How to Keep Fit on Holiday

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IMG_0440All inclusive holidays: lounging by the pool, delicious food, cocktails. Sounds like a dream doesn’t it. For some, a holiday is a good excuse to break the training regime and have some time off. For others though, a holiday gets in the way of valuable training time and results in fidgeting by the pool and ultimately annoying your loved ones with all your pent up energy.

So just how do you keep up some semblance of your usual training while on holiday?

On holiday in Turkey with my partner, I managed to fit in some exercise every day… granted some was more “leisurely” than others! Here’s how I kept up my fitness without encroaching on valuable lazy time.

Hotel Gym

Resorts are starting to clue up on the fact that people still enjoy a bit of a pump while they’re on holiday, and more and more hotels now have a gym with fairly serviceable equipment. The hotel we were in had a decent sized gym with free weights, cardio machines, multi-gyms, swiss balls and mats. Both me and my fiance managed to get a good workout in a few mornings of the holiday. Hitting the gym before breakfast was win-win – we both got to the buffet feeling awake and revitalised, and we got to rest our aching muscles on the sun loungers all day. Bliss.

If your hotel doesn’t have a gym, consider getting yourself a TRX or set of resistance bands for a lightweight solution to holiday resistance training.

In the Pool or the Sea

Almost every typical summer holiday resort has a pool. These can range from silly shaped and barely 20 metres long, to your more typical swimming pool. Either way, you can really rack up some good exercise by swimming lengths, or even just mucking around. Swimming in the sea is even better as working against the waves will give you extra resistance. Every day we hit the pool or the sea, whether for a gentle dip to cool down or to play “who can walk under the water the longest” (made up game but challenging for both parties!). In our hotel there were even some slides that by the time you’ve ran up the steps to beat an 8 year old to the top can get your heart pumping. Ok, so calorie burn may be negligible, but you’d be surprised how much exercise you can pack into one day by the poolside while still having fun.

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My rather fetching goggles.

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Dip in the sea.

Purpose Built Running Track

In some holiday locations it’s not considered safe to go running out on the street, and I certainly wouldn’t advise it unless you know the area well and go in a small group. Luckily for me the hotel had a purpose built running track around the grounds of the resort. 1200m in length, I could get a fairly good run in without too much running in circles. Just over four laps and I’d done a 5k, ready to finish off in the gym with some core strengthening and stability exercises. If running in hot climates, try to stick to early morning or early evening to avoid both the heat of the day and the inevitable insect bites of the evening. Where we stayed the sun dipped behind the mountains around 5:30pm so even a 6pm run was do-able without melting into a big sweaty heap.

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Start of the running track.

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Clearly marked route.

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With grounds like this it’s hard to get bored.

Ball Sports

Our resort had a fantastic offering of tennis, basketball and badminton as well as beach and pool volleyball. There was a professional tennis coach on hand for those inclined to take lessons, but me and my partner stuck to renting some rackets and balls for a fun rally. The animation team held beach volleyball a couple of times a day on the purpose built court, and they also set up goals in the pool a few times for those who wanted to play.

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Tennis skills not checked.

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Making good use of borrowed sunglasses!

Fitness Classes and Games

As well as all of the above ways to keep fit, the hotel I stayed in on holiday also held Zumba, aqua gym and six pack exercise classes, and many more. There was even table football and crazy golf for the more competitive types.

No Excuses

We were really lucky finding a resort with all of the fitness opportunities available above, and we took advantage of this as much as we wanted to. But even without the facilities, it’s still possible to keep up a fitness regime on your holidays. Take walks to explore – either around the resort, or out in the local tourist attractions on day trips – take a pair of running trainers, swim or mess around in the pool or the sea every day, buy a TRX or some resistance bands and use them in your hotel room. You could even pick up your own cheap bat and ball set to use in the pool. There really are no excuses not to keep up your training if you really want to… and if you don’t, then hit that sun lounger and stay there – you’ve deserved it!

Resort: Paloma Renaissance Antalya, beach resort and spa.