Watching the sunrise from your hotel balcony, sipping cocktails on a yacht or enjoying a meal at a fine-dining restaurant are just some ways travellers would want to spend their much-needed holiday. But experts are urging them to add one more activity to their list: exercise. While exercise is probably the last thing a person wants to do on their holiday, at least 20 minutes of it can have health benefits and will leave one feeling great. Menzi Ndlovu, a fitness trainer, said a break from exercise when on holiday may not be a good idea.
“Just the thought of letting that hard-earned summer body slip away in the sluices of sangria and a stream of snacks should be enough to deter you, but if it isn’t, exercise during vacations helps stave off, or minimise, the associated holiday bulge.
“For those that are doing a decent amount of travelling, exercise ensures you have the energy to keep up with a hectic schedule. Starting off with a little jog or weight session or yoga should get you in the right state of mind and body, to keep up with a packed itinerary,” he said. Ndlovu believes a simple jog, some push-ups, sit-ups, planks, squats and mountain climbers, followed by a little static stretch or yoga could be just what the doctor ordered.
Edwin Govender, a former personal trainer, agreed.
“I know travellers spend most of their time on a hectic schedule, as they go exploring a particular city or country, however, at least 20 minutes of exercise a day, or three times a week, can be beneficial.
“The good thing about exercise is that you can do a range of them without needing any gym equipment. In fact, it has become so easy that you can do exercises on the plane, at the hotel or while out exploring a new attraction,” he said.
Here are some tips that Govender recommends:
ON THE PLANE
Govender said sitting on a plane for long intervals can shorten hamstrings and cause lower back pain. Being active on a long-haul flight is important. Try to walk as much as you can. Find an open space to do some cardio. He said three sets of cardio can help improve circulation and reduce back pain.
THE HOTEL ROOM WORKOUT
The best place to do some exercise if there is no gym in the hotel is your room. Govender recommends travellers to do it in the morning before they start their day of exploring.
“Try to get up early in the morning to start your workout. Recommended exercises should consist of a warm-up, resistance training and stretching,” he said.
Cardio to keep the heart rate up
Do this for 30 seconds at a time for each one and repeat three times.
● Running on the spot.
● Jumping jacks.
● Mountain climbers.
● Push-ups: Do as many as you can for 30 seconds. Once done, jump on the spot for 30 seconds.
● Sit-ups: Do as many as you can for 30 seconds. Once done, do jumping jacks for 30 seconds.
● Squats: Do as many as you can for 30 seconds. Once done, do burpees for 30 seconds.
● Plank: Do as many as you can for 30 seconds. Once done, do mountain climbers for 30 seconds.
One the circuit is complete, continue for 4 to 5 rounds.
Do a closing stretch.
When you’re out and about :
● Avoid taking transport if the places are nearby. Either walk or use a bicycle.
● Run around the hotel.
● Use the hotel pool for a 20-minute