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Everyone deserves a break (I’ve just come back from 3 weeks hiatus/holiday!!), and during this time I definitely minimised my training/exercise regime while on vacation (I have definitely put on more than a few Lbs. but I am going to address that in a different post :p) but I didn’t get rid of working out on holiday entirely and here’s why…

man running into distance on beach, footprints in the sand should you exercise on holiday 1

As an avid runner (as my regular readers will know) one of my favorite parts is running in new places and exploring new routes (at home and in new locations, wherever that may be) but while I was on holiday this time, I definitely got a few looks while running through the resort and one woman also stopped and asked why I was in running clothes if I was on holiday, so it prompted me to ask the question:

Should you exercise on holiday?

In my humble opinion, it is 100% yes, and that’s because I put on weight very easily and I am more relaxed with food and drink while on vacation so I don’t want to be entirely unhealthy. Exercising also helps me to relax and makes me feel better about myself which meant that if I can find the time to exercise on holiday then I will.

On the other hand, it is not for everyone, the one major downside to running on holiday (for me) was that I would have to get up early to fit in a longer run which impacted the amount of sleep I had because we were going to bed quite late meaning I would be very tired in the afternoon. But I weighed up the pro’s and cons and powered through because for me, exercise and running win every time.

That being said, working out on holiday shouldn’t be a chore because after all you are on a break and exercise can take on a lot of different forms so I decided to share some fun ways to incorporate exercise into your vacation so that you can be healthy AND enjoy yourself:

Beach Running/walking

Runners should enjoy the extra resistance running along the beach as it can work your leg muscles more. Alternate between wet and dry sand for a diverse workout but be careful with sand on slanted surfaces or hills as this can increase the risk of twisting or rolling your ankle.

Even if you are not a runner you can enjoy the beach, scenery and get a decent workout by just walking. Try aiming for a point or pier in the far off distance and walk as you go, take your headphones for some great me-time or a friend for a brilliant chatty atmosphere (plus you are guaranteed to get your steps in for the day!)

Should you exercise on holiday - beach walking/running

Don’t have a beach?

Make an effort to find a unique route or pathway, find a nature walk or just somewhere with different views than you are used to and you may find yourself on an adventure. Getting out is the first step to finding something fun and interesting that could end up being an amazing story later on!

Take a friend

Get other members of your group or family members to come with you, exercising is more fun with company and you are more likely to push each other to work harder. Aim to do something that you both/all enjoy so that no-one is feeling forced and everyone is enjoying themselves and you will probably have a workout partner for the rest of the holiday!

If you can’t find a family or friend who is interested in coming with you then don’t be afraid to find a workout buddy elsewhere. I’ve met loads of people running down the beach who are on their own as well and it makes for great company and meeting new people (bonus!)

Should you exercise on holiday? - Dad and I running on the beach
Dad and I running on the beach

Mini competitions

I have a competitive family so we are forever trying to outdo one another. Try and have a sit-up, squat or push-up competition or incorporate a round of exercises and see who can do it the fastest. This can mix up the routine and brings a HIIT element to your training which boosts your metabolism and heart rate quicker for a more efficient effect!

Alternate days

This is an excellent tip for making sure that you don’t overdo it and ruin your vacation (and it’s my favourite tool for at home too!) aim to do a big workout on one day and then take it easier the day after by doing something much smaller. This is great for you both mentally and physically and will stop you feeling as though you are too pushed while also allowing your body to repair if it needs too (it also stops the family moaning too much :p )


Most places for summer holidays or vacations either have a pool or the sea which means that swimming is an excellent, low-impact way to get some exercise and have some fun at the same time. Most pools are open really early so get down their quick and you’ll be able to get some lengths in before all the kids start to join in (a lot of places also have an adult’s only time so that you can utilise that).

Should you exercise on holiday? Try Swimming

Ball games

Buy a ball, that is one of the easiest and sure-fire ways to get some exercise in (especially if you have kids). This is because, when they are bored or have a few minutes they naturally gravitate towards using a ball and will start kicking or throwing it around which will prompt you to get involved. Take the ball down the beach for some fun in the sand or the sea or you can just find some grass and have a kick about. Ball games are old school but effective for raising the heart rate, getting everyone involved and having some fun!

Should you exercise on holiday?
Ball games on the beach!

To be honest, even if you make the effort to chase after your kids or take the stairs or even walk to the shops several times a day then you are stopping yourself and your body from becoming too inactive which will slow your progress and can hinder your return when you get back.

So, in summary and my humble opinion, I think the answer is yes, you should definitely exercise on holiday!

The main important thing to remember is that you should enjoy yourself, you are on holiday after all!!

You want to relax but don't want to lose out on your fitness gains while on vacation, I answer the question should you exercise on holiday once and for all!
Pinnable, Easy Peasy image :p Share for later!

18 comments on “Should you exercise on holiday?”

  1. If it’s part of who you are, yes, if not, no. My husband is an elite athlete, an ironman, he’s been training for an event for about a year now, it’s 2 weeks away. When we were in Nepal in February he ran up mountains, in Romania in spring he flew his bike over and cycled the mountain roads, in February in Sri Lanka he ran through small villages gathering crowds of small children around him. Then we drove across Europe, bike in the back, he runs or bikes every day to work in the city, slotting in some hill work in Richmond either end. I think he’s certifiably insane. Will be very glad when the race is over in 2 weeks! He uses an app called Strava, he competes against strangers for “King of the Mountain”. He smashes records wherever we go and gets very cross if somebody beats him when he can’t go back and reclaim his crown. I just sit on my butt. ( OK, so I go skipping up Everest too, but the running thing and I parted company years ago)

  2. Exercising on vacation for me is important since I always end up putting on a few pounds, it helps regulate that and keeps me from getting totally bloated and uncomfortable from drinking yummy adult beverages. I can’t wait until my kids are older and want to play a game of wiffle ball on the beach! I hope you had an awesome time – 3 weeks – that must have been great.

  3. Since holidays are meant for rest and relaxation, and since exercise is “rest and relaxation” to many people, I say go for it! There are so many ways you can exercise without having to retreat to your hotel’s gym (unless that is what you enjoy). My favorite is walking on the beach. 🙂

  4. I must admit it’s not the first thing I think about doing on holiday lol. Although I do try and swim whilst away. Some great ideas here though on how to encoporate it x

  5. I have friends who are on holiday right now and their instagram feed is adorned with photos of them in the hotel gym, it saddens me they cant relax x

  6. I love to exercise but get very lazy when the children are off school. I still try to run but we are always walking for miles so I do exercise a bit :)If not, I put extra weight on with the holiday food we eat!!

  7. I love to sightsee and explore so I usually get more exercise on holiday than before but I have been known to visit the hotel gym on a few occasions or use the hotel pool. I eat and drink more on holiday so any exercise helps to keep the weight down

  8. Yeah we should exercise on holiday I couldn’t agree more. I think most of the people don’t want to exercise as they see it as a chore, which is not, maybe as you said playing games or go for a run in the beach,.

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