By Alice Cattley
Research has officially confirmed what we, at Irvetta, have long known to be true: going on holiday is good for you. According to the travel specialist Kuoni – who conducted a study in collaboration with psychotherapists and health care professionals – regular getaways can reduce our blood pressure, strengthen our relationships, improve our sleep patterns, and even help us live longer.
Combined with the emotional boost that comes from a relaxing break, it’s clear that travel works wonders on both the mind and body. But if you like to keep to a regular exercise routine when you’re at home, going away can make it hard to prioritise your fitness. For some of us, that’s the joy of a holiday – but for others, it’s a set-back. So how can you maximise the health benefits of your holiday without being able to follow your normal workout routine?
Explore the world of health and fitness travel
Ecotourism, gastro-tourism, even adventure tourism – the increasingly curatable travel industry means it’s never been easier to tailor our holidays to our passions. Perhaps the latest trend to have gained momentum is health and fitness travel, or wellness tourism, as it’s otherwise known.
This is travel with a focus on keeping fit and feeling balanced, from detox spa breaks and sports holidays to mindfulness retreats and healthy honeymoons. If you’re keen to see the world – and to feel your best while doing it – health and fitness travel could be the perfect option for you. After all, what could be more idyllic than a yoga class set amongst the greenery of a Costa Rican villa?
Make the most of your hotel’s facilities
If you’ve booked a luxury hotel or resort, such as one of these stunning eco-luxury hotels, it would be a shame not to make the most of the complimentary on-site gym and swimming pool.
Pack a one piece, ideal for high-intensity swimming, and head to the pool when it’s likely to be emptiest – usually early in the morning or during standard mealtimes – for some uninterrupted exercise that will keep you cool if the temperature’s set to soar. (Alternatively, look for a suite or villa with a private pool).
Our black and white Arabella one piece, with its classic silhouette and athletic contrasting trim, will make sure that you look good and feel even better – perfect for lounging by the pool, putting yourself through your paces, and everything in between.
Pack a portable workout kit
No matter how well-equipped your hotel gym might be, sometimes the best way to experience your local area is to incorporate your workout routine into the great outdoors.
Whether it’s a sunset run beside the sea, or a bicycle tour during a city break, exploring under your own steam is not just better for your health – it’s also better for the environment, reducing harmful emissions from sightseeing vehicles or an energy-intensive gym.
Pack a travel bag with some light workout clothes and a resistance band, and you’ll always be ready for some simple (but effective) bodyweight exercises. These are the easiest and most self-sufficient workouts, available anywhere and at any time.
Try doing push-ups against a tree, lunges as you climb your hotel stairs, or a crab walk with your resistance band on the beach. The sand will actually help you to activate your muscles and even burn up to 50% more calories, as the shifting ground doesn’t provide the same rebound effect as a solid surface.
Eat and drink well
One of the most exciting aspects of going on holiday is being able to experience another culture’s cuisine. Whether you like to use your trip as a well-deserved treat to indulge in the foods you love, or prefer to maintain moderation when away from home, there are certain ways we can all make sure we’re eating and drinking healthily on holiday.
We all know that drinking fresh water is important – in fact, although you’ve probably heard that we should drink eight glasses of water a day, recent studies have suggested that women should actually be drinking 11.5! Staying hydrated is more crucial than ever on holiday, as flying and high temperatures are especially dehydrating. Packing a portable water filter means you’ll always have access to safe drinking water, no matter where you are in the world.
Waking up to a well-balanced breakfast is also an excellent way to look after your health on holiday. Foods high in protein, with some complex carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fats (found in avocados, almonds and smoked salmon), will fill you with energy for the day ahead – even if all you’ve got planned before lunch is a trip to the private beach.
With so many healthy ways to enjoy a holiday, it’s clear that travel helps us live our lives to the fullest. What better reason is there to book your next adventure today?