Cardio Workouts

Stuck for ideas? Try these… holiday Cardio WORKOUTS

Cardio Workouts

A few quick and simple high-intensity routines will ensure you sustain your fitness levels, and will also help you keep those holiday calories in check.
interval sprints

Take a 5-minute jog along the beach, park or boardwalk to warm up.

How: Next, measure out and mark a 40-meter section. Jog from the starting point at 75% of your max effort for 15m. Inhale at the 15m marks, and proceed to complete the remaining 25m at 100% of your sprint capacity. Exhale when you reach the end of the interval. Walk back to point A, using this time to breathe deeply as you recover. When you reach the starting point, immediately repeat the interval.

Finish off the session with another 5-minute cooldown jog or walk, and some sea-side stretching or yoga.

Bodyweight cardio beach circuit

Power squat jumps
Stand upright with a neutral spine and your core engaged. Squat down as low as you can while reaching your hands backward through your legs. When you reach the bottom of the movement, jump up as high as you can while reaching your hands into the air. Perform 20 reps.

Walking lunge with kick
Stand upright with a neutral spine and your core engaged. Take a big step forward with your right leg. Strike with your heel and lunge as far down as you can. Ensure that your front knee stays in alignment with your ankle. Step forward and upward with your right leg, and bring the left leg forward. Kick forward with the left leg. Repeat the same movement by lunging forward with the left leg. Perform 15 lunges per leg.

Crab walks
Stand upright with your feet together. Step out to your left side and drop down into a deep sumo squat. Rise back up and continue to squat walk sideways for 10 reps. Reverse the direction of movement to return to the starting position.

Sand dune climbers
Dropdown into a fully extended plank position. Drive your knees up under your torso in an alternating fashion. Keep the tempo high as you complete 10 reps on each leg.


get out, get active

1. Hire a bike
There are often bike rental options at most popular holiday destinations. This is a great way to get around town or explore the promenade or small coastal towns. You can also consider organized bike tours, which will showcase the sights and must-see tourist spots.

Tips for hiring a bike:

  1. Make sure it fits. The frame should be the right size for your height, and the seat should be adjusted to ensure the most efficient pedal stroke and comfortable riding position.
  2. Opt for women-specific bike saddles, if available. You’ll be grateful you did after a day spent in the saddle.
  3. Check the bike components before you set off. You don’t want to find something is broken after you’ve set off. Also, ensure there are a spare tire tube and a pump on the bike in case of a flat.

2. Explore on foot
A day of walking may not seem like a serious workout, but a few hours spent on your feet exploring the surrounding area is enough to burn some serious calories. Walking is also a highly effective activity to improve your health.

3. Go for a hike
Depending on where you stay, there may be a nature or mountain reserve nearby. Take a morning to head off and explore the great outdoors. It’s a great way to challenge your fitness on rugged and steep terrain, while also discovering new sights and sounds. Be sure to check local safety guidelines and weather reports, especially if you’re heading into the mountains, and equip yourself with a water bottle and warm clothing, at the very least.

Beach duathlon

If you’re feeling really adventurous, and the ocean or body of water is safe to swim in, why not try a beach sprint duathlon?

A traditional duathlon combines two of the three disciplines of triathlon, normally in a run-bike-run format. However, without access to a bike, your beach duathlon will follow a run-swim-run activity sequence.

the workout

Depending on your level of fitness and proficiency in the water, aim to run and swim in 5-minute intervals.

Leg 1: 5-minute run @ 75% effort

Leg 2: 5-minute surf swim

Leg 3: 5-minute run @ 95% effort

You can repeat the duathlon 2 or 3 times, resting between each set, for a serious 30-45 minute cardio workout.

Beach running guidelines

It’s important to note that there is a marked difference between running on the harder, more compressed sand near to the water, compared to the dry, loose sand. It is easier, and probably better for the body to run along the harder sand. Sand near the water at low tide is the hardest and most level – so checking the tide reports will be beneficial.

Surf swimming guidelines

Swimming in the ocean requires significant considerations. First and foremost, make sure your stroke is strong, efficient, you breathe properly and you’re fit and strong enough. Additional guidelines to consider include:

Don’t swim alone, and always swim on beaches where a lifeguard is present. Tell them where you intend swimming so that they know where you are and are more likely to spot you if you call for help, or to look for you if they lose sight.

Always check surf reports (usually posted on boards at the beach) to check prevailing currents and conditions.

Wear goggles and use sight-breathing – every few breaths take a look where you’re headed. This way you can avoid long detours taken when you veer off in one direction.

Respect the surf. If you are feeling nervous about the size of the waves, rather find a rock pool or public swimming pool. You must only attempt to swim through the surf if you are confident.

Know what to do if you’re caught in a riptide. Don’t fight against it. Rather swim parallel to the shore if the riptide has taken you behind the breakers to move in an arc around the tide to get back to shore.


Jen knows how to get her sweat on pretty much anywhere in the world. No gym? No problem! Check out some of her creative and effective workouts


Here are a few ideas to ensure you get out and get active to explore your holiday spot of choice, while also getting a suitable workout.

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