A weekend away- automatically you might think of lazy days relaxing, eating out with good wine, maybe a visit to the spa?
While these types of mini breaks can do wonders for stress relief, one less often considered alternative for those trying to be more health conscious is an active weekend away!
Think hiking to gorgeous locations not accessible by car. Explore new territory by foot or pushbike. Beautiful beach walks. Making full use of the resort facilities- gym, pool, tennis courts, with a well earned massage at the end. Hire a kayak, surfboard, stand up paddleboard, or surf ski and get moving on the water.
The possibilities for getting out into the world (and burning calories while you are at it) are limitless and great for your health- here’s why…
1: When you are fascinated, time flies!
If you were told to walk on a treadmill staring at a brick wall for 3 hours, I doubt this would have you overflowing with enthusiasm. But when you are exploring a new exciting place, with interesting things to see and experience, hours can pass in the blink of an eye! If you are on your feet during this time you barely even notice that you are exercising, as you are so immersed in what you are experiencing. You can burn around 150 calories an hour walking at a slow pace, or around 300 calories at a moderate pace, throw in some hill climbs or carrying baggage and it will be higher. If you’re gone for the morning, that’s quite a lot of energy you will have burned off!
2: You’ll work lots of different muscle groups.
Compared to static exercise machines, where you will generally be in the same position- like a flat or slightly inclined treadmill or an exercise bike with the same movement repeating- getting active outdoors will work lots of different muscles. The ground will be uneven at times, you might have hills or stairs to tackle, your core muscles will be working to keep you balanced when it’s not totally flat ground or if you are on a bike, or you’ll be working against resistance such as wind, or water. Also, changes in direction such as during social sporting activities, or holding added weights like a tennis racket, oar, or backpack will incorporate upper body exercise into your day.
3: Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress.
It has been well established that exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress or anxiety, and vent frustrations or anger, and lead to more stable and positive moods for the rest of the day. Throw in the added benefits of exercising outdoors vs. indoors such as higher perceived pleasure, optimism, and self esteem, and you are looking at a great way to offload all those little moments of annoyance or pressure from your work week.
4: It’s guilt free.
As opposed to a Monday feeling like you’ve overindulged, blown your diet, or with a sore head from a few too many cocktails, and active weekend away will leave you feeling energised and proud of yourself. Plus, if you do have a few extras, you will know you can enjoy these and not feel guilty, since your body has been moving enough to counteract those few extra calories. Just keep to that golden rule- everything in moderation.
5: Variety means you can do more.
If you go for a morning walk, then go for a swim, have a fun game of tennis with your partner, and go sightseeing in the afternoon, you can fit in a whole lot more physical activity in a day than if you were to do the same exercise the whole time. And it wouldn’t feel like you were exercising, just enjoying yourself!
Imagine what a week could do…
If you’ve experienced first hand just how much your perspective can change over a weekend, imagine what could happen if you had an entire week focused entirely you- getting healthy, resetting your mindset to focus on health and overcoming barriers, and learning long term effective strategies to get your life and weight back in your control.
Learn why you should spend a week at OnTrack, our expert Devon Weight Loss & Fitness Retreat.
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