Keeping Fit Whilst on Holiday
Shortly, Esra and I are due to spend three weeks in Thailand. Having spent a number of months at the gym, honing and sculpting this body (ahem) I am a little concerned about a whole three weeks away from daily exercise. If you are fit, you can appreciate how long it takes to get there and how it seems to take half the amount of time to loose it. Quite disturbing in all honesty how quickly we loose our fitness, it’s as if it sneaks away when no-one is looking.
I am lucky in so much as my holiday is not an idle-by-the-pool-drinking-cocktails-for-the-entire-three-weeks type of holiday. We have a full packed itinerary which will include jungle trekking, bike rides and volunteer work at an elephant sanctuary. So it would appear that I am somewhat active. However, what do you do when you are in the situation where you have a couple of weeks of well deserved nothing?
Having spent a lot of time on the road in my job, some of it out of the country for chunks of time, I have developed a number of ways to overcome the loss of your usual gym routine.
Most of us have sedentary jobs so any amount of walking during the day is an activity which is not usual. Go out and explore the local environment. Take a few coach tours which will have you spending a day exploring a historic site. Sign up for a walking tour or trek around the local town and markets. Even an evening stroll along the beach are all going to get the heart rate up, the limbs moving, any activity is better than no activity.
If you are happy and confident to do so, don your trunks or bikini and take a dip. Most rented villas have pools as do many hotels, and even if you’ve rented and apartment it is likely in a complex of some description.
Alternatively why not get a little more adventurous and try some snorkelling. Sign up for a boat tour where they ship you out to a secluded cove and have a swim. You’ll be amazed how much time flies when you are face down watching Dory and Nemo.
If you are staying in a hotel check out the gym. To be honest, in my experience, in more far flung European destinations the gyms tend to be a little lack lustre with a few cardio machines shoved into a small room in the basement. You may however be staying in a city hotel where they are sure to have a better offering than most. If they have it, take your gym gear and use it, especially during the mid-day when it’s too hot to go outside, perfect opportunity to while away an hour in an air conditioned room.
There are many hotels and complexes offering classes now. Anything from Yoga to Aqua Aerobics, so why not sign up for something a bit different you may find a new love.
Hire a Bike
My go-to when I am on holiday, simply because I adore cycling and you can see so much more on two wheels than two feet. If you are not confident you could always keep to the beach promenades or the quieter back roads. Whenever I am in London I always hire a ‘Boris Bike’ to tear around, but London traffic is not for the faint hearted!
Another fun possibility is a bike buggy. Many holiday destinations have them, I hired one with my daughter in Cyprus and they are actually hard work to keep going. Needless to say you aren’t going to be winning the tour-de-France, but they are fun and exercise combined.
If you are an old hand at this fitness game, why not just DIY it? Find some beach workout equipment, these are becoming a lot more popular, I have used them in France and Lanzerote and even found some in Salford on my running route. Perfect for a quick workout in the sun and fresh air. Alternatively crack out a few sit ups, push ups, throw a few big rocks or anything else which takes your fancy and gets the heart rate up.
YouTube is your friend. When I travelled on business a great deal, this was my go-to. I particularly like the HIIT videos by Fitness Blender. Kelli and Daniel are a husband and wife team and just so easy to love as they are unassuming and their videos are easy to follow. You can do a quick a dirty 10 minutes or get a more killer 45 minute workout. Just search for body weight exercise and you’ll find lots of offerings which require no specialist equipment, perfect when its just you and a hotel room.
The simplest way to exercise no matter where you are, you just need your trainers. When I was seconded to Cyprus I ran every morning before breakfast, as I was in a tourist location its surprisingly quiet and tranquil at 6.30am. Just try to get out before it gets too hot and remember to stay hydrated and safe. Common sense still prevails, even on holiday, don’t trek down any less than salubrious neighbourhoods. If in doubt ask the concierge which direction would be best.
So there are a few ideas to keep you in the saddle whilst away from home. Can you offer any alternatives I’ve not covered (aside from vigorous sex which seems to go hand in hand with holidays and sun)?