Fun and active holiday ideas

Most people associate holidays with the opportunity to kick back, relax and simply do nothing, but once in a while why not change gear and make your break a chance to do something more energetic? We all know that it is important to stay active and exercise as best we can, whenever we can. An active holiday is a great way to put this into practice because there are benefits both ways; it adds interest and excitement into your break, while the change of scene will create more incentive to try some energetic new activities.

Two ways to approach an active holiday
There are two general approaches to organising a holiday with a more physical dimension. One is to centre your holiday on a specific activity, such as a cycling, walking or canoeing. An example might be a cycling holiday in Europe. You get the all-round low impact exercise benefit that cycling provides, plus the attraction of seeing, smelling, hearing and feeling the cities and countryside in a more direct and stimulating way. Being out in the open air and moving at a slower pace certainly gives a different perspective than seeing things from inside a coach or train at 80 kmh!

Such a holiday might take a little more planning to make it work, but there are many different tour operators who can streamline the process.

The second approach is to seek out a destination which provides a variety of activity options within easy reach. Bicycles, horse riding, surfing, kayaking, bushwalking and paddle boarding are a few examples. Some resorts may even supply or hire out the equipment needed for such activities and may also provide some recommendations on what to do and where to go. Do your research before you go and maybe plan an itinerary with one activity a day, so that you have a program to follow.

Here are some ideas you might want to incorporate.

Walking (with a clever difference!)
Walking is a versatile holiday activity because you don’t need much equipment, it is relatively low risk and it can suit all levels of fitness. It’s an ideal way to experience local attractions and natural surroundings. To add a bit more interest and physical benefit, why not try pole walking. Modified ski poles are used to give you an upper body workout as you go. It can increase stability, reduce neck and shoulder tension and simply make it more fun to do.

Canoeing and Kayaking
This is another appealing activity because of its low impact nature. The paddling action is great for the back, arms, shoulders and chest, but it’s also good for torso and core strength. It’s also a great way to explore many locations because you can access areas that may not be accessible by road or on foot. Inland rivers, lakes, estuaries and even sea kayaking gives you a variety of options. You can join a guided tour to keep it simple and to avoid having to buy and transport gear.

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP)
It’s the latest craze in watersports and suitable for all ages. Stand up paddle boarding is a great way to venture into areas with flat waters, such as coastal or inland rivers. The skills involved can easily be learned and it also gives you a great workout for core strength. Being up high off the water makes it a fun way to see more of what is around and in the water too. Organise a lesson and you will be away in no time.

Watery workouts
Why not turn your natural surroundings into gym? If you are staying near water or your accommodation has a pool, it’s easy to do a few laps, powerwalk in the pool, hire some snorkelling gear or join an aquarobics class. They are all low impact and being in the water is invigorating in itself.

Go ahead and make your next holiday an active one! If you've had a great active holiday, tell us about it. Learn more on how to submit a story here.