A holiday doesn’t have to mean giving up healthy habits. Here’s how to keep your fitness in check without it feeling like a chore.
Do your research
It’s often assumed that a hotel will have a pool or gym, but this isn’t always the case … so look before you book, especially if you can’t go a day without your treadmill session.
If your hotel or Airbnb doesn’t have exercise facilities, Google the gyms and fitness studios in the area in advance. And don’t be shy to ask for recommendations at the local active wear stores once you arrive.
“I tend to find the staff at Lululemon full of great suggestions, and the stores often run free yoga classes or run clubs”, says sport and exercise medicine registrar Dr Carlee Van Dyk.
Move from the get-go
Although there’s only so much exercise you can do on the plane, it’s important to move whenever possible.
“Especially on a long flight, where there’s risk of deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot that forms in the veins of the legs)”, Dr Van Dyk says. “I do calf raises in the bay by the bathroom, to get the blood flowing to the heart.”
She recommends getting up every one to two hours to walk up and down the aisles, and to stretch your neck and lower back. The last thing you want is to pull your neck out en route.
Grabbing an Uber instead of getting around by foot means you’ll be missing out on meeting the locals, who can give pro-tips on the sites to see, what to eat and where to shop. Or try a walking tour if you’re after more structure.
A bike tour is great if you prefer a faster pace – or if a day of walking is hard on your feet.
“But remember to pack your sneakers!” Dr Van Dyk adds.
If you’d rather go out on your own, tour companies often provide maps of scenic walking and bike paths – which also give peace of mind that you won’t get lost.
App it up
There’s no excuse for not exercising when your phone is full of fitness apps.
MINDBODY lets you search for fitness classes no matter where you are in the world - and often as a free or discounted first-time trial.
On a recent trip to Budapest, Dr Van Dyk joined the free Nike Run Club, available in major cities worldwide via the Nike Training Club app.
“[It] was a little challenging given it was instructed entirely in Hungarian. That said, the instructors assigned me two delightful translators who ended up teaching me a few key sentences of Hungarian.
“We ran around a park situated in the middle of the Danube and then past the Hungarian parliament … Not only did I get my exercise in, but I made some friends and had a sightseeing tour along the way!”
Keep moving and you’ll also be lessening your chances of not fitting into your jeans when you return home.