Fitness vacations or active holidays help you stay in shape as you eat and sightsee. Check out these great sporty ideas for your next trip.
Vacations can be the best and worst thing for your fitness and diet. On the one hand, you’re encouraged to get in your best shape for any upcoming trip. On the other hand, breakfast buffets and sampling local street food can be a death knell on your regular diet. To combat this, you don’t need to book a hotel with a gym or only ever go on adventure holidays. The trick is to plan fitspiration trips that mesh naturally with your vacation plans. Here are some suggestions that’ll have you working up a calorie deficit while enjoying the foreign landscape.
Go snorkelling in The Seychelles
It’s tempting to treat The Seychelles as just another honeymoon destination: sipping cocktails by the pool, taking mid-day dips in the ocean, dining alfresco under fairy lights but you’ll be missing out on quality snorkelling action. Whether you choose to stay on the islands of Mahe, Praslin or La Digue, the abundance of pristine beaches, often just a short drive away, is plentiful. A few choice spots to seek out: Anse Source d’Argent where emperor angelfish can be found in knee-deep water, the rich reef drop-offs at Anse Soleil and Anse Major, swimming with turtles at Anse Lazio.
Walk everywhere in New York
Even a city holiday can turn into a daily half marathon if that city is New York, where walking five blocks (approximately 1.6km) is considered a very short walk. Just walking the length of Central Park from North to South works out take about two hours at a leisurely pace. Otherwise, a full loop clocks in at 9km, not a long distance to traverse if you count all the attractions – statue of Balto, the sheep meadow, Bethesda Fountain, the Shakespeare Garden – to take in along the way.
Go on a surf/yoga camp in Costa Rica
Marry an eco-tourism adventure to Costa Rica with a few days at a surf and yoga camp in Tamarindo on Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province. Known for its excellent surfing conditions, the number of choice surf spots – Witches’ Rock, Playa Grande, Captain Suizo – and a slew of surf camp/accommodation options (Witches’ Rock Surf Camp situated beachfront, Iguana Surf Camp for a short three-day option), you’ll be chasing those waves in no time. Add in the town’s laid-back vibe, hip coffeeshops and acai bowl purveyors and you’ve got yourself the perfect #slowlife getaway.
Hike the Grand Canyon in Arizona
It’s a fallacy that you need to be super fit to hike the Grand Canyon. While you can’t do the 70km rim-to-rim route (it takes anywhere from five to seven days to complete) without training or preparation, there are other routes like the South Kaibab to Skeleton Point and Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point which can be easily accomplished in a day. These routes won’t be a compromise either, as they bring you along many switchbacks and spectacular lookout points to admire the Canyon’s raw beauty of cliffs, pinnacles and side canyons. This is a life-changing experience well worth bracing the elements for. Go prepared with snacks and a lot of water.
Conquer South East Asia’s highest peak in Kota Kinabalu
Surprisingly, no special climbing or hiking skills is required to ascend South East Asia’s highest peak (4,095 metres) but you will need to quell any fear of heights and do some pre-training (especially the ascent from Laban Rata) to complete the full 8.72km hike that typically takes two days. Use the first 4km trail to Laban Rata marked with stairs to acclimatise. The last 2km will be trickier to navigate as the path is mainly marked by rocks. The second part from Laban Rata will be more challenging, thanks to low-light conditions, gusty winds and portions where being clipped in will help you ascend steep rock faces. If the idea of giving up starts creeping into your mind, know that the view from the summit will be worth it. For the more adventurous, consider scaling the world’s highest via ferrata at the Panalaban rock face at 3,200 metres. There are a few options to select from, depending on your climbing skills.
Cycle round the Angkor Temples, Cambodia
It’s a given that the best time to visit the main Angkor Wat temple is at sunrise in the comfort of a tuk-tuk. However, a day pass isn’t sufficient to admire its full beauty. Instead, shell out for a three- (US$62) or seven-day (US$72) pass and rent a set of wheels (from US$4 a day from various shops in town) to explore the entire temple complex at your leisure. Jungle-surrounded temples like Preah Khan and Ta Prohm covered in silk cotton and fig trees are at their most beautiful when the sun is shining directly overhead. Other attractions like Kbal Spean riverbed, located some 25km from the main Angkor group of monuments, close earlier at 3pm – so proper planning is necessary. While riding around the back roads between the temples is a mini-adventure all on its own, having your own set of wheels also means you can leave the area when it starts getting too crowded, so your sanity remains intact.