Holidays mean long, lazy days by the pool and cocktails all night, right? After all, what are holidays for if not some hardcore R&R?

While the idea of doing as little as possible for a week or two sounds fantastic, if you’re used to keeping fit, you can actually find yourself less relaxed after too much lying down. A couple of days of doing nothing is great, and often a much-needed way to switch off from work. After that, it’s good to work in some time to stay active and maintain a bit of balance.

Good nutritionists, like the wise people at GP Nutrition, will always advise balance in your diet. Exactly the same applies to exercise, and pretty much anything else in life.

You can have fun on holiday and still keep fit. Here’s how.

Hit the beach for a run

Running on sand is much harder than running on the flat, so you won’t need to run as far as you do on the road to get the same fitness benefit.

It also means you get to spend more time on the beach! Beaches aren’t just about lazing on sunbeds, they’re beautiful places to explore. Run early in the morning or close to sunset when it’s cool, quiet and you can take in the views in peace.

Try out a watersport

Ever fancied trying your hand at windsurfing, wakeboarding or kitesurfing? Pretty much any watersport you can think of will work your muscles and your heart, even if you’re a total beginner.

Watersports can also be a huge amount of fun, and a great way to break up your sunbathing sessions.

Go out dancing

A few nights out on the tiles are an essential part of a holiday for most. Don’t feel guilty – get out there and dance the night away. Yes, you might be drinking but you’ll be exercising while you do it.


It’s easy to get sucked in by the sun-loungers on holiday and end up never leaving your resort. But wherever you are, there’s bound to be plenty to see and do away from the pool. A day out exploring is a fantastic opportunity to stay fit too. Just don’t hire a car.

How you explore depends on what you enjoy and where you are. You could choose a few local attractions and figure out a running route that takes them all in. Or, you could look for some challenging hiking trails to take on, ideally with a few hills thrown in. Or, if you want to travel further, hire a bike and see some of the local villages.

Take a HIIT

If you’re set on maximising lounging time, work a daily HIIT session into your holiday. All you need is 15 minutes a day to do some challenging bodyweight exercises, like lunges, push-ups, and burpees. You’ll keep your heart pumping and the holiday flab at bay while barely needing to leave the pool.

Get in the water

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Whether you prefer the pool or the sea, swimming is fantastic exercise and the chance to swim in lovely warm waters is one of the biggest pleasures of a holiday. Set yourself some small goals so you’re not just going for a splash, but getting a proper workout.