In the months leading up to the summer season a sudden change sweeps over everyone. Almost overnight the streets fill up with joggers and the gyms become ram packed full of people all striving towards that same goal: a summer-ready beach body. You’ll cut the carbs, double up on gym classes, go on extra long walks, take up running, lift extra weights and generally do whatever it takes to prepare. But as you start packing your suitcase for your holiday, you stumble across those trainers and workout gear and spend a few moments seriously deliberating whether or not to pack them. Is it really worth the extra weight in the suitcase? Will you really workout on holiday? After all, isn’t the whole point of a holiday to get away from everyday life, de-stress and enjoy? And how can you possibly enjoy the experience whilst worrying about fitting in a boring workout, right?
Uttering the word ‘exercise’ is often like blasphemy in a traveller’s vocabulary- a holiday taboo. Most of us assume that fitness and travel are totally incompatible. We’re all guilty of jetting off on that well-earned holiday fully intending not to lift a finger; to just lounge on an exotic beach all day long without worrying about anything until we return to civilization (where our jeans no longer fit).
Perhaps you’ll half heartedly tell yourself that you’ll make use of that hotel gym at least once, but then with all the beautiful surroundings and eagerness to explore them, a mundane indoor gym setting suddenly seems unbearable. So instead you’ll swear to at least opt for those healthier food options, but are then enticed by irresistible exotic cuisines and delicious treats that you had vowed to avoid. We totally get it! However, we are here to bust the fitness vs travel myths, showing you that it is in fact possible to have both, and that travelling and health aren’t such an unlikely duo after all. No longer will you have to sacrifice your holiday enjoyment in order to remain active. In fact, there are a number of effective ways to remain active abroad without even setting foot in a gym and- queue the horrified gasps- that actually can make exercise fun.
An increasing number of hotels across the globe are paving the way, breaking the exercise-phobic holiday mentality by promoting healthy holidays with a host of activities that encourage guests to keep moving. Here are Kenwood Travel’s 10 favourite fitness friendly holidays:
The BodyHoliday– This is our number one health and wellness retreat. It is an absolute haven for those looking to remain active while unwinding in paradise. Firstly, the resort takes spinning to new heights (literally) featuring a glass enclosed, tree house spinning centre for one of the most scenic workouts you will ever have. It also provides an impressive array of outdoor activities meaning that you can enjoy your stunning surroundings whilst remaining active. Outdoor activities include morning walks, rainforest hikes, adventure tours, jogging tours, walking tours, running club, mountain biking, snorkelling trips, sunset zumba, tennis, golf, water fitness, beach volleyball, tubing, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, wake boarding, and surf skiing. Other activities to give a go include pole fitness, salsa, Tai Chi, archery as well as an array of group fitness classes such as yoga or pilates. Private personal training can be requested and nutrition and fitness seminars are also provided so that you can apply your new healthy outlook to your every day life.
Buccament Bay– Motivating guests to get out and explore, the resort organises hikes up the stunning La Soufriere Volcano as well as power walks and treks through Vermont Nature Trail. The resort also arranges fun and challenging activities such as: expert tennis and football classes (with master classes led by famous names from the sporting world), kettlebell classes, core workouts, TRX training, boxercise classes, yoga, watersports, aqua aerobics and even beach volleyball and other beach-side workouts so that you won’t have to pry yourself away from the shimmering coastline to workout.
Now Sapphire Riviera– Giving you a dose of Latin flavour this resort offers salsa classes and Zumba, making exercise suddenly seem like so much fun. And if dancing isn’t for you also on offer is: yoga, pilates, aqua aerobics, water volley, beach football, core workouts, kayaking, canoeing, deep sea diving and snorkelling. In fact, snorkelling is particularly popular at the resort and believe it or not swimming against the waves makes it a good workout. The controlled breathing that snorkelling requires has been compared to that of meditative forms of exercise such as yoga and pilates, making it a peaceful, low impact form of exercise that’s easy on the joints and can be enjoyed by everyone.
The Royal Hawaiian– Celebrities like Cameron Diaz swear by it! Learn to surf in the very place that the sport was born. Surfing is an incredible workout and its also a really fun skill to learn, guaranteeing you a great time and a true Hawaiian experience you’ll definitely be writing home about. The Royal Hawaiian not only offers fantastic surf classes to keep you active, it also gives you a taste of Hawaiian culture with Hula and Tahitian lessons. What’s more you can make the most of the ocean with paddle board lessons and canoe rides.
Sugar Ridge– Sugar Ridge’s best feature to keep guest’s active is its incredible Rainforest Challenge Adventure Course (which includes zip lining and climbing); packed with thrilling activities to appease your sense of adventure, this challenge will have your heart racing and your muscles working as you make your way through the forests swinging through the trees, climbing hills, and hiking to the finish line. It is an excellent way to explore Antigua’s jungles, enjoy wonderful views and to have a great time. The resort also offers beach bootcamp classes, nature hikes, aerobics, yoga, pilates, and a state-of-the-art gym.
The Ritz Carlton– The resort’s commitment to keeping both adults, teens and children healthy on holiday makes it worthy of honourable mention. The resort offers adults spinning, yoga, boot camp, yogalates, HIIT circuits, boxing, and DB Pump classes. Kids are likewise encouraged to keep fit at Ritz Kidz Move Me and Ritz Kidz Swim, and teenagers can enjoy teen spin, teen pump and teen bootcamp classes. Guests can also enjoy adrenaline pumping activities such as sand skiing and desert diving.
Shanti Maurice– Shanti Maurice encourages guests to explore Mauritius on foot or by bicycle with organised power walks to Riviere des Galets, daily coastal runs, and bike tours to Gris Gris. Exploring on foot or by bicycle gives you a much better feel for the area you are in; there is so much that you can see and take in on foot that you just won’t get from looking out of a bus, car or train window, so don’t miss any experiences and get out there! Another plus is that the resort also offers aqua spinning, beach circuit workouts, pilates and yoga, personal training and a wealth of watersports such as kayaking, paddleboarding or canoeing. These watersports are a great way to explore the ocean, but they can also improve your aerobic fitness and strength, working those arms… Bonus!
The Banjaran Hotsprings– If you can’t tear yourself away from the beautiful outdoor settings, The Banjaran is the place for you. The hotel offer fun outdoor activities to keep you on your feet and encourage you to explore, such as jungle trekking tours and heritage hikes through the nearby towns and historic streets, so that you can learn a thing or two about the place, explore the culture and keep fit all at once. Hiking is a fantastic workout that engages almost every muscle group; with the views constantly changing and there always being something new to look at, you probably won’t even notice how long you’ve walked or how hard your body is working. Also available are a number of outdoor fitness classes so you won’t even have to leave the beloved beach to keep yourself fit. Finally if you are eager to learn a new skill try the resort’s expert Qi Chong or Tai Chi classes.
Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso– This resort has certainly mastered the art of fusing fitness and travel, with dozens of activities to enable guests to stay active whilst enjoying the great outdoors. The most unique activity on offer is the Sea Walker which allows guests to walk along the ocean floor whilst admiring the colourful sea creatures. The hotel also arrange jogs, power walks and guided bike tours to explore the coast or the nearby villages. Finally, also on offer are kayak tours, beach soccer, beach games, and beach volleyball. Beach workouts, especially beach volleyball, are a particularly good way of enjoying yourself with those you travelled with and making the most out of the beautiful beaches as well as getting in a seriously good cardio workout. Moving through the uneven sand poses an extra challenge to balance that really burns out those muscles.
Fusion Maia– The resort offers a range of organised walks such as interval cardio walks, water splash walks, culture walks and boosting walks. Walking along the beach is said to burn twice as many calories as on flat ground! The uneven surface forces your body to work harder to maintain its balance, encouraging toning by engaging your calves and glutes. As an added bonus, its also the best way to get an even, all around tan and you will certainly come back with an enviable glow. The resort also offers bike rentals. Cycling allows you to get lost in the place (not literally…make sure you take a map), to be able to take a really good look around and to admire the unique character of the towns and villages. With cycling you can explore Hoi An at your own pace, stop for a drink or to have a browse in the markets, or maybe you worked up an appetite to get a spot of lunch. It is also a great leg workout, targeting those quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
- So what have we learnt?… Firstly, that fitness and fun don’t have to be completely contradictory terms, and finally that fitness and travel are better friends than you might think! With all the activities on offer, and in some cases with the ocean right on your doorstep, it is easy to keep in shape without sacrificing your holiday fun. Getting involved in some of these activities can even enhance your overall experience and make you some amazing memories of your time abroad.
Our Top Tips To Keep Fit Abroad:
- Walking or running on the beach
- Sightseeing on foot
- Beach Volleyball
- Canoeing or Kayaking
- Learning to dance