05 Oct 2022

5 reasons why you shouldn’t exercise on holiday

5 reasons why you shouldn’t exercise on holiday

Many of us use exercise as a way of staying fit and healthy, both mentally and physically, so what happens when we go on holiday?

Some holidays are active, so it doesn’t make too much difference, but when you’ve booked a fly and flop escape, and are spending a week lounging about in scorching temperatures, should you be plotting in sweaty runs and workouts? Is it OK to embrace total rest, or will you pile on the pounds or struggle with missed workout guilt?

Experts reveal five reasons why it’s totally OK to step away from the treadmill this summer…

1. It’s good to break routine

“A fitness routine is a routine like any other. And holidays generally mean a break from routine”, says fitness expert Laura Williams ( “Removing as many everyday responsibilities and commitments is an important part of making the most of a change in pace and scenery.”

2. It prevents injury

Dr Jinger Gottschall, who works alongside fitness brand Les Mills (, is an expert in the development of sustainable and effective exercise regimes – and says it’s definitely OK to take a break from exercise. In fact, she recommends you enjoy a break from your regular fitness routine during holidays.

“Spending three or four non-consecutive weeks per year doing less training can be refreshing,” says Gottschall. “A break from exercise prevents injury by allowing the working muscles to rebuild and prepare for future training.”

3. Save your energy for sightseeing

OK, so most of us probably don’t exercise to the point of needing significant additional rest, but all exercise takes energy, notes Williams. “Everything from catching up on the Body Coach’s latest addition to squeezing those 10,000 steps in requires energy, and you may just decide to use that energy elsewhere when you’re on holiday.”

4. Absence makes the heart grow fonder

“Taking a break gives you time to relax and refocus, and this can make you appreciate the positive feelings associated with training,” says Gottschall.

And let’s be honest, workouts can become a little repetitive. “You might actually be a bit bored with your fitness routine,” adds Williams. “So take a rest. When you return to it, it’ll feel new, and you’ll have a better idea of anything that needs changing.”

5. Your body needs rest too

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Bryce Hastings, Les Mills Head of Research, says it depends on the individual, but if you’re feeling desperate for a holiday, chances are your body could probably do with some rest.

“Regular everyday exercisers are notorious for not taking breaks,” he says. “They establish a routine, which is great, and they religiously stick to it – potentially adding to the load when a new fitness class or training innovation comes along. Chances are, their body doesn’t need a fresh new training innovation – it may well need a rest!”

He recommends factoring in regular walks, and maybe the odd swim or a bit of yoga to keep the feelgood hormones going while you’re away. And then picking back up your regular workout regime as soon as your holiday ends, to avoid falling offing the fitness wagon.

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