7 easy ways to stay in shape these summer holidays

Two female athletes
Two female athletes

Maximise your leisure time by sneaking fitness into your itinerary. Here are seven super-easy ways to stay in shape on holiday this time round.

1. See the sights on foot

Aside from saving on car rental and bus fare, you’re burning around five calories for every minute you spend hoofing it around town.

Plus, walking strengthens your abs not to mention the heart and lungs and if you do it on different terrain, such as sand or pebbles, you’ll get your muscles working.

To make your strides the fat-melting kind, think up and stay in shape. You’ll get a 60 percent boost in calories burn from walking uphill or climbing a flight of stairs.

READ MORE: ‘Strong is the new skinny’ isn’t as empowering as it sounds

2. Carry a load

Studies show that toting extra weight can help you torch more calories – up to 12 percent more while walking! In the gym, you’d use a weighted vest; on the street, stuff a backpack with a load that’s three to five percent of your own bodyweight.

Choose a bag with a hip strap to distribute the weight and minimise injury.

3. Burn more than 95 calories

While waiting in an airport security line for 15 minutes, walk through the metal detectors once, lift and lower a 20kg suitcase twice, then run for three minutes to catch your flight.

4. Dance your butt off and stay in shape!

So there was no room in your suitcase for running shoes. Don’t stress. Research suggests that busting moves on the dance floor can raise your heart rate as much as an interval session and torch mega calories.

5. Broaden your (muscle) horizons

Get out of your workout rut and try exciting new challenges to recruit muscles you forgot you had to stay in shape.

Upper body

Tone your arms, shoulders and back with these activities…

> Canoeing/kayaking

> Stand-up paddleboarding

> Zip-lining

READ MORE: Get your 10KM PB with these 6 tips from Soweto winner Glenrose Xaba

Lower body

Sculpt a gorgeous butt, legs and thighs in no time by trying…

> Cycling

> Hiking

> Rollerblading

Full body

Get a total-body turn-around with these summertime pursuits…

> Rock climbing

> Beach volleyball

> Waterskiing

6. Gain the outside edge

Not keen to break your routine? You can still reap the benefits of a change of scenery by simply taking it outdoors.

An Italian study showed that after two 20-minute workouts – one on a treadmill, one on an outdoor track – participants kept a steadier speed and reported a more pleasant experience when outside. Scenery might lead people to perceive exercise as less strenuous, says study author Dr Carlo Baldari.

READ MORE: These are the 100 women changing the wellness scene

7. Strike a balance

Balance training can help you build muscle faster, according to a study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Balance training may precondition muscles for strength training by improving coordination and motor control,” explains lead study author Dr Albert Golhofer.

Try this:  stand on one leg on a rolled-up towel while you brush your teeth in the morning, then switch to the other leg when you brush at night.

Looking for more? Here’s a beginners guide to trail running, plus six secrets for dominating those early morning summer workouts.

This article was originally published on Women's Health

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