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Top tips for staying fit on holiday

Holidays afford such a wonderful opportunity to broaden our horizons, challenge ourselves, and try new experiences – which is precisely how I justified all the apple strudel I consumed on a recent trip to Vienna. Holidays can also wreak havoc on our normal fitness routines, however, and leave us feeling more than a little unfit at the other end. Given the immense benefit of regular exercise to our health and wellbeing, taking our fitness habits with us on holiday will make for a healthier you upon return.

Keep it achievable

Holidays should be a break from your normal routine, and hence if you’re a very regular exerciser at home, this level of activity may not be realistic to continue on holiday. Substitute some of your usual structured exercise for other activities that add to your overall holiday experience. Beach holidays offer lots of ways to stay fit, such as stand up paddle boarding, beach volleyball or snorkelling, and water sports can be particularly enjoyable if you’re travelling with active kids. Who knows, you might even find a new hobby to bring home with you.

Walk and walk and walk some more

The best way to get to know a new city is to discover it on foot. Lots of tour companies will offer free walking tours and this way you can combine some history and culture with your daily activity. If a full day of walking is too much, cycling can be a great alternative, and many cities are blessed with abundant bike paths. Tour companies will often have maps of walking and bike paths, and these can be a great way to plan your day of sightseeing without getting lost.

There’s an app for that

Our phones hold so much valuable information when traveling, and fitness apps are no exception.

  • Mindbody: an app that helps you search which fitness classes are available in your area. The best part? It is available worldwide. Many businesses will have free or reduced cost trials and these are a great way of maintaining your fitness on holiday without spending all the money you’ve worked so hard to save.
  • Nike Training Club (NTC): This app is full of workouts which can be easily customised to suit your preferences. The workouts are split into type, duration, and intensity and often feature workouts designed by elite athletes for that extra challenge.
  • Nike Run Club (NRC): Is a free run club that exists in many major cities around the world, and can be found in the NTC app. I recently joined NRC for a run in Budapest which was a little challenging given it was instructed entirely in Hungarian. That being said, the instructors were helpful and assigned me two delightful translators who ended up teaching me a few key sentences of Hungarian along the way. We ran around a park situated in the middle of the Danube and then past the Hungarian parliament, a major tourist attraction. Not only did I get my exercise in, but I also made some friends and had a sightseeing tour along the way!
  • Parkrun: Another one for the runners, and again, a great way to meet locals.
  • Pear Personal Coach: This app talks you through your run, yoga or at home workout. You can choose your activity and duration, or browse the most popular workouts and your guide will take you through the rest.


While many hotels will have a gym or pool, it is worth checking this before you book. If you’re using an accommodation sharing site such as AirBNB or you book a hotel without a gym, asking locals for recommendations can be a way to find that cool new boutique gym. I tend to find the staff at Lululemon are full of great suggestions, and the stores often run free yoga classes or run clubs.

Use nature as your gym

The best way to immerse yourself in a new location? Do exactly that. Research the best outdoor fitness activities before you go, and add these to your itinerary. Enjoy the chance to explore the outdoors whether you’re at the beach, the countryside or in a bustling city. Hikes are a fantastic way to build fitness while offering a unique perspective of the town, not to mention how good your Instagram photos will be!

Plan to be active every day

A little pre-planning goes a long way. Thinking about how you will maintain your fitness before you go will help your transition to the new environment. Planning to be active most days will help counteract the local delicacies you’ll no doubt be sampling, and will make the resumption of your usual fitness routine at home a much less painful process. Knowing whether a city is bike friendly, can be explored on foot, or whether you will have access to a gym is a great start to developing a feasible and enjoyable fitness

Learn more about Dr. Carlee Van Dyk by visiting