Who said keeping fit on holiday had to be a chore? The destination experts at Kenwood Travel jetted off to see if we could maintain our beach bodies while hitting the beach. Here’s what we learned…

1. Pounding the pavement shifts pounds

It’s time to delete the Uber app and put your legs to use. When it comes to keeping fit on holiday, walking is the easiest way to burn calories, especially on a city break. Locations like Barcelona, Athens and Rome are full of rich culture that’s best explored on foot. And even on a relaxing Caribbean beach holiday, getting your steps in is easier than you think. Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island in the Bahamas offers a morning power-walking session around the resort as part of a comprehensive fitness timetable. 

Walking to keep fit

Walking to keep fit on holiday

2. Water sports are fun, and fitness-friendly

When it comes to getting an adrenaline rush of the aquatic kind, you’ve just got to dive in. We learned that water sports are ideal for keeping fit on holiday, from stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking to banana boating and wind surfing. Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai boasts one of the most splendid beach fronts in world travel, with beautiful Gulf waters to match. So expect an extensive daily schedule for a range of beach activities and water sports, all perfect for both the young and the young at heart.

jet skiing

Watersports: fun and fitness-friendly

3. Swim to slim 

There’s no better way to cool off in the holiday sun than by taking a dip in the hotel pool, followed by a refreshing cocktail from the nearby bar. But, with the swimming pool at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, I guarantee it’ll be more than a quick dip. As the longest swimming pool in the Indian Ocean, it traverses the length of the entire island; a scenic and rewarding way to swim laps in paradise while still keeping fit on holiday.  

Swimming pool

Hit the pool to stay fit while travelling

4. Workouts work

Standing for ‘high intensity interval training’, HIIT has gained popularity in recent years for being a workout regime that can be done anytime, anywhere, with little to no equipment. So why not enjoy this fat-burning exercise with an ocean view? We recommend taking your workout to the sands at Mandarin Oriental Miami. With access to the only private beach in the city, this is the perfect place to ensure keeping fit on holiday is blissfully uninterrupted.

5. Everything in moderation

I know what you’re thinking – who wants to calorie count on holiday? While we’re not saying you have to survive on mineral water and salad during your getaway, bear in mind that nutrition plays a large part in keeping fit on holiday. BodyHoliday in St. Lucia is an incredible resort dedicated solely to wellness of the highest standard, especially when it comes to cuisine. Offering an organic garden, customised diet plans and consultations with the Resident Nutritionist, we learned that BodyHoliday is the ideal hotel to keep your McDonald’s cravings in check and, of course, admire the dramatic beauty of St. Lucia.

Ice cream trolley at BodyHoliday

Fun food and fitness at BodyHoliday in Saint Lucia

6. Rest for recovery

We learned that the post-workout recovery period is as essential as the workout itself, no matter how high- or low-intensity your session was. So, take five and make good use of your hotel spa. Especially if you happen to be staying at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui in Thailand. The Secret Garden Spa here is superb, and wholeheartedly dedicated to the wellness of its guests. Using traditional Thai ingredients, coconut scrubs, red clay wraps and lemongrass-infused oils, the massages and signature treatments create the kind of R&R that rewards keeping fit on holiday.

7. Gym’s the tonic

We couldn’t leave this one out! The classic way of keeping fit on holiday is to visit the hotel’s fitness centre, but we learned that there’s something about the shiny equipment and the picturesque views that beats your local high street gym. W Barcelona is home to one of the most beautiful gyms in the world; spacious, fully-equipped and overlooking palm trees and the bustling Spanish city thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. Whether you’re in the mood for a morning workout or simply looking to wind down after a day of sightseeing, we learned that it doesn’t get much better than W Barcelona.

8. Fall in ‘love’ with tennis

Keeping fit on holiday doesn’t have to mean dragging yourself out of your king-size bed at ridiculous o’clock for a mundane treadmill workout. Unleash your competitive side and head to the tennis courts for a bit of serve & volley your travel partner. Carlisle Bay in Antigua is home to nine courts and is one of the top resorts in the Caribbean for tennis facilities and tuition. Shoes, balls and rackets are complimentary, and tennis pro Clifton Simon is on hand with tips on how to improve your game. You’ll be so focused on beating your opponent that you won’t even notice that you’re keeping fit on holiday!

a tennis ball

Anyone for tennis?

9. You don’t have to bend over backwards…

But it helps. Whether you’re a self-confessed yogi or completely new to the spiritual exercise, yoga is the perfect way of keeping fit on holiday while practicing meditation and relaxation. We learned that one of the best places in the world for a yoga retreat is Amatara Wellness Resort in Phuket, Thailand. With a plethora of wellness packages available for guests to achieve a sense of calm, there’s no better place to relieve stress and explore the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of yoga while surrounded by the island beauty of Phuket.


‘Namaste on the beach and do some yoga’

10. Simply enjoy your holiday

Whether it’s a culture-rich city break or a fly-and-flop beach retreat, holidays offer an escape from routine. We’ve learned  holidays can work wonders for stress reduction and muscle relaxation, so if you feel like a second cocktail, go wild; you’ve earned it. Ikos Dassia on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu is one of our favourite continental escapes for holiday fitness while enjoying the finer things in life. 

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