How to keep fit while on holiday

Holidays often mean forgoing our regular fitness routine in favour of a week of drinking cocktails by the pool - but even a few days without exercise could cause damage to our bodies.

A study from 2013 found a 10-day exercise hiatus can cause reduction in blood flow to the hippocampus - the part of the brain that’s responsible for memory and emotion.

This sudden reduction in exercise was shown to offset age-related memory loss, which shows that it’s not only your body suffering from lack of exercise, but your brain too.

Exercising while on holiday doesn’t have to mean strenuous workouts, which is why we talked to personal trainer, Carly Rowena who has just taken up a floatation fitness residency at Coco Bodu Hithi in the Maldives over summer.

Rowena told the Standard: “The best thing about holidays is the fact that you can relax which will help you to love your body even more due to the reduced levels of cortisol and increased amount of sleep.

“My top tip to stay relaxed but to keep fit is to walk as much as possible to increase movement - this is the perfect way to sneak in some exercise without it feeling too strenuous and it enables you to take in the local scenery.”

Often while on holiday, you’ll find that you’re walking a lot more than you normally would at home, often clocking up 20,000 or 30,000 steps per day. Other ways to unexpectedly exercise while on vacation are swimming, diving and snorkelling or renting a bike to explore your destination in a new way.

If you want to do a dedicated exercise every day or every second day, your hotel room is the perfect place to do it.

Rowena explained: “Your room is the perfect place for a workout, in fact you don’t even need to use anything just a little space on the floor can be enough for a bodyweight workout, however the bed or sofa can also work perfectly for triceps dips, incline or decline pushups and squats to depth.

“The best thing to do would be to write a list of exercises that you understand, decide how much time you have and repeat them until the clock runs out.”

Yet, Rowena said if you want to take a break from exercising, you can and should do that as well.

“You can always get away without exercising but for me it’s just not something I want to do. Whatever you decide to do on holiday make sure it improves your mindset and leaves you feeling relaxed and refreshed, if you don’t want to workout just add in more walks or swim or even ask your partner to dance in the evening.”