Staying Active on Holiday is important. Summer is nearly over, but that’s not going to ruin my final holiday of the year. 2016 has seen me travel to Vienna, Montpellier and have a camping trip in the Dorset town of Swanage. It’s been an excellent year for active travelling.
To round up Summer we’re finally doing the “resort” style holiday. Last year we ventured to an all-inclusive hotel in Fuerteventura. We won’t be doing that again.
One of the most important parts of an all-inclusive holiday is the food.
I expect there to be a varied range of multi-coloured fruits, meats and vegetables, alongside the occasional slice of pizza and beige food. However, Fuerteventura was bread, bread & more bread–and although I love bread–It doesn’t love me.
This year we are skipping the 3* hotel and going straight for the 5*. We’re off to Tenerife, to a beautiful looking hotel called Roca Nivaria. The reviews for the food are outstanding, so my diet won’t take much of a beating and I will be able to maintain some sense of healthiness.
My main concern is not that of food. My previous holidays this year have been camping trips and city breaks which meant no free food, and lots of walking. How will I manage an active holiday, when Breakfast and Dinner are included and the resorts a taxi ride away from the town?
Activities and Essentials for an Active Holiday
Luckily for us our hotel has a gym as well as a spa and pools (5* darling!) so here’s my list of holiday packing essentials:
- 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, I will also pack clothes and shoes and all that lark, but speaking from an active point of view, those 6 are my most important 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, yet empty staircases…. It’s possibly the simplest of tasks, it’s great for your heart and it opens up movement in your joints. I rarely take the lift anywhere — Unless I’m really hungover, that is.
- 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 with their inflatables and water pistols–maybe try and head to the pool nice and early, before they arrive.
- Tennis – I love playing tennis. Last year Mike and I went to Spain, to my aunt’s apartment and made use of their tennis courts, we played for around 40 minutes a day, and although I’m no pro, it was great fun. Tennis is a great way to stay active on holiday. Most 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 trip advisor, 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 suncream.
- Gym – If like me, 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. Like I said before, 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, 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 paddleboarding. 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 significant effect on your overall fitness. Taking a week off to chill is really no biggy. Sometimes your body needs that rest and recovery period.
I plan to spend half my time being active and the other half doing absolutely nothing, but reading, relaxing and drinking cocktails. 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….