5 steps to take before your first active holiday

5 steps to take before your first active holiday – words Alexa Wang

Booking your first active holiday can be an exciting prospect, taking you to new heights — not just in terms of the stunning views you’ll come across, but also the increase to your fitness levels. Despite how fit you are currently, an active holiday is demanding both physically and mentally.

Catherine Allan is the Tour Development Executive at Macs Adventure, the leading UK self-guided holiday specialist. Here, she gives her top tips for upping your health and fitness before you gear up for the trip of a lifetime.


active holiday

1. Go for longer

Training is a must, so make sure you’re pushing your body to its limits to ensure you’re able to tackle any new challenges you may encounter. Start this prep at least a month in advance to get your body used to substantial physical exertion. Increasing the amount of cardiovascular exercise you usually do won’t only motivate you because of the additional endorphin release but, with your newly heightened fitness levels, you’ll be one step closer to a great holiday!

If you will be spending long periods on foot while you’re away, training on varied inclines and terrains can help prepare you for landscapes you might meet on your trip. So, don’t be afraid to take a walk on the wild side!

adventure holiday

2. Clean up your diet

If you’re an active person, it’s really important that you supply your body with enough protein to promote restoration and repair in your muscles. Upping your protein intake ahead of an active holiday will help your body to recover to cope with the increased amount, or intensity of, exercise you’re doing in preparation. When we eat protein, our body breaks it down into amino acids which are then delegated to a whole host of functions, including muscle-building, giving you more strength and endurance for your trip.

Choosing protein sources that are low in fat, like eggs, oats, broccoli and chicken, will keep you fuller for longer as well — great practice for your holiday, where you will need to fuel up ahead of an activity. If you’re taking children with you, it’s a good idea to cut down on the amount of processed foods they might be eating prior to the trip, as these can cause them to feel sluggish and demotivated, making the holiday less appealing and enjoyable to them.

active holiday

3. Get on your bike

If your holiday will consist of a lot of cycling, try mixing up your routes to incorporate a range of terrains and prepare you for any of the roads that lay ahead. If you’re an avid cycler, you’ll be familiar with the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) you can get from it. Make sure you keep up a good routine of stretching before and after each bike ride to avoid pain and potential injury. If you struggle with certain terrains or lengths of cycling, rest assured that you can tailor the grade — a.k.a. the difficulty level — of the trip to suit you, but we all love a challenge; don’t we?

active holiday

4. Walk whenever you can

Walking is a great way to get some cardiovascular exercise in and keeps you fit without requiring too much effort. Even if you spend your weekdays sat at your office desk, trading in your bus pass for some trainers, or slot in a quick treadmill power walk on your lunch break. Investing in a handy fitness gadget like a FitBit — or simply using your step tracker on your smartphone — will help you track your progress from beginning to end of your holiday prep. And, with visible results will come increased motivation!

5. Mix it up

Engaging in sports and activities that you don’t usually dedicate much time to will result in new-found strength that you will benefit from. For example, spending some time in the pool will build on the stamina needed for long days spent on the move. Adding some variety to your pre-holiday training will also mean you won’t burn yourself out on one certain sport before the real deal begins. Being able to juggle multiple sports per week will also increase your focus, providing you with a larger skillset and refined co-ordination. So, go ahead and throw yourself in the deep end!

An active holiday can be a lot of fun spent outdoors with close family and friends, but it does require preparation to ensure you get the most out of your trip. By following the above 5 steps, you’ll be well on your way to tackling any challenge your active holiday leads you to.

5 steps to take before your first active holiday – words Alexa Wang


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