How to stay fit while on holiday

We all love an exercise routine, especially when we’re able to stick to it and see improvements. But what happens when we go on holiday? I’ve definitely found myself guilty of eating unhealthily while travelling and then struggling to motivate myself to return to the gym when I get home. This year, I’m determined to stay active throughout the year, even when a holiday results in a small break from my usual routine.

First, figure out what activities you enjoy.
Whether that’s going to the gym, bouldering, cycling, running, kayaking, yoga etc. There’s so much to choose from! Find the sports you enjoy and then build them into a weekly routine.

When you’re on holiday
You won’t be able to follow your usual fitness routine while away but you can still remain active in other ways. Try the following:

1. Park Run
If you enjoy running, you may already heard of an event called Park Run. It’s a timed 5km event held in parks across the world every Saturday at 9am. Look up whether the city you’re travelling to has a Park Run event and join in! Here’s a link to the UK Park Run events:

2. Free Walking Tour
I discovered Free Walking Tours when I first went interrailing. These tours are great for solo travellers as it’s a great way to meet new people. The idea of the tour is that you tip the tour guide at the end, based on how much you think the tour is worth. Tour guides usually talk about the history of the city, the people and languages, things to do and places to eat at. The most energetic walking tour I did was in Sintra, Portugal. We hiked up to the fairytale castles.

Sintra, Portugal (April, 2018)

3. Rent a bike
Whether that’s a public city bike, road bike or mountain bike, get cycling! My favourite cycling adventure abroad was in Meteora, Greece. We rented mountain bikes in the town and then cycled all the way up to the monasteries. The views were beautiful!

Meteora, Greece (Sep 2020)

4. Go on a hike
I love hiking (see my post on hiking in Wales!). There are so many opportunities to hike or walk when on holiday. Here are a few of my favourites.

Nafplion, Greece. A hike to the fortress on the hill. Sep, 2020
Grande-Dixance Dam, Switzerland (Summer, 2017).
Wildspitz, Switzerland (Nov 2018)
Albanian Alps, June 2018

5. Watersports
If you’re by a sea or lake, you could go kayaking, canoeing, sailing, swimming and more.

Lake Komani, Albania (June, 2018)

6. Other ideas
Yoga on the beach, indoor/outdoor bouldering and climbing, via ferrata, skiing, ice skating, paragliding, scuba diving.

My favourite Welsh hikes

I moved to Wales in 2018, after graduating from university. One of my favourite things about living here is definitely the outdoorsy feel to the country and the variety of hiking trails on offer. There are many hiking routes that are reachable by train. But having a car does open up more hiking opportunities.

My favourite time of the year to hike is the spring/summer because you’re more likely to find a clear warm day where the views will be…viewable. Hiking in the autumn is also enjoyable but you’re more likely to experience wet, windy weather. And there may not be much of a view when you get to the top because of all the mist and fog. However, the autumn and winter period is the easiest time to catch the sunrise since you don’t have to wake up as early. Since it rains a lot in Wales, it’s worth getting used to hiking in this weather so you can stay active all year round. Many mountains in Wales are covered in snow in the winter too. Though if you hike in the winter, make sure you’re prepared for the weather conditions! I am yet to do a snowy hike in Wales.

A few of my favourite hikes below!

Garth Hill
Garth Hill was my first hike in Wales. This small hill is just outside Cardiff and easily reachable by train or bus. Take the train to Taffs Well station and hike up from there. If you drive over, you can park further up to shorten the route. This hike is perfect for beginners (I’ve been up there four times now!) From the top, there are views of Cardiff and the Bay. See if you can spot Castell Coch too! On the way back down, feel free to stop at the Gwaelod y Garth pub.

Garth Hill (from Taffs Well station)

The Blorenge is a mountain near Abergavenny. You can take the train to Abergavenny and then walk through the town and then up to the mountain. This one is quite steep! But has amazing views of rolling green hills. I’d recommend going up the Blorenge on a Saturday. I did this hike on a Sunday and by the time I got back down, most restaurants and shops were closed. Going on a Saturday will give you the chance to properly explore Abergavenny too.

Blorenge (from Abergavenny train station)

Ysgyryd Fawr
This hike is also in the Abergavenny region and easily reachable by train and car. It is the smallest of the three mountains surrounding Abergavenny. Managed to get up this one on a clear day in August!

Ysgyryd Fawr (from the car park)

Sugar Loaf
The Sugar Loaf is the highest mountain surrounding Abergavenny. Again, reachable by both train and car. If you want the hike to be shorter, drive to the car park and hike up from there instead. I can’t really comment on the views because both times I went up, it was very foggy and wet! But it was still worth the hike up.

Sugar Loaf (from Abergavenny train station)

Llyn y Fan Fawr and Llyn y Fan Fach
This is a very beautiful hike, located in the Brecon Beacons. It’s only accessible by car and it’s quite a scenic drive into the Brecons. I started by summiting Waun Lefrith first and then going down Fan Brycheiniog. If you want more of a challenge, do this route in reverse. Pack some food and have a lunch stop at the top. And take plenty of water – this is a long one!

Llyn y Fan Fawr and Llyn y Fan Fach (from the car park)

Fan y Big
Fan y Big is not as high as Pen y Fan but it’s still an enjoyable hike. Since it’s less popular than it’s neighbouring Pen y Fan, it can also be quieter. This hike is only really reachable by car. There is a bus that goes to Brecon from Cardiff but this stops on the main road at the foot of Pen y Fan. Fan y Big is a little further back so driving to it will be easier. For more of a challenge, you could hike up Pen y Fan and then Fan y Big in one day.

Fan y Big (from the car park)

Caswell Bay to Langland Bay
This walk is in the Gower. Park in Caswell Bay and then walk along the Wales Coastal Path to get to Langland Bay, and back. It’s a scenic, coastal walk, perfect for warm summer days. I’ve done this walk on a rainy day too and it was very windy!

Caswell Bay to Langland Bay from