Holidays are all about hitting the reset button on life and taking time to explore a beautiful destination. We love a summer vacay full of soaking up the sunshine, paddling in the sea and indulging in the local cuisine. Now more than ever before, holidays are so vital for re-charging and switching off into full relaxation mode, whether that’s a week in cornwall or a week in the maldives. We need to allow ourselves to activate holiday mode and let go of any stresses that may have been building up. Often on people’s minds, however, is worrying about over-indulging or not keeping up with their rigid exercise routines while on vacation. It’s an understandable concern, but one that we believe needs rethinking… there’s always a balance to be carved out and we 100% stand by the fact that you can “have your cake and eat it too” when it comes to taking care of your wellbeing and simultaneously learning to let go. They key we believe is to worry less about what your eating (have the pancakes, the croissants, the waffles, the ice cream, the cocktails… you’re on holiday and that stuff tastes bloody delicious!) but prioritise staying active. You know us, we’re not for one minute suggesting you spend every waking hour in the gym… but keeping your movement ticking over each day will not only boost your energy, help you sleep better, stop the overly sluggish feeling and actually help you build up an appetite to enjoy all that good food! Below our in-house PT and Creative Designer, Issy shares her top tips for keeping up your fitness while travelling and how you can seamlessly fit exercise into your holiday without it feeling like a chore!
My favourite way to explore a new place is on a run. On the first morning of a holiday, I always stick my trainers on and head out the door on a gentle run to see what the local town has to offer. I’m not looking to break any PB’s with these runs, the pace does not matter at all! I don’t even bother tracking the run as it’s much of a leisurely jog where I might stop to look in a shop or snap a photo. My run always involves a stop off at a cafe as well (preferably on the seafront or in a cute square) where I’ll order a ‘cafe con leche’ (with some sort of plant milk if I’m lucky) with my terrible Spanish and watch the world go by. My tips with going for a run aboard are 1. go early, it will get too hot and you’ll melt and feel defeated, 2. wear a hat, get the sun out of your eyes, 3. carry a little bottle of water, you’ll sweat more in the hot climate so you’ll need to stay hydrated!
Swimming is a given on a summer holiday, apart from the obvious reason that it cools you down, it is the perfect way to stay active. Now we’re not talking about a little dip here, set some time aside to either do a few lengths in the pool or swim out with a buddy in the sea! It’s definitely the most refreshing form of exercise for a summer holiday and gives you a great full body workout. Think about packing some goggles so you can properly go for it with your front crawl!
Watersports are more challenging on the body than you probably think! This option isn’t the cheapest, but you’re bound to have so much fun and you’ll learn a new skill. No, banana boat rides don’t count! I tried wakeboarding a few summers back at The Hillside Resort in Turkey and took to it really well, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be and I managed to stand up pretty much straight away. There’s no better feeling than gliding across the water, and it’s a proper leg workout…my quads were burning! Safe to say I love it and can’t recommend trying out something new enough.
Fitness isn’t just popular in the UK and you’re likely to have some great classes going on just around the corner. Beach yoga and SUP paddle boarding yoga classes have become a big thing so it’s worth checking out what’s on offer where you are! I went to Mallorca last year where I tried out SUP paddleboarding yoga which was so much fun. This summer Barry’s has teamed with Destino in Ibiza to bring the Red Room to the White Isle, this is definitely on my hit list for my trip in August. Get Googling what’s happening in the area you’re visiting this summer to see what you might find. If you’re a solo traveller it’s a great way to meet people too!
A poolside or beach mini circuit is another one of my favourite ways to workout on holiday. These are a quick way to boost your endorphins and set you up for the day. Pick 5-10 bodyweight exercises for 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest and repeat around 3-4 times, with a variety of high intensity and bodyweight strength-based moves for a sweaty full body burn. Pack a resistance band with you if you have one to intensify your workout, it takes up hardly any space and will give help retain your muscle mass. If you prefer to have more guidance either find a bodyweight YouTube workout (Gains By Brains and POPSUGAR Fitness provide great follow along workout content) or download a fitness app that you can follow (SHREDDY and AloMoves are both worth the fee). Alternately you can stick your timer on and follow my holiday workout below!
Issy’s Sweaty 20 Min Bodyweight Workout
4 rounds • 30 secs on / 30 secs off
- Squat Jumps
- Press Up To Prone Thruster
- Jumping Jack To Tuck Up
- Mountain Climbers
- Jumping Lunges
BOOK A HOTEL WITH A GYM
If staying active on holiday is a must for you, make sure you check your hotel has a gym! Many do nowadays with fitness being the phenomena that it is, so have a look at the images beforehand and sus out what sort of equipment they have on offer. If you’re stuck between a few hotels when booking, this could be the deciding point. Personally, when I’m on holiday, I love getting a quick workout done, so I always assess the gym beforehand so I know what’s on offer…you’d be surprised how well equipped they are, especially if you’re going high end. Daio Coves in Crete, Greece has its very own BXR outdoor gym, giving you incredible views whilst you workout…yes please!
Depending on where you’re holidaying, you may have some amazing walking routes right on your doorstep! From sand dune trails to coastal hikes and mountain treks, exploring the natural surroundings is arguably the most beautiful way to keep active whilst on holiday. Ask your hotel concierge/Air Bnb host/locals about what’s in the surrounding area or simply google ‘walking routes in ___’.
Car rental prices are always through the roof, why not rent bikes? It’s cheap and will help keep you fit whilst away. It can be off-putting in a hot climate but the breeze does pick up once you get some momentum. If you like this idea remember to bring a backpack so you can carry your belongings easily.