Were you one of the millions of people who were transfixed by this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games? Inspired by the achievements of the British athletes, there has been an increase in the popularity of fitness holidays. But what are the benefits of combining exercise with relaxation and what type of holiday should you opt for?

While you’re enjoying yourself on holiday free from the daily stresses and strains, it can be a great opportunity to take up a new hobby, kick-start a healthier lifestyle or just indulge yourself in something you love doing. Whatever sport you want to take part in, from water sports, horse riding or rock climbing to tennis, cycling and yoga, there are holidays all over the world, from the UK to the Caribbean.

Being active on holiday is far more cathartic than simply exercising at home. It makes it much easier for you to switch off from your day-to-day life and take your mind off all your problems. When you’re just sunbathing or relaxing, you often find that you start worrying about things that are out of your control. However, if you keep your body and mind active you’ll have less time to think about these things.

Take to the Hills

Exercising outside also has a positive influence on your body and keeps your brain working. You could use a fitness holiday to explore your destination by going cycling. This form of exercise has great benefits for your heart and helps to build and tone your muscles. Not only will you be keeping healthy and reducing your stress levels and blood pressure, but you’ll also be able to see parts of the country that most tourists wouldn’t reach. You’ll definitely go home feeling healthier and with a more positive outlook.

Make a Splash

What better exercise to take up on holiday than swimming? You’re in a beautiful location with a luxurious hotel pool and the warm waters of the ocean, so you could wake yourself up in the morning with a nice refreshing dip. If you’re not used to exercise, swimming is a great choice because it doesn’t put too much stress on the joints. If you’re a confident swimmer then battling against the waves takes extra effort, providing further health benefits. However, if you’re taking to the ocean make sure you’re aware of the tides and currents and tell someone where you’re going.

Stretch Yourself

If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation and exercise combination, then use your holiday to take up yoga. This is well known for helping to de-stress yourself as well as strengthening your muscles and increasing the flexibility of your body. If you really need to get away from the real world and take your mind off everything else that’s happening, then Ashtanga yoga is what you want. There can be nothing better than stretching out on a golden sandy beach with the sound of the ocean in the background.

If you’re looking to do something a bit different with your time off, why not revolutionise your holiday and take up a new sport? The aim of the Olympics was to inspire people to try something new and become healthier and a fitness holiday will enable you to do this while still having time to relax.