Let’s face it, we go on holiday to relax and chill out. Staying active, really isn’t top priority when it comes to holidaying, but why not? Staying active on holiday isn’t such a bad thing. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to explore the different area, it can help reduce holiday weight gain AND it won’t disrupt your normal routine.
I love active holidaying, recently traveling to Spain, where I ran my first outdoor 5k. Vienna where we walked for miles and miles, as we also did in Montpellier. Tenerife where we spent a lot of time in the gym. And lastly, camping in Swanage.
But why do I think it’s important staying active on holiday? Because…
Holiday Food is Awesome
One of the best things about a holiday, especially if you’re all inclusive, is the food. Usually, you’ll be eating lots of rich, fatty foods, not caring at all about calories. I mean, why would you, it’s a holiday. However, lots of food, and lots of relaxing can take it’s toll, so staying active on holiday is a must. Nobody wants to live on a salad, we want to explore local cuisines, eat pizza in Rome, Paella in Barcelona, supersize burgers in America. But we need to get active…
Activities and Essentials for an Active Holiday
If you’re lucky with your holiday choices, then the chances are you’re going to have a gym included, but it’s not always necessary. You, can swim, run, walk or even set up a mini circuit in your room. But, for all of these, you’ll need a few essentials, which I’ve detailed below…
- Swimwear – This is a no-brainer really, who goes on holiday without their swimwear?
- Gym Kit – Don’t forget, it’s probably going to be hotter than it would be at home. Pack your lightest gym wear items (especially if you have a luggage allowance)
- Trainers – goes alongside the gym kit, but if you’re planning on long walks you may want to wear these and not those flimsy flip flops.
- Water Bottle – You remember to take it to the gym here, so don’t forget it abroad. The last thing you want is to suffer from sunstroke and dehydration.
- Headphones – Not only are these crucial for your morning run or gym session but they’re also great for relaxation time around the pool.
- Open mind – if you’re used to starting your day with an early morning weights session, bare in mind that most hotels won’t have the same luxuries as your usual gym. You’re routine is likely to change and you may find yourself doing different exercises to usual. You’re going to need to be open minded with this. Maybe you’re used to running every day, but the heat may be too hot while you’re on holiday. Make sure you’re aware of any complications you may have and find a way to work around it.
Of course, packing clothes, shoes and all that lark are important too, but speaking from an active point of view, these 6 are my go to items. But, what about activities?
How can you ensure an active holiday, while also spending time relaxing by the pools?
- Take the stairs – Seriously, I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve heard people say this, yet, I still see full escalators and lifts, and empty staircases. It’s possibly the simplest of tasks. Not only is it great for your heart but it also opens up movement in your joints. Unless you’re super hungover, injured or ill, never take the lift.
- Swimming – I’m pretty sure, most sun/beach/resort style hotels have a pool if they don’t you seriously need to reconsider the types of holidays you’re booking. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise. It’s easy on your joints and muscles but still gives you a great cardio workout. Better yet, swimming is so relaxing in the sunshine. Unless you have a gazillion children in the pool, equipped with inflatables and water pistols. Maybe try and head to the pool nice and early, before they arrive.
- Tennis – I love playing tennis. Mike and I recently went to Spain, to my aunt’s apartment, making use of their tennis courts. Playing for around 40 minutes a day, we spent time together, having fun and staying active. Many resorts now have their own tennis courts and equipment and court hire is fairly cheap. Due to constant stretching, tennis is not only good for your cardio and aerobic health, but it’s great for flexibility too.
- Walking – Holidays are the time for adventuring and exploring. Make sure you pack your trainers/walking shoes and get out. Have a look on TripAdvisor, speak to the hotel reception or head to the local tourist office to see if you can find any recommended walking routes. Remember to avoid the sun between 12-3, pack plenty of water and wear sun cream.
- Gym – If your hotel has a gym, take full advantage of it. Hotel gyms are usually empty, meaning you can escape the usual meatheads which you normally encounter at home. Although the equipment may be slightly dated or different to what you’re used to, try and make the most of it and ask someone for advice if you’re unsure.
- Try something new – This is my favourite tip. You’re on holiday. Holidays are for exploring and that shouldn’t mean just the location. Explore yourself, try something new. Many hotel animation teams put on daily activities like Zumba, yoga, aqua aerobics, salsa lessons, etc. Why not take part in one of these in your quest to stay active? If you’re near a lake, river or sea, you could even try your hand at canoeing or paddle boarding. If you’re feeling really extreme you could also consider rock climbing and canyoning.
There are so many ways to stay active on holiday.
Have a word with your hotel reception or local tourist office to ask for more information. Make sure you don’t overwork yourself, though, holidays need some balance. You don’t want to need a holiday from your holiday.
Make sure you take a little time to relax, taking a halt in your fitness routine isn’t going to make a massive effect on your overall fitness. Taking a week off to chill is really no biggy. Sometimes your body needs that rest and recovery period.
Don’t feel guilty if you’d rather spend your time reading, relaxing and drinking cocktails over staying active. Don’t feel like you need to cram everything into one day. Enjoy your time, enjoy the food, enjoy the air and enjoy the wine….