Top health and fitness breaks for 2012

Beach view on Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife ©Leo-setä/Flickr

For fitness fans, the idea of a lazy beach holiday can be pretty disconcerting, especially if you’re used to regular workouts and are keen to not let your fitness levels drop while you’re away. But instead of resigning yourself to a week of enforced relaxation, why not try an activity holiday?

These breaks allow you to get away from it all, while still indulging in your favourite sports, and best of all you’ll probably end up meeting loads of new people too. With this in mind, we’ve put together our top health and fitness breaks for 2012, so get ready for the most energetic holiday of your life.

Active in Spain

Holidays to Spain are not usually known for intense activity, but if you know where to look then you could end up on the hike of your life. Tenerife has a number of walks for all abilities, particularly through Teide, the island’s national park and home to a fantastic variety of wildlife.

Confident hikers could also try El Teide mountain, although note that the height of the peak (over 12,000 feet) can induce strong altitude sickness. After a long day of walking, make sure to book into a hotel with an excellent spa to help you recuperate, the Costa Adeje Gran Hotel is a great option for those who like to be pampered, offering massage and treatment rooms for all guests.

Staying fit in the Caribbean

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a water baby, why not try a resort that offers plenty of swimming? The Caribbean is known for having excellent waters, particularly for any first-timers who are keen to avoid overly choppy waves. Many tour operatives also offer guided swims around the most beautiful areas, while some will even take you between islands for a real taste of the Caribbean. The swim between the British and US Virgin Islands is known for being particularly challenging, although you may have to prove your skills as a swimmer before a guide will take you on this one.

One problem with taking an activity break is that your companions may not be as enthusiastic at the idea. One way of solving this is to find a hotel that offers plenty of energetic daily excursions, as well as big swimming pools and a well-stocked gym. That way, you can still pack plenty into the break, while they enjoy a relaxing time by the pool. The Gran Hotel Bali in Benidorm is a great option, with a large, 24-hour gym, massage therapists and sauna to really keep your fitness regime on track.

Wherever you choose to go, the satisfaction of pushing your body and trying new things is often greater than if you had relaxed on the beach all day. Given that many people let the diet slip while on holiday, indulging in their favourite foods, getting plenty of exercise is also a good way of not ruining your hard-earned bikini body. All you have to do now is book your break – and dig out those trainers.

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