Wellbeing

9 Ways To Keep Healthy On Holiday

Picture this, you’re on holiday whiling away warm days with blue skies, the sound of the sea yonder and salty goodness in your hair. Cocktails are in abundance, and dipping your toes in the turquoise pool is your newfound morning ritual. Your biggest worry is which restaurant you’ll pick for dinner and, of course, more importantly, which gelateria you’ll visit for dessert. You worked hard the last few months, both in the office and the gym. TREAT YO SELF.

But in the back of your mind is a guilty niggle that you can’t quite shake. You know the wines are beginning to catch up with you. And that 14th gelato might have been a step too far.

Such is the nature of holidays. They are a time to relax and let loose, and it can be hard to maintain a healthy routine when your body and mind go into kick-back-and-relax mode.

It may not surprise you to find that there’s a growing trend of travellers deciding to keep healthy on holidays. Holiday-makers are now choosing to work some health and fitness into their downtime, making that first gym sesh back just a little easier.

A survey by Hostelworld of 1500 people between 18 and 65 discovered that 59 per cent of Aussies now see running shoes as essential must-pack items for their holiday. It also found that 26 percent of Aussie holiday-makers exercise four to seven times per week while travelling.

And almost half of Australian travellers (44 per cent) typically try to eat healthily when on holiday, with 16 per cent actively seeking out holidays that are active.

“Staying fit and healthy really shouldn’t be a chore. It should be something that’s fun and revitalising.”

So unless you’re staying in a 5-star hotel with a top-notch gym, how do you keep track of those pesky calories and exercise routines when holidaying? Ashley Freeman, personal trainer and body positivity ambassador has a few tips and tricks up her sleeve.

“Staying fit and healthy really shouldn’t be a chore,” she says. “[It should be] something that’s fun and revitalising – the perfect thing to do while you’re travelling!” she says. Here’s what Ashley recommends for keeping healthy on holidays.

1. Hit the pavement:

First things first, ditch the taxis and hit the streets. Walking is an excellent way to burn off that ice cream. It’s also a way to add years to your life according to a study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This could be strolling around an art gallery or museum, or meandering your way to dinner rather than catching a cab. What better way to see the sights of your destination than by just taking a stroll?

2. Take the stairs:

Unless you’re above the fifth floor, think about ditching the elevator. Taking the stairs is a great muscle-mass builder given you’re working against gravity, and it’s also an effective way to burn calories.

3. Go prepared:

If space and weight isn’t at a premium in your luggage, maybe chuck some light equipment that mean you can do a quick workout from your hotel or hostel room. “I always travel with resistance bands, a skipping rope and a set of core sliders,” Ashley says.

4. Get outside:

Get a feel for outdoor spaces close by and scope out where there are sets of stairs, sports ovals, or running tracks nearby.

“Sprinting up stairs or the length of an oval can be an extremely quick and efficient way to get a great workout in when you’re on the road,” says Ashley.

5. Keep it fun:

Now this is one we can definitely get behind. Ashley says, incidental exercise counts too, which is music to our ears. Consider activities that involve movement such as paddle boarding, surf lessons, bike riding, kayaking, dancing and hiking. A few laps in the pool also count.

6. Commit to be fit:

Setting goals before you go can be helpful. Even if it’s a smaller version of your usual workout.

“Promise yourself to aim for at least 15 to 20 minutes of exercise each day,” says Ashley. “Feeling strong, energised and healthy will ensure that you make the absolute most of your time away.”

7. Use what you’ve got:

Think outside the box and look around your hotel or hostel room. Chairs, tables and steps can make excellent workout props.

“Think tricep dips, incline pushups, step ups, split lunges, box jumps and the list goes on,” says Ashley.

8. Don’t forget your supplements:

You are what you eat, so maintaining a healthy diet when on holiday is as important as when you’re at home. That said, savouring local grub is one of the best parts of a holiday so balance is key.

“As great as it is to relax your regular eating regime, it’s still important to keep up your basic nutrition to ensure you feel 100% on your trip,” Ashley advises. “I always pack my protein powder, greens and personal supplements to ensure that I am still hitting all of my nutritional targets.”

9. Your body is a gym:

And lastly, use your body as a gym!

“Your own body is all that you need to create an incredible workout! Burpees, squat jumps, pushups, planks and lunges are all effective movements that don’t require much space and provide a lot of bang for their buck,” says Ashley.


Alexandra Longstaff is a writer and stylist in Sydney. She is the founder of createthatcontent.com, editor for Festival Fans and has penned pieces for Grand Designs, AWOL, YEN and the SMH Good Pub Food and Cafe Guides. She likes salty air, friends caught in sunbeams, mountaintops, weird and wonderful homes and magical people with toothless smiles. When she finds any of these things she posts them to Instagram at @alexa_longstaff.