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Top tips for a more active family holiday.

Updated: Jul 25, 2021

I wrote this post in 2018. Back when holidays, especially overseas ones, weren't complicated by a viral pandemic or a strong desire to avoid aeroplanes due to the climate crisis (oh how things have changed).

But whether you're getting out of ole' blighty this summer or not, these top tips will still serve you well (even if you're doing it true 'stacation style' like us, and just taking day trips).

Who doesn't love a holiday? I absolutely love it when I have one on the horizon and look forward to a break from the routine to spend time in a different place.

And don't get me wrong, if you want a full on restful holiday with guilt free ice creams and pizzas, go for it. I often do but then I'm also often left feeling lethargic, blaoted and a bit run down by the end of it. I've learnt that I actually need to keep a bit active, even if I'm not going to the hotel gym or taking a run on the beach every morning. And there are a lot of ways to squeeze in some strength work and get the heart pumping without it feeling like a slog. Here are my top five tips for keeping up your fitness on holiday.

1) Take appropriate clothing, especially footwear.

Pack your trainers and some breathable clothes so that it is possible to move with comfort. This will be one less barrier to getting moving when it’s hot.

2) Walk with purpose

When you are sightseeing, choose some places you can walk to or park a little way out and walk a bit. Even short walks can get the heart pumping if you just pick up the pace. Ideally you want to get to the point where you couldn’t easily sing a song without pausing for breath. Your body will thank you for it later.

3) Play with the kids.

Now this one sounds obvious but much of the time we just want to sit back and sunbathe while the kids run around. But you if you can make the effort to spend just half an hour a day kicking a ball about, playing rounders or just chasing the kids in the pool. This believe it or not is a workout, but it won’t feel like one.

4) Be a big kid in the park

Wherever you are, if you’re holidaying with kids a play park is bound to be a main feature. Why not try out the monkey bars, do some ‘wall’ pushups on the ladder and some step ups on the bench. Why not try my favourite, squats on the see-saw? Standing on something slightly off balance will make you work your core that bit harder and remember to breathe out on the hardest part of the exercise.

5) Be adventurous

Ever fancied water skiing, diving, paragliding? Why not make your next holiday an excuse to do something fun and active? If it’s out of the comfort zone, then even better. A bit of adventure will do you the world of good and the endorphins will feel great.

So next time you go away, take time to rest but do get up, get moving and notice how different you’ll feel when you get back home, and you can still enjoy your ice cream.

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