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.
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 http://www.opsmc.com.au/person/dr-carlee-van-dyk/