Keep In Shape

At your destination

Staying in shape abroad


Holidays aren’t just about checking a new country off the list. They’re about experiencing a new culture. But, as this typically includes tucking into the local cuisine and wine, staying fit and trim while on holiday is a challenge.

A good exercise regime is all about routine. And a holiday is not routine. You don’t have access to your usual gym, you might not know a safe running route, your meals are usually prepared for you, and your sleep patterns are affected by different time zones.

Don’t let staying healthy be a chore on your next holiday. Follow these Nine Travel-Friendly Exercise Tips so you can enjoy the wining and dining without putting on the kilos:

1. Pack your running shoes

Even if you’re not a runner, taking a walk and stretching your legs is the best exercise for burning calories. Exploration is what travel is all about.

2. Pack your swimming costume

You can’t use the pool without one, and if you’re not staying in a resort, you never know when you’ll find a beach, or a beautiful lake, with shimmering clear blue waters to swim in. Have fun and splash around, but try to get some proper swimming in too.

3. Turn your room into a gym

If your itinerary is packed with sightseeing, chances are good that the only time you’ll have available to exercise is late at night. Spread a towel or a sarong on the floor for a good stretch. If you have a Pilates band, use it to keep your muscles toned. And turn those mineral water bottles into weights to shape up your arms.

Image of a boy playing baseball (catch)

4. Take some healthy snacks

When you’re out and about, it’s so easy to grab snacks from a convenience store or café, especially if the healthy choices are unavailable or sold out. Take a trip to a convenience store to pack some dried fruits and nuts. Enjoy your meals and experience the local cuisine, but reduce eating between meals.

5. A bit of everything is good for you

Another approach is to eat smaller portions. Have two courses instead of three, ditch the dessert, or eat an appetiser instead of a main meal. Restaurant food tastes great, but the main ingredients that make it taste that way are fat and salt. If you were cooking the same meal at home it would probably be healthier.

6. Have red days and green days

Mentally mark each day as red or green. On a green day enjoy the food on offer without feeling guilty. On a red day choose only the healthy options on the menu.

Image of a girl and her family blowing the candles out on a birthday cake.

7. Try something new

Travelling to new places gives you the opportunity to have new experiences… and that goes for sports too. Whether it’s mountain walking, rock climbing, horse riding or snorkelling, find a reputable company to help you try something new in a safe environment.

8. Stay active

Try dividing your days into two halves. Each morning, get up and get out. Choose an activity that gets your blood pumping. Take a long walk or take the children to the beach. Rather than sitting in the sun, organise a race, hire bikes, or climb the tallest building in the city. When you get back to your hotel after lunch you can relax and enjoy a good book without feeling guilty.

9. Ditch the taxi

Why use a car or public transport when you can walk and see life at your leisure? But do check out the safety aspects before you set off.