You might be someone who uses the gym to improve fitness ahead of trips away, but then only lounging on a sunbed when there. Maybe you think there’s nothing worse than getting away from it all, just to leave yourself more exhausted than you started. Perhaps you’re someone who loves to exercise on holiday because of how much you enjoy an activity.
For me, I’m in the latter category. Being active is what I long to do even while away. Whether you plan to exercise on holiday or not is all down to personal preference, but it doesn’t prevent others from sharing their opinions on the matter.
I get nagging comments from friends and family like, “that doesn’t sound very relaxing” and “you’ll need a holiday from your holiday.”
Let’s say you’re an active person like me, sitting or lying still can get boring or even lead to overthinking. Stopping all exercise for a week makes me feel out of sorts. I see exercising on holiday as a chance to strip life of its stresses and focus on self care, which in its best form is sleeping well, eating well and moving well.
You might even find that because you’re in a more relaxed environment you achieve more than you’re usually able to. In fact, staying active on holiday can be the best way to get your body in better shape than it has been in a while.
Now I’m not preaching you use the hotel gym every morning of your next trip to hit those PB’s (unless you want to of course), but take exercise in all forms. For instance hitting your step goal twice over on long walks, swimming lengths or yoga. Consider the types of exercise you enjoy and incorporate those.
What About Training Holidays?
Or even active holidays, where you have minimal rest and a schedule of activities to get involved with. These types of holidays are specifically aimed at doing exercise every day, which you will, in order to make the most of it as it’s included in the price.
Dedicated sport holidays provide a method for undoing years of damage, or concentrating a period of time to an area you want to excel. Think how a Yoga retreat might help muscles recover two fold when it’s the only exercise you do. Or even a Surf trip allowing you to improve your skills quicker than you could when balancing it with time at work.
These holidays don’t have to be in far off lands or beautiful locations (though it may help), they can simply be done over a stay-cation or long weekends.
Whilst I see the benefits of a training holiday, for me it would have to come with a recovery time factored in for the best activity:rest holiday ratio.
What are the overall benefits and reasons to exercise on holiday?
1 – Consistency.
Of course my first benefit is the most important. Training throughout your holiday, regardless of the activity chosen, helps you stay consistent. This is one of the biggest attributes to improving physical fitness.
2 – Rehabilitation.
The dedicated time you spend can be a chance for strengthening and conditioning areas that have been injured or under stress.
3 – Community.
Exercising on holiday is a guaranteed way to make friends. When you meet others doing the same exercise in the same place, wherever you’re from you’ll have something in common. If anything, doing an activity vacation allows you to share with those people something no-one else can, creating a close knit community.
4 – Achievement.
Not all workout holidays are easy, some are made to push you like never before. Dedicating a whole weekend to an ultra marathon or other challenging competition/event can leave you feeling a sense of accomplishment like no other.
5 – Concentrated self-care
If your usual routine doesn’t allow you to make time for yourself, this is your chance. Do the exercise that makes you feel good and find a balance.
Whatever your stance on the matter, exercising on holiday certainly has its upsides. I highly recommend you give it a go for these reasons, remember to choose your exercise wisely so your body gets a break as well as your mind.
15/6/22 – Written by Connie Summerfield
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