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10 Easy Ways to Get Fit while Enjoying Your Holiday

Article by Anne Elliott

You’ve worked hard all year, thought long and hard about where to spend your precious free time, invested hours pouring over brochures or internet sites to make exactly the right decision, bought some nice clothes to wear out and got a new pot of sun cream. You’re packed and ready to have fun, fun, fun and leave the stresses of everyday life behind you.

Use up some of those extra calories

A change and release from stress is exactly what a holiday should be, although it’s too easy to take that separation a little too far. Have you ever found yourself eating or drinking way more than you normally would at home, with the justification, ‘It doesn’t matter, I’m on holiday!’ In truth, you are suspending responsibility for a short time and by following this path will invariably will come home heavier than you left. You then have to deal with the personal guilt of knowing you have overindulged and now wish you hadn’t.

May I suggest that you go on holiday, enjoy the food and drink and come home guilt free. It only takes a small shift in mindset. This year spend a bit of each day being more active than normal, therefore using up some of those excess calories. There are numerous ways to enjoy moving in the sun and you want to aim at 30-90 minutes each day depending on what you are doing and how fit you are:

Tips for holiday fitness

• If you are near a pool, do a good 30 minutes swim each day.
• or if you don’t mind the sea, you work slightly harder swimming against waves.
• Take a daily constitutional along the promenade and around the area – go exploring.
• To make it slightly harder walk along the beach, the resistance of the sand is excellent to strengthen your ankles, legs bum and back if you get some speed up.
• If you are fit do a gentle jog on land or the beach, but make sure its early enough before the sun gets too high.
• If your hotel has facilities like a tennis court or boules court, have a go and have some fun.
• Many resorts offer activities and facilities inclusively. If you are in one of these resorts, why not have a go at something new (windsurfing or archery etc.) or join in the low impact aerobic class by the pool each day.
• Try out a beginners Scuba dive with a local school. You might love it and start a new hobby.
• Many beaches have a volley ball club/pitch that you could join in with.
• Learning to play golf in the sun is a lovely way to pass half a day.

Look for ways of moving

Keep your eyes open, there will be many opportunities around that you might have overlooked in the past. Don’t think of it as ‘doing sport or exercise’ but just look for interesting ways of moving. Variety also might be the spice of your vacation. Why not do different things each day.

When I am on holiday, I try to do something active each morning before the sun gets too hot then I enjoy my lunch and settle down to a good book in the afternoon. I can enjoy my rest, enjoy my food and my pina colada or two. By being active at the same time each day, I enjoy relaxing afterwards even more.  The best thing is that when I come home and even though I have eaten and drunk more than normal, I will not have put any weight on and I can get straight back into my daily routine refreshed.

Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy it all, especially those little indulgences.

Photo credit: Arvid Balaraman


ANNE ELLIOTT is 52. She has a Personal Training Practice that specialises in working with middle-aged clients and their associated health problems. She lectures in Sports Science at Middlesex University, is an ABAE boxing referee, is registered with REPS at Level 4 and is undertaking a Doctorate in exercise in middle age. Anne appears regularly in the media talking about her specialisation - exercise in middle age.

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