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Healthy living on holiday

Some holidaymakers have spent months getting fit for their summer holidays, only for it to slide as soon as the plane lands. Others, including myself like to stay fit all year round and see going on holiday as a way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and relaxing at the same time.

Keeping up with a fitness routine on holiday doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym. You can enjoy the outdoors and make it fun. There are plenty of great activities that come with some beautiful scenic views. I’ve had a few moments where I’ve just stood still in amazement during an early morning run to soak up the sun rising over the sea and feel privileged to witness it.

My advice would be to make exercise fun whilst you’re on holiday and be realistic about how much you want to do. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you’re on holiday after all.

Walking

Walking is a fantastic way to keep active on holiday and is a perfect way to take in your new surroundings.

Body benefits: Walking not only helps to tone your legs, ankles and calves it also helps to strengthen the muscles in your feet. The swinging action of your arms will help to reduce tension around your shoulders, helping you to relax further.

Walkers
Hiking

There’s an abundance of places to walk in Menorca where rolling hills and wooded valleys lead to stunning coastlines and beautiful beaches. You will be able to explore the pretty fishing villages and bustling market towns that are rich in culture and history.

Cami de Cavalls is a 116 mile ancient path that encircles the whole of Menorca, the trail has been divided into 20 manageable sections that range in length and is very easy to follow without a guide as the entire route is well signposted. Many holidaymakers choose to walk a few of the sections as the route passes through the city of Mao and the former capital of Ciutadella. What can be better than spending your time looking out over spectacular rugged cliffs, seeing flower filled gorges and taking in breathtaking views?

How many calories can you burn? For a gentle walk you can expect to burn around 150 calories every 30 minutes. You can burn more calories depending on the terrain and if you power walk or hike.

Swimming

Swimming is a great way to exercise the whole body, whether its breast stroke, front crawl or back stroke.

Body benefits: Swimming is known to work and tone all the muscles in the body. It really doesn’t matter if you’re doing front crawl or breast stroke, you can do it at your own leisurely pace and still keep fit.

Man swimming
Swimming in the sea

As swimming is a low impact sport you can do it any time of the day, even in the heat of the mid-day sun. The Algarve has plenty of safe swimming areas but I would advise you not to swim alone, swim only if the sea is calm and always swim near the coastline.

If you don’t fancy swimming in the sea head to the hotels swimming pool. I have often woken up early on a morning to go for a swim before my husband has even stirred. Even during the day you can still do a few lengths before relaxing back on your sun lounger. As swimming pools are more accessible it’s easier to use them in your daily fitness routine.

How many calories can you burn? You can between 60 and 100 calories every 10 minutes depending on the stroke you do. Breaststroke burns the fewest calories whilst front crawl burns the most.

Running

Running is a fantastic way to keep fit on holiday, no matter where you go on holiday you will always see people out running especially early on the morning before it gets too hot.

Body benefits: Running is a great way to burn fat, build lean muscle and look great. You will notice your legs and buttock tone up. Running regularly lifts your mood and builds self-esteem by releasing endorphins known as the ‘happy hormones’.

thomson running cruise
Running

The Costa Del Sol is an excellent place to run. Benalmadena has over 20km of coastline, so pop on your running shoes and go explore. A fantastic promenade runs from Benalmadena to Torremolinos and stretches for miles, you can literally keep running to the airport. If you don’t fancy running along the prom you can hit the 6km of beach paths and paseos of Fuengirola. Running on the beach improves leg strength and balance and is a great way to mix up your running routine. I can’t think of a better way to start the day than with an early morning run whilst the sun rises.

How many calories can you burn? You can expect to burn between 100 – 150 calories per mile depending on how much you weigh.

I will be one of those early morning runners you see or don’t see if you like a lie in, as I find leaving it till later in the day increases the chance of me finding an excuse not to do it. I usually arrive back at the hotel while the rest of the family is just waking up so it never encroaches on family time.

My advice would be to take a drink with you and keep well hydrated. Buy yourself a new piece of kit as it’s a great way to be motivated as you’ll want to wear it.

Don’t beat yourself up if you skip a workout, tomorrow is another day.

Tell us how you manage to stay fit on holiday.

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