Holidaymakers are now using their downtime to shape up, enrolling on yoga retreats, Nordic mountain treks or foreign boot-camps
Unwinding on a sun-drenched beach while sipping pina-coladas might seem like the ideal getaway, but Brits are increasingly using their holidays to get fit.
As workplaces and lifestyles become ever more sedentary, holidaymakers are now using their downtime to shape up, enrolling on yoga retreats, Nordic mountain treks or foreign boot-camps.
The number of Britons planning a fitness holiday has doubled in the past year with almost one in two looking into an activity break rather than the traditional ‘fly and flop’ vacation.
A survey by Travelex found one in the three people want to ‘tone up’ on holiday while nearly one quarter said they would like to lose weight.
A further 17 per cent of people admitted to booking a fitness holiday to concentrate purely on their wellbeing while others welcomed the chance to eat more healthily and improve their mental health.
Separate research by travel company Health and Fitness Travel found that staying active while on vacation is now important for 82 per cent of people.
“Gone are the days when people want to return from holiday feeling sluggish with waistbands that little bit tighter,” said Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel.
“With our collective life spans increasing by approximately 30 years, the importance of a healthy lifestyle has never been so important.
“More people lead cash-rich and time-poor lives making it harder to focus on their own well-being. A health and fitness holiday can be a great way to reset the body, learn a new approach and develop good habits to bring home.”
Traditional ‘boozy’ beach trips have also fallen in popularity with travellers no longer lured by calorie-laden cocktails. Only one in 20 people said they would want to go on a group drinking holiday according to the Travelex survey.
And fitness fanatics are increasingly choosing novel activities in intriguing locations such as long distance ice-skating in Sweden, rooftop yoga classes in Venice, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and learning to fly on a trapeze in Bali.
Faya Nilsson from fitness blog Fitness on Toast said: “These results show that we are definitely looking to prioritise health in our spare time.
“It’s really encouraging to see such an increase in people heading on a fitness break this year. There are so many exotic destinations you can jet off to, that don’t cost the earth, so there’s no excuse not to make 2015 your fittest year of travel yet.”
Yoga, dance classes and meditation were also included at the top of the list for healthy holiday activities.
Mountain biking polled fifth on the list of holiday activities, showing Brits are also looking abroad for their adrenaline rush.
“Ditching waist-expanding getaways for active and healthy holidays combines the fun of travel with fitness focussed activities such as yoga, beach boxing and hiking,” added Mr Joseph.
“People don’t wish to sit on a beach sunning themselves for 10 hours a day, they want to return home with lasting benefits, long after the tan’s faded.”
Elvin Eldi from Travelex added: “Although the tourism industry has always offered healthy getaways, our research shows that fitness holidays are not only becoming more popular, they’re also increasingly destinations where we wouldn’t have considered to go on holiday such as Tanzania and Finland.
“The increasing popularity has in turn created healthy competition meaning fitness getaways needn’t cost an arm and a leg.
“With the pound up against many of the up and coming fitness destinations, losing pounds this summer doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.”