Fitness holidays: Inspiration for perspiration in 2013

Time to get healthy on holiday? These fresh ideas for active breaks should help you work up a sweat, says Aaron Millar

Get fit, lose weight … New Year's resolutions rarely last. A week into January and most of us are already wavering in our promise to work off that Christmas turkey. What's needed is a little inspiration to keep us going. Adventure holidays can do just that by putting fun at the forefront of fitness. Why pound the treadmill when you can run in the Himalayas? Why stay static on a fitness bike when you can cycle amid splendid mountain scenery? Or lap the pool when you can swim the Caribbean? Stick to your New Year's resolutions with one of these adventure fitness trips.

Mountain bike the Yukon

Swap static gym bikes for the wide-open vistas of the Yukon Territory in a new mountain biking trip to the wild north-west of Canada. Pedal through gold rush history and the land of the grizzly bear on more than 800km of mountain trails that surround the region's capital city of Whitehorse. Stay in luxury yurts, and dine on home-cooked Yukon food and locally brewed beers.

H&I Adventures Mountain Biking Worldwide (01463 239716; mountainbikeworldwide.com) offers an eight-day Yukon mountain biking trip; the price of £1,600 per person includes guiding, accommodation and all meals; flights not included. Departs 14 July and 11 August.

Kayak the coast of Scotland

Kayaking is excellent upper-body exercise, and with dramatic coastal views, you'll hardly notice the calories burning off. This new trip on the northern section of the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail – Europe's only long-distance sea kayak route – explores the wild, unspoilt coastline of Scotland's north-west coast. Share the water with seals and dolphins by day and stay in local family-run guesthouses by night.

Wilderness Scotland (01479 420020; wildernessscotland.com) has a seven-day Scottish sea kayak trail from £895 per person. The price includes guiding, equipment, B&B accommodation and daily packed lunches. Departures between June and September.

Freedive the Red Sea

Freediving conditions the body and relaxes the mind, as you focus on holding your breath underwater rather than relying on scuba gear or a snorkel. Learn the techniques of real-life mermaids and mermen as you explore the underwater world of the Red Sea in Dahab, Egypt. Stay in a resort on the beach, become a certified freediver and be at one with the marine environment.

Active Adventures (0845 512 1600; activeadventures.co.uk) offers an eight-day freediving trip. The price of £456 per person includes B&B accommodation, a four-day certified advanced freediving course and all equipment. Flights to Egypt are not included.

Hike to Everest Base Camp

Walking is one of the best low-impact exercises, and there are increased benefits to fitness from training at altitude. Celebrate the 60th anniversary of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's first ascent of Everest with a special anniversary trip to Everest Base Camp. Spend a night in Tenzing's village and visit the school in Khumjung that Hillary founded along the way.

The Adventure Company (0845 287 1198; adventurecompany.co.uk) is offering the 18-day Everest 60th anniversary trip for £1,959 per person, including flights, B&B accommodation, guides and porters. Departs 24 May.

Rock climb in Thailand

Rock climbing is a great total body workout that requires skill, as well as physical and mental strength. From Railay, on the west coast of Thailand, scale some of the world's best climbing cliffs straight from the beach. Combine expert tuition from local guides with pampering in a world-class spa and feasting on healthy Thai cuisine.

Adventure Temples (0843 508 5005; adventuretemples.com) offers an eight-day, five-star climbing trip from £2,495 per person, including flights, B&B accommodation at the Rayavadee resort, a three-day climbing course and a spa treatment.

Snow yoga

Work mind, body and soul while hitting the slopes. Expert-led morning and evening yoga sessions – specially designed for skiers and snowboarders – bookend strenuous days on the pistes of La Rosière, France. Your stay is in a chalet complete with outdoor hot tub, in-house holistic treatments and gourmet French food.

Adventure Yogi (01273 782734; adventureyogi.com) has an eight-day snow yoga trip. The price of £650 per person includes half board, local transport, twice-daily yoga sessions and a ski guide for three days. Flights, ski passes and equipment not included. Departs 9 March.

Swim the Virgin Islands

Made up of more than 100 islands, cays and reefs, the British Virgin Islands are ideal wild swimming territory. Stay in a resort on the marina of Virgin Gorda and explore about 5km of warm open water each day – including the chance to say you've swum from Britain to America (the British Virgin Islands to American Virgin Islands, that is).

Swim Trek (01273 739713; swimtrek.com) offers the seven-day BVI swim trek trip for £1,200 per person, including half board, swim guides and the services of a safety boat. Flights not included. Departs 23 and 29 March.

Run the Himalayas

Get off the treadmill and get into the mountains. Spend a week running expedition-style, village to village, from the foothills of Helambu, near Kathmandu in Nepal, to the holy lakes of Gosainkunda. You'll cover an impressive 88km of terrain on foot (with the longest day at 17km), retreating to family-run tea-houses each night.

Wide Open Trails (01865 577147; wideopentrails.com) offers the 10-day Helambu and Gosainkunda trip from £1,595 per person, including half board, transport and running guides. Flights not included. Departs 11 October.

Snowshoe the Pyrenees

Snowshoeing is excellent cardio-vascular exercise and a great way to take in stunning mountain scenery in winter. KE Adventures (01768 773966; keadventure.com) has an eight-day central Pyrenees snowshoe trip based at the spa town of Luchon, with easy access to a wealth of superb snowshoe day walks from easy forest trails to steeper mountain slopes. The price of £695 per person includes accommodation, equipment, most meals and an expert guide. Travel to France not included. Departs 20 January and 10 February.

Kite surf Mauritius

Work your upper body and abdominal muscles while having fun on the waves. Le Morne in Mauritius is one of the best places in the world for kite surfing, and the newly opened St Regis Mauritius Resort is minutes away from the best breaks. It's also home to the world's first luxury kite surf school, featuring one-to-one lessons, "kite butlers", and specially designed kite surf massages.

Luxury Holidays Direct (020-8774 7297; luxuryholidaysdirect.com) offers an eight-day trip to the St Regis Mauritius resort. The price of £1,619 per person includes flights and half board. Private two-hour kite surf lessons cost £150 (00 230 403 9000; stregismauritius.com).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, poses at the premiere of
people
News
people
News
The frequency with which we lie and our ability to get away with it both increase to young adulthood then decline with age, possibly because of changes that occur in the brain
scienceRoger Dobson knows the true story, from Pinocchio to Pollard
Voices
The male menopause: those affected can suffer hot flushes, night sweats, joint pain, low libido, depression and an increase in body fat, among other symptoms
voicesSo the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Life and Style
health
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Network Executive - Adrenalin Sports - OTE £21,000

    £19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for an exciting...

    Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Marketing Manager / Product Owner

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product Owner is required to jo...

    Guru Careers: Carpenter / Maintenance Operator

    £25k plus Benefits: Guru Careers: A Carpenter and Maintenance Operator is need...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen