After all the stress of packing for everyone, piling into the taxi, realising that you’ve left the most important toy behind, asking the taxi to wait and finally making your flight with one minute to spare, all you want to do when you get to your destination is proceed immediately to the beach, lie down, and sunbathe to your heart’s content. Gobble down an ice-cream or two, try some local food, and down a few cocktails come evening.
But wait! Relaxing is great, and is of course very necessary to health, but did you know that if you’re a keen gym-goer the rest of the year, you can lose muscle tone after only two weeks of not exercising? And even if you’re not a gym bunny, whisper it… lying on a beach can get boring.
So what to do? If you’re on an all in one yoga and pilates and surf holiday, or perhaps a scuba diving trip, it’s ok, your fitness is all sorted. But most family holidays don’t include this kind of fitness regime. Perhaps you can find a gym at the hotel.
But much more interesting is to take a few tips from your kids. Most children are whirlwinds of activity, and may well show you the way forward in staying active. If you are holidaying at the beach you have all those water sports to look forward to, and hours of fun just swimming in the sea or a beautiful natural pool with your children can burn off more calories than you ever dreamed. If you used to enjoy surfing or bodyboarding, but haven’t done it in years, now’s the time to re-discover the skills, hire a board and teach your kids. They’ll be amazed and overawed that their boring old parents have such cool skills.
Try a trip with a guide doing some local rock climbing – equipment and guidance is generally provided or see what other activities you can sign up for together. Horse riding, boating, or exploring the local area on foot are often promoted, or if not, ask for leaflets at the hotel reception.
If nothing else, it can be fun just to explore the hotel’s corridors and stairs together, and see what’s hiding around corners… you may find a games room or that gym you’ve been looking for. Some hotels offer arts and crafts activities, which will both be fun and give you a creative outlet. Keeping your mind fit is just as important as your body! Painting and making things with your children can be a great chance to get closer, and give you plenty to talk about and remember later. And at the end of the day, take that healthy nap together – with all that running around, you deserve it!