg raises, Circuit 2 could have burpees, plank and crunches and Circuit 3 could have push ups, shadow boxing and step ups.
Make Use Of Outdoor Sports
Make use of trails and outdoor sports such as tennis, beach volleyball or basketball – keeping it fun and in the fresh air will make exercise feel like a part of your holiday rather than a chore. If you do choose to use the indoor gym, keep it short and sweet with a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout so you can spend more time out enjoying the sights and culture of your holiday destination.
Always Take Your Running Shoes
Gemma, Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra
Always take your running shoes when you go away. There’s somewhere to go for a run, even if it’s a short one, in most locations. It’s also a great way to explore the local area and see places you might otherwise not have come across.
Bodyweight exercises can bedone anywhere, even in a hotel room. If there’s no gym then lunges, squats and press ups need no equipment.
Drink Lots Of Water And Incorporate Short HIIT Workouts With Your Holiday
Elle, Keep It SimpElle
Stay Hydrated – drink plenty of water while away. This will help to flush toxins out of your body, reducing fatigue and keeping your skin looking fresh. If you do drink alcohol, have a cup of water between each drink to reduce the effects.
You can still workout in as little as 12 minutes. With HIIT you do shorts bursts of exercise as hard as you can with short recovery. One of the most popular is Tabata – 20 seconds of workouts, 10 seconds of rest for four minutes. Choose three exercises and complete three rounds which will total 12 minutes. You can use some basic exercises (squat jumps, burpees, press ups) or get a little more creative depending on space (sprints, box jumps using steps)
Use your surroundings – run along the beach, explore the local area on foot, hit the hotel gym or get a few laps in the pool before breakfast!
Take some equipment – a skipping rope or resistance band are both small enough to fit into a pocket never mind a suitcase! So pack them, and then use them! Utilise the time when the bathroom isn’t free and get in a quick cardio, core or stretching session.
Explore The City By Cycling
Charlie, The Runner Beans
Always bring your kit, you never know when there might be a great hotel gym, gorgeous running or hiking route, or activities that you want to get involved in. I always email the hotel to find out about the facilities and options before I book.
If you’re going on a city break, sign up for a guided running or cycling tour to see parts of the city that might be off the beaten track, learn about the local history and culture plus get tips from a local all whilst getting your workout in.
Online videos or apps are great for getting a hotel room workout or yoga session in.
Do Something Small Everyday
Stefanie, Stefanie Grace
Get out and explore. You don’t have to hit the hotel gym to get a good workout in. I love to head out for a hike, go for a swim, try out some kayaking or paddle boarding – the most important thing is to stay active.
Do something small every day. Start every day with a walk or 10 jumping jacks. Take the hotel stairs instead of the lift. Go for a swim before lunch. Just do something.
Take workout gear with you. I never leave the house without my trainers and a sports bra when travelling. They are perfect for a hike or a sunset jog along the promenade – that’s one of my favourite ways to check out the local town and decide where I might pop for dinner later! I also always pack a skipping rope – just two minutes of skipping and you’ll be completely out of breath! It’s worth it, super quick and so easy to pack!
Try a local class. If you’re in a resort, try the surf club. If you’re in a city, find a spin or yoga studio and fit in with the locals.
Discover New Trends
Natalie, The Blonde Ethos
If you love working out in a gym environment and have a training programme that you like to stick to, it’s likely that you will have opted for accommodation with access to a gym, or perhaps you have the intention to hunt one down. However, if you aren’t looking to spend your holiday on a treadmill or in a squat rack, there are lots of other ways to keep active.
Firstly, explore your location. Wherever you are, I’m sure there are sights that you want to see and an atmosphere that you want to soak up. Often the best way to do this is to pull on some trainers and go wandering. You’d be surprised how many steps you can rack up without even realising! Plus, if you’re used to pushing yourself through intense workouts when at home, your body will benefit from a break and walking is a great way to re-balance your stress hormones.
Second, if you’re into fitness, a new location is a great opportunity to discover new trends. You might find a cool new class that you really enjoy and can recreate at home.
Finally, if neither of these take your fancy, and you just want to spend your days reclining, why not smash a 4-minute workout before you leave your room? A Tabata is a scientifically proven workout protocol lasting just 4 minutes. It consists of 20 seconds of max effort exercise, followed by a 10 second rest, repeated 8 times.
After warming up for a few minutes with simple movements, like jogging on the spot or doing some star jumps, you’ll be ready to launch into the Tabata. For this, choose high intensity, explosive movements such as squat jumps, burpees or mountain climbers and use them to fill the 20 second time slots. You’ll be done before you know it.
Enjoy a happy, healthy holiday!
Develop A Routine To Stay On Track
Sally, The Fit Foodie
Keep a routine
Developing a routine in your days may be a good way to keep you feeling grounded amongst all the brand new external stimulation. Routine can be found in the simplest of activities like walking to get your morning cup of coffee, reading your book in the afternoons, journaling in the evenings, going for a swim around the same time each day, or going for a daily walk or run and listening to music.
There are so many cool ways to stay active. Get outside. Go for a walk or a jog to explore the area you’re in. Walk along the beach. Walk through the city streets instead of taking transport. Hike a mountain. Rent a board and try surfing for the first time. Dip your toes or go for a swim.
Keep an open mind to all sorts of activities as you may end up discovering new ways to stay fit that you really enjoy, and make it a priority while you travel. Trust me, it’s possible! Pick a time of the day and activity of choice, and schedule your day with that in mind.
The best advice I can give is to eat mindfully. If you want to indulge at dinner, eat something healthy for breakfast. As a traveller don’t completely restrict yourself from enjoying the food you’d like to eat, just be mindful about it.
Your health is so important. Eating healthy will make you feel better, and give you sustained energy to enjoy your travels. With that being said, it’s possible to find a balance. Enjoy your food. Eat with care. Balance out your indulgences with healthy food choices.
Have you got any fitness tips or routines for when you’re on holiday Let us know in the comments below.