Holiday Workouts - Keeping active & fit in hotels and at the beach


Do you head over to the gym when you are holiday?  Maybe get in a beach workout, a hike or head down to latest local trendy studio? Or, do you feel that isn’t really your vibe and you prefer to completely ‘relax’ whilst away?

There definitely seems to be a split opinion on whether to train on holiday.  Some people view holidays as a time not to think about health and fitness but to completely relax, indulge and enjoy their time off.  

This got me thinking that perhaps it is totally down to the individual’s mindset.  If staying fit and being active feels a chore, of course, it is going to feel like something you HAVE to do rather than something you WANT to do.  But…if staying active is something that you enjoy and are passionate about, surely, it is just an added element that just improves the trip.

I do know, nobody likes coming back from holiday, getting on those scales to see extra kilos staring back at you or squeezing into those jeans that fit before you went. Well, I’m here to tell you why I think training on holiday is brilliant and to give you some tips to stay active. True fact, I have trained on every holiday I have been on. If you don’t believe, ask my husband who has been dragged from gym to gym around the globe!



Firstly, it is great to try out new places. Especially if you are into fitness, it’s really cool to see how gyms / studios do things and you might discover something new you like. Also, chances are you will also meet loads of locals who will be really welcoming and to top it off, have loads of insider local information on what to do in the area! 

For example, last year we were all set to climb ‘Table Mountain’ in Cape Town after a class at Cape CrossFit. However, after speaking with the owner about our plans we ended up doing a slightly more challenging and off the beaten track trail called ‘Indian Venster’ trail. What a recommendation it was, awesome trek, spectacular views and really out of the way  - We didn’t see another person for over 2 hours and stopped for a picnic just before we reached the top!  All thanks to visiting the gym!

2. GUILT FREE (ish…)

Boschendal Wine Farm

If you are like me on holiday, I tend not to worry too much about having a really strict diet. Almost every meal we have whilst we away we are eating out and we spend a lot of time researching restaurants.  In my opinion it would be a shame not to really enjoy the local cuisine and wine (especially in Franschhoek!). Who doesn’t love a glass of Viognier from the farm whilst looking out over the views of mountains and vineyards?

Cafe Mantra in Camps Bay

Having said that, If I didn’t exercise for a week, it’s a shame to admit it, but I would feel guilty. Especially on holiday, when I know I am overindulging in things I wouldn’t usually.

Don’t get me wrong, you cannot out-train a bad diet and you certainly shouldn’t train for the wrong reasons but training on holiday does feel like you are restoring a bit of balance (or at least you are doing your best!).  Which does in turn, or at least for me, allows me to cut myself some slack on the stringency of my diet.


Anyone ever heard someone saying before a class…. “I’ve been on holiday and I’ve not trained for 3 weeks”. Well firstly, we all know that first workout back is going to suck.  You are going to be slower than normal, more uncomfortable than normal and your body is shouting “What the hell are you doing to me?!”.  Secondly, we all know that person is going to have the WORST DOMS in the next few days.

Is it worth it? For me, not at all.  I’d rather try to keep a reasonable level of activity on holiday than put myself through severe discomfort on the return home and to top it off, I actually really enjoy it!

Other tips of staying active whilst away!

 Exploratory run or hike - A great way to discover more about the area you are staying in and gather your bearings. In 30 minutes you could get 5km in, which means you would see a lot!

Hire a bike – Thinking of getting a taxi 5 minutes down the road, why not hire a bike instead? Here is some footage of David and I getting blown off our bikes in Camps Bay.

Running on the beach - Get the sand between your toes and go sprinting on the beach.

Get those laps in – If the hotel you are in has a pool, why not get a few laps in in the morning?  In between lying in the sun, try to get at least 20 laps of swimming in.

Sightseeing – Strap on your walking shoes and get out for the day.  Each city and town will have some much history, get and out and see it.


Hopefully, you are now all convinced about the wonders of training on holiday, so I have included below some great workouts you can do anyway and with no equipment!  Now there are no excuses.

Thea Hudson1 Comment