It's hard enough to exercise the rest of the year but add holidays to the mix - where routine is out of whack and you’d rather be doing anything but - and chances are, it’s not going to happen.

When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, consistency is key. If losing weight or improving fitness was one of your 2021 new year resolutions, a long weekend can be testing. Just when you’re getting into a routine, chuck in a long weekend and all the hard work of building a habit is out the window.

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While it might be the last thing you feel like doing, staying active while away can boost energy, improve mood, reduce stress and tension and, of course, help mitigate some of the extra calories you’ll likely be consuming. By the same token, don't stress about taking a few days off—skipping your workout for a few days isn't going to set back your progress and a rest day might be what you need.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite equipment-free, minimal-space travel workouts to help you make it happen no matter where you are. The best part? Just a 20-minute window is all you need!

According to research, short periods of intense exercise can be just as effective — sometimes more so — than longer workouts that you do with moderate effort.

Stair sprints

If you’ve got a stairs at your accommodation or even your local beach, then utilise them! Depending on the length of the staircase, do laps on and off for 20 minutes. Stair sprints are also one of the most efficient calorie-burning workouts. There are also heaps of effective bodyweight workouts you can do on stairs. 

stair workout

1 minute on, 20 seconds off

In your notes on your phone write down 10 exercises and do these consistently for one minute on, with 20 seconds rest in between. This is a form of tabata training. Tip: you’ll find a bunch of handy apps that have a specific countdown timer designed for tabata workouts. Depending on your goals – calorie busting or toning – below are some exercises that work well for this style of training:

Cardio-burning:

  • Burpees
  • Star jumps
  • Jogging on the spot
  • Squat jumps

Toning:

  • Squats (try alternating styles i.e. sumo squats, single leg squats)
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Wall sit
  • Plank

man squats

A targeted workout each day

Commit to focusing on a different area of the body each day. For instance, on day one you might focus on legs, day two arms then day three abs.

A hardCORE workout

20 minutes of all out core work. It’s super easy to do ab exercises on holiday as they require little space and no equipment. A few of our favourite ab workouts are planks, crunches, toe taps, flutter kicks and cross crunches.

Challenges

Set yourself a challenge each day to complete or beat the next day. For example, a wall sit – on day one aim for a two-minute wall sit, then on day two beat it! Or, change up the challenge for day two…two-minute plank, anyone?

Online apps 

Sometimes coming up with the workout is enough to put you off. Thankfully, there is no shortage of at-home workouts to give you the push you need. Just download one of our favourite exercise apps and you're away.

Clever ways to up your exercise on holiday

Walk as much as possible!

Don’t drive to the beach – walk (or run).

woman running summer

Sport games

Round-up the fam for a game of cricket, soccer or frisbee and clock up a few extra steps.

Engage your core while doing day-to-day tasks

Don’t underestimate the power of bracing your core while doing everyday tasks like brushing your teeth, barbequing or sitting down.

Get your squad in on it

If you have a work out partner you'll be more motivated. So, why not get the whole house in on some exercise each morning? Whether it's a quick run or boot camp, you're all guaranteed to feel better for it afterwards.

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