It is officially summer, exams are done and most South Africans are ready for their annual pilgrimage to the seaside.  And although we have that holiday feeling, it doesn’t mean we should throw caution to the wind and forget about healthy habits.


‘Statistics indicate that although we don’t put as much weight on over the holiday season as first thought, it can account for as much as 50% of annual weight gain,’ say Bonitas Medical Fund. ‘We would like to encourage South Africans to manage their health and to avoid being under pressure to get rid of extra weight after the festive season.’


Here are some tips on making choices to keep you moving while you’re on holiday.


Being on the road

It can be tiring sitting in a car, bus or plane for any length of time, so take time to stretch and flex. You can even do some toning why you sitting.  Squeeze your glutes, hold for a count of five and then release, one butt cheek at a time.  If you do this while listening to music, even better, by the time you have heard three songs you will have done a quick 10 – 12 minute workout and should feel a tightening in your abdomen and buttocks region.


Keep walking

Walking is easy to do and costs nothing.  Put on those walking shoes and stride off to the beach, the local park, restaurants, shopping centre or to go sightseeing.  Every city has sights to see, take a guided walking tour and discover more about its history, architecture and culture.


Plan fun family outings by visiting national parks and nature trails. Being outdoors and walking through nature is a wonderful mood enhancer.


If you are on a beach holiday then walk on the sand, the resistance of your foot sinking into the sand means your foot and leg muscles work extra hard to propel you forward.  Pack that beach ball and bat, it’s not only fun but also a good work out too.


Dance like no-one is watching

Dancing is another fun way to stay in shape. Not only does energetic dancing burn up calories but it is an excellent cardio workout.  It also has other health benefits, it increases flexibility, strength, endurance and a sense of well being.


Water ways

Beat the heat by swimming lengths in the pool, there’s no better way to stay cool while maintaining fitness levels.  Swimming tones arms and legs and is a good cardio work out.


Turn your hotel room into an exercise space

You don’t need a huge amount of space to do exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges – these are easy to do in your room. You can even do tricep dips using the bath.


Take the stairs instead of the lift, walk more, swim and dance and you’ll return from your holiday feeling good and without having added to your weight, the best way to start a new year.

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