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Tips & advice for holiday workouts

It’s summer. The sun is shining. You notice that people smile at you more in the streets (or your local gym), and everybody looking, and feeling, their absolute best. It’s also the holiday season, which gives you the chance to take a break from your normal workout routine. After all, why keep hitting the hotel gym when you can do something new, fun and exciting. Here’s 3 ways you can work out while on holiday, even when your most pressing appointment for the week is to sit back, relax and soak in the rays. You’ll also find some quick and easy ways to keep up the hard work you’ve put in all year, and what you can think about packing in your suitcase to make it easy for you to snack on the go, wherever you end up visiting this summer. 

Enjoy some refreshing holiday swim workouts 

When it comes to staying healthy while travelling, swimming is a great all-round exercise which combines toning many different parts of your body at once with aerobic exercise. Additionally, the rhythmic breathing calms your central nervous system and floods your body with muscle-powering oxygen. Swimming is linked to a variety of health benefits, as well as being a lovely form of exercise to do in warmer climates. There’s nothing quite like swimming in a pool when it’s completely empty, so try to find the times that the hotel or apartment pool is quiet and get yourself in there. It can mean swimming later at night before getting ready to go out, or early in the morning before anyone else is up. 

If you’re a strong swimmer, then swimming in the sea will get the heart rate going much more than you might expect. It’s totally different to swimming in pools, with actual waves, currents, tides and weather to contend with. The British Swim School estimates that the amount of calories burnt in the pool is roughly 272 per hour compared to over 400 calories in the open water (depending on your stroke, effort level and weight etc.). Getting out against the waves coming in is already a great challenge. Once in deeper water, get a feel of the saltwater buoyancy and set off parallel to the shore. After seeing some of the sights like distant land or boats further out in the sea, you can practise your bodysurfing back to the beach. If you like to enjoy the sea but prefer to stay a bit closer to dry land, then try going in just above waist deep and walking along the coast. Powering through the water and keeping your balance against the waves is not as easy as it looks! 

A few things to bear in mind, even if you are comfortable in the open water: don’t swim in the open sea without anyone knowing where you’ve gone; avoid quiet times when there is no one on the beach; check the tides and currents to make sure it’s not dangerous; swim between any flags or designated areas; and try to swim at times when there are lifeguards on duty. If there isn’t a lifeguard, it’s a good idea to take someone with you to keep an eye on you while you swim. 

Packable holiday snacks for swimming success 

Swimming is a sport that requires a lot of extra energy as you work out many different muscles at once. Eat at least half an hour before going into the pool or sea and not anything too heavy to avoid cramps. We advise packing some healthy snacks into your suitcase like these Smart Protein Chips. These healthy alternatives to classic crisps are high in protein and fibre while being reduced in fat. Prefer a protein bar, but are worried about the chocolate melting in your bag? This Clean Protein Bar is a great snack with a focus on 20+ grams of high quality protein, without any extras like a chocolate coating or caramel layer. Lastly, while a focus on protein is understandable, healthy fats and carbs can really help with the aerobic part of swimming. With our organic Protein Snack Mix, containing soybeans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, you’ll hit all three macros at once. These organic ingredients are additionally naturally high in magnesium, zinc and iron so also contribute to normal muscle function. 

Go next level with some extreme holiday workouts  

If you’re not one of those people who can sit by the pool and relax all day, it can be a great idea to see what exciting activities might be going on nearby. You don’t necessarily need to take up extreme sports to keep up your fitness levels, but if you’re feeling adventurous — go for it. From kitesurfing to beach volleyball, canyoning, cliff diving, kayaking and more, there’s plenty to have a go at. These kinds of sports require you to push your entire body to the max, so they can really help burn off those big hotel breakfasts. They can also be quite dangerous, so always participate in a class where there’s a professional teacher or guide. Do some research and make bookings before you go to ensure they have space. If you haven’t quite decided where to go yet and need some fresh inspiration, check out these 6 unique destinations for an active holiday.  

Packable suitcase snacks for summer sportiness 

It’s important to keep yourself both hydrated and full of energy while you’re away doing your holiday sports. Especially if it’s on the extreme side, where you’ll expend a lot more energy than normal. We suggest you throw in some ready-to-drink Essential Amino Energy + Electrolytes into your bag, and perhaps some Rocket Fuel Energy Bars for that quick-release energy. It’s great to make sure you have something tried and trusted on hand when you need it. 

Incorporate dance and yoga into your holiday workout routine 

A yoga mat is surely one of the best pieces of exercise equipment to take on holiday! Yoga can be done almost anywhere; simply roll out your mat and you’re good to go. Alternatively, you can find the perfect spot on the beach and take in the sunrise or golden hour sunset while you pose. It’s an exercise form that even if bodybuilding or endurance running is more your thing, it’s good to do as it keeps up your joint mobility, flexibility and contributes to all over suppleness. It’s also something your body will thank you for as you age. The younger you start with it, the easier it is to keep mobile throughout your life.  

For something a little more upbeat, you can always try some dance classes. They’re available everywhere in the world. Tango in Malta, anyone? Just half an hour of aerobic dancing, like Zumba, for example, can burn up to 300 calories. Try to enrol in a class before you head off to your holiday destination to keep yourself motivated to do it. You could also pack some weighted bands (as long as they don’t make your case too heavy!) for a more challenging routine. 

Packable suitcase snacks for dancing or stretching the day away 

We suggest packing Optimum Nutrition's Fruit&Nut Protein Crisp Bar and our Body&Fit Smart Protein Drink to make sure that you can practise as long as you want without an empty stomach. This Isotonic Sports Drink is also a good one with the electrolytes needed to keep hydrated in hot or humid countries. 


Many countries do offer flexible gym memberships for travellers as well. If this is still your fitness regime of choice when you’re on holiday, it’s easy to get into a gym, be it at the hotel, a flexi local gym membership, or even to find an outside park gym. Again, we advise you to research it before you go. Enjoy your holiday this summer and most of all remember to get enough rest as well as exercising, so you can come back re-energised — ready to tackle your next few months’ health and fitness goals with the motivation they deserve.