A holiday doesn't have to negatively impact your fitness and weight loss efforts

Emma Brown - Nutritionist | 01 Jul, 2019

A holiday can be relaxing, restful and physically beneficial at the same time – with a little bit of consideration and preparation. Combining sunbathing, sleeping and socialising with interspersed laps in the pool or walking along the beach, can create an effective calorie balance and help avoid the post-holiday weight gain!

Some great holiday options to counteract those holiday cocktail calories include:

Running on the beach: the sand creates an enhanced resistance surface and running at 5mph (12 minute mile) for 10 minutes could burn around 90 calories. Run for 30 minutes to burn 262 calories and 60 minutes to burn 521 calories.

Leisurely morning laps in the pool: 10 minutes swimming burns around 64 calories; 30 minutes around 192 calories, and a 60 minutes 383 calories.

Dancing in the evenings: an hour of general bopping around could work off 287 calories worth of evening beverages.

Yoga on the beach: a lot of hotels do classes (depending on the format of your holiday) and a general yoga class could burn around 225 calories for an hour's class. For Ashtanga yoga, it could be as high as 447 calories during an hour's class.

Pool aerobics: of the aqua zumba variety could burn around 249 calories for an hour's workout. More general aqua aerobics would be in the region of 255 calories per hour.

Sightseeing on foot: walking at a slow, comfortable pace (2.5 mph) on the flat and you'll be burning around 191 calories for every hour walked. If it was more of a rambling, activity holiday, you could be burning around 319 calories per hour.

Tips for holiday fitness success:

  • If you are on holiday in a hot country try to schedule your activity for first thing in the day – pre breakfast or post breakfast. This way it's taken care of and will boost your metabolic rate throughout the day. It will also set you up with a strong mind-set for the rest of the day's calorie-related decisions.
  • Sometimes little and often is easier and more achievable while on holiday. You could set yourself an alarm to snooze in the sun for 50 minutes followed by 10 minutes of gentle laps / playing in the pool. Repeated throughout the course of the day could add up to a substantial cumulative exercise effort.
  • Drink plenty of water! Sounds obvious but we often forget to 'up' our intake when in a hot/humid environment. When surrounded by water in the pool or sea we can neglect the water we need to consume!

Don't discount your ability to improve your fitness and stay on track while on your 'jollys', just give it a bit of thought in advance and remember that even the little efforts count!

Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.