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10 Ways You’re Burning Major Calories On Holiday Without Even Knowing It

by Pascale Day ,
10 Ways You’re Burning Major Calories On Holiday Without Even Knowing It© iStock

We all know holidays are the perf excuse to eat and drink everything in sight without even an inkling of guilt. Yeah, you end up eating the restaurant out of complimentary breadsticks, but you deserve it, because all that pool dipping is burning more calories than you think! Holidays are basically a week-long workout. We spoke with Lee Pickering, personal trainer for DW Fitness Clubs, and Lizzie Webb, ambassador of Merrell about burning kcals on holiday (and thus easing our breadstick guilt).

  1. · Hiking
  2. · Biking
  3. · Surfing
  4. · Wind surfing
  5. · Scuba diving
  6. · Kayaking
  7. · Swimming
  8. · Skiing
  9. · Ice Skating
  10. · Sup yoga

1. Hiking

Checking out the local area when on your hols is a must. How else are you going to discover your local bar or the best ice cream parlour? Lee Pickering from DW Fitness Clubs says walking can burn anything between 150-600 calories, depending on your walking style. For example, an amble around the local town is bound to border on 150 cals, whilst an uphill hike will increase the calorie burn and will bring you closer to the 600 mark.

Also, a quick tip for beach bums: walking across dry sand is not only totes romantic but a much harder workout for your legs than pounding the pavement, meaning a stroll along the beach will make your calves look killer.

2. Biking

If you prefer to discover your surroundings in a more romantic - and let’s face it, quicker - way, then hire a bike and go exploring.

Lee tells us the news we’ve longed to hear: biking easily burns a lot of calories. A lot. Around 600 cals per hour to be precise, depending of course on your intensity and speed. Our advice? Get a bike with a basket and fill it with goodies for a snack-and-wine pitstop. You’ve just burned 600 calories, you deserve it!

3. Surfing

If you’re holidaying somewhere that’s perf to catch a wave, try a spot of surfing. A combo of swimming and balancing, surfing is notoriously ace for working out your whole body. I mean, why else do you think everyone in Australia is so damn fit? According to Lee, and hour’s surf totals a good 300 calories, so floating around in the sea has never been so appealing. We couldn't agree more, Lee.

4. Wind surfing

Or, if surfing with a sail is more your vibe, wind surfing burns between 200-400 calories per hour. The rougher the wave, the more calories burned. It’s pretty much the only time we pray for stormy seas.

5. Scuba diving

If you are lucky enough to go on holiday in a place where you can scuba dive then always, always take up the opportunity. Because not only will you see a sh*t-load of beautiful wildlife that you’ve only seen in your David Attenborough-narrated dreams, but you’ll also burn a sh*t-load of calories too. (We're talking 300 an hour, to be precise.)

6. Kayaking

Lee tells us that kayaking will help to burn a massive 350 calories per hour. Lizzie Webb, ambassador and pack leader at Merrell, tells us that the biggest myth with kayaking is that it only works your arms - it actually works your entire body. Win!

​She says: “Kayaking stimulates muscle tone throughout your core as you stabilise on the water and engage your torso through rotation."​ This means that it also actually strengthens your abs, lower back, glutes AND thighs. Who knew that you were doing such a big workout whilst splashing yourself in the face with an ore?

7. Swimming

Swimming is pretty much an all-over workout, so any time spent in the water is in no way wasted. Whether you’re frolicking in the sea or doing a couple of lengths with your gal pals in the hotel pool, swimming works out every muscle.

​Lee tells us a casual front crawl for a half an hour will burn around 200 calories. So why not order a couple of cocktails to leave at each the end of the pool for a delicious, refreshing reward for completing a length - the worst thing that’ll happen is you’re going to break even on the calorie front, right?

8. Skiing

If you prefer your holidays a bit more on the chilly side then you’re in luck, because with snow comes skiing! Lee tells us that skiing is a great all-over workout that uses all your core muscles, so it’s no wonder that it burns around 650 calories per hour. Let’s say that again: 650 calories. Six hundred and fifty calories. In one hour. Someone fetch me my snow suit!

9. Ice Skating

And, whilst you’re there, a spot of ice skating wouldn’t go a miss, right? Lapping the rink will give you super toned thighs, and a go on the ice for an hour (after a preliminary practice half-hour where you fall over a lot) will cost you 450-600 calories.

10. Sup yoga

The latest yoga craze combines the most calming stretches and even calmer water. Confused? So were we to start with. But an hour of yoga on a stand-up paddle board just happens to be one of the most relaxing things in the world, and burns over 500 calories. The most chill 500 calories of your life.

Have you tried any of these activities on your hols, or know an even better workout? Let us know! @sofeminineUK

​This article was written by Pascale Day. Follow her at @Pas__

*Calories based on a person weighing 150lb (68kg)

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