Everyone deserves a break (I’ve just come back from 3 weeks hiatus/holiday!!), and during this time I definitely minimised my training/exercise regime while on vacation (I have definitely put on more than a few Lbs. but I am going to address that in a different post :p) but I didn’t get rid of working out on holiday entirely and here’s why…
As an avid runner (as my regular readers will know) one of my favorite parts is running in new places and exploring new routes (at home and in new locations, wherever that may be) but while I was on holiday this time, I definitely got a few looks while running through the resort and one woman also stopped and asked why I was in running clothes if I was on holiday, so it prompted me to ask the question:
Should you exercise on holiday?
In my humble opinion, it is 100% yes, and that’s because I put on weight very easily and I am more relaxed with food and drink while on vacation so I don’t want to be entirely unhealthy. Exercising also helps me to relax and makes me feel better about myself which meant that if I can find the time to exercise on holiday then I will.
On the other hand, it is not for everyone, the one major downside to running on holiday (for me) was that I would have to get up early to fit in a longer run which impacted the amount of sleep I had because we were going to bed quite late meaning I would be very tired in the afternoon. But I weighed up the pro’s and cons and powered through because for me, exercise and running win every time.
That being said, working out on holiday shouldn’t be a chore because after all you are on a break and exercise can take on a lot of different forms so I decided to share some fun ways to incorporate exercise into your vacation so that you can be healthy AND enjoy yourself:
Runners should enjoy the extra resistance running along the beach as it can work your leg muscles more. Alternate between wet and dry sand for a diverse workout but be careful with sand on slanted surfaces or hills as this can increase the risk of twisting or rolling your ankle.
Even if you are not a runner you can enjoy the beach, scenery and get a decent workout by just walking. Try aiming for a point or pier in the far off distance and walk as you go, take your headphones for some great me-time or a friend for a brilliant chatty atmosphere (plus you are guaranteed to get your steps in for the day!)
Don’t have a beach?
Make an effort to find a unique route or pathway, find a nature walk or just somewhere with different views than you are used to and you may find yourself on an adventure. Getting out is the first step to finding something fun and interesting that could end up being an amazing story later on!
Take a friend
Get other members of your group or family members to come with you, exercising is more fun with company and you are more likely to push each other to work harder. Aim to do something that you both/all enjoy so that no-one is feeling forced and everyone is enjoying themselves and you will probably have a workout partner for the rest of the holiday!
If you can’t find a family or friend who is interested in coming with you then don’t be afraid to find a workout buddy elsewhere. I’ve met loads of people running down the beach who are on their own as well and it makes for great company and meeting new people (bonus!)
I have a competitive family so we are forever trying to outdo one another. Try and have a sit-up, squat or push-up competition or incorporate a round of exercises and see who can do it the fastest. This can mix up the routine and brings a HIIT element to your training which boosts your metabolism and heart rate quicker for a more efficient effect!
This is an excellent tip for making sure that you don’t overdo it and ruin your vacation (and it’s my favourite tool for at home too!) aim to do a big workout on one day and then take it easier the day after by doing something much smaller. This is great for you both mentally and physically and will stop you feeling as though you are too pushed while also allowing your body to repair if it needs too (it also stops the family moaning too much :p )
Most places for summer holidays or vacations either have a pool or the sea which means that swimming is an excellent, low-impact way to get some exercise and have some fun at the same time. Most pools are open really early so get down their quick and you’ll be able to get some lengths in before all the kids start to join in (a lot of places also have an adult’s only time so that you can utilise that).
Buy a ball, that is one of the easiest and sure-fire ways to get some exercise in (especially if you have kids). This is because, when they are bored or have a few minutes they naturally gravitate towards using a ball and will start kicking or throwing it around which will prompt you to get involved. Take the ball down the beach for some fun in the sand or the sea or you can just find some grass and have a kick about. Ball games are old school but effective for raising the heart rate, getting everyone involved and having some fun!
To be honest, even if you make the effort to chase after your kids or take the stairs or even walk to the shops several times a day then you are stopping yourself and your body from becoming too inactive which will slow your progress and can hinder your return when you get back.
So, in summary and my humble opinion, I think the answer is yes, you should exercise on holiday!