Posted on 09 January, 2017

Should I Exercise on my Holiday?

By Jacob Andreae in Exercise, Fitness, How-to, Numbered Should I Exercise on my Holiday?

[Image source: Global Mouse Travels]

Staying on track is the major theme my readers say they struggle with when it comes to health and fitness. The holidays present a major hurdle when it comes to staying on track. If the holidays come when you’re in the middle of an exercise program, you’ve just finished a program, or you’re between programs, should you continue to exercise on your holiday?

Many of the holidays our family has been on end up involving quite a bit of physical activity. Not because we actively seek out those sorts of holidays, but because of the things we typically like to do while we’re on holidays. Plus, we always seem to do lots of walking. I also love winter and water sports, so if there’s activities like that available, I’m in.

Even on holidays when we’re supposed to be relaxing, we end up doing more physical activity than we probably would in our everyday lives. A recent trip to Sanur in Bali involved so much walking—I even lost weight. We discovered this little section of beach. It had a handful of cafes and we loved going there for breakfast every morning. It was almost too far to walk but it felt too close to drive. The taxi ride only cost AU$2 each way but we chose to walk most times. It was a really relaxing holiday but we accidentally got heaps of exercise too.

Holidays are a good opportunity to break out of routine and do things in a different way to how you normally would back home. Even holidays that are supposed to be relaxing, can be ideal opportunities for you to be more active. The best thing is that you can counter that activity with plenty of rest.

Whether you exercise regularly, just started exercising and want to keep strengthening your new habits, or want to start exercising, holidays are a great opportunity to be active—even when it’s supposed to be a relaxing holiday. Here are 4 reasons you should exercise on your holiday:

Why You Should Exercise on Your Holiday

  1. You lose your fitness very quickly
    A week off from exercise can be beneficial—physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually; however, your metabolism slows down after just one week off exercise. A week off to rest, recover and rejuvenate can be a good thing but any longer and you start to lose your fitness.
  2. You typically eat more on holidays
    Holidays are synonymous with food and drinks. If you’ve been exercising regularly, give yourself permission to enjoy yourself (to a certain extent) if that means eating and drinking whatever you like. Some foods will actually remind you why you don’t eat them. Even though food is not just energy that needs to be burned, keep your energy expenditure up through exercise to limit the conversion of sugar to fat. (Still be careful how much sugar you consume though, especially that from liquid form!)
  3. It’s a good way to start a new habit
    While you’re on holiday, you’re already out of your regular routine. Also, because you’re feeling relaxed, you’re more likely to experience exercise as being enjoyable. You can try new things without any pressure and you’ve got as much time as you like to recover afterwards. You can even go get that massage if you want to. Your body adapts to the exercise, forming a new habit, and the pressure-free environment makes it all the more likely to keep up when you return home. 
  4. You can discover things you wouldn’t otherwise
    If you choose to walk or run for some exercise, you get to see a place from a completely different view, experience the culture or location more intimately and meet the people. You might even learn the local hot-spots.

How to Exercise on Your Holiday

  • Explore by foot
    Go for a walk, run or ride. Meet people, get lost, go exploring. By moving slowly through a destination or seeking out the local favourites, you not only experience the true essence of your destination, but you end up doing heaps of physical activity.
  • Take a skipping rope
    The lightest, most transportable piece of fitness equipment is a skipping rope. Skipping is one of the best forms of cardio exercise and you don’t need to do much of it to benefit. You can also do it anywhere. If you don’t have a skipping rope, use an invisible one. Great if you can’t skip and to avoid the frustration of catching it on your toes. 
  • Do a bodyweight circuit
    Even if you don’t have a gym in your hotel or any exercise equipment with you, doesn’t mean you can’t do a workout. Perform a range of bodyweight exercises for one great workout. This low-impact workout requires no equipment and is suitable for beginners. 
  • Follow a YouTube workout
    There are an abundance of YouTube workouts available online to do for free. Just search YouTube for the workout you want with the equipment you have available. I created a whole bunch of these a while back. Go check them out and workout along with me. Check them out here.

Holidays are a great time to rest, recover and rejuvenate. They are also great opportunities to try new things. By all means, give yourself permission to enjoy yourself but consider how you might stay active.

If you just came back from holidays, did you exercise?

If you’re about to go on holidays, do you plan to exercise?  How?

About Jacob Andreae

About Jacob Andreae

I write and speak about Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset. 

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Should I Exercise on my Holiday?A quick start guide to losing weight and staying on track. Learn the strategies I use to eat and move for optimal health. Includes worksheets to enhance your motivation, commitment and discipline, along with a sample eating plan and exercise program.