Exercise while on holiday

Being on holiday is a great chance to wind down, relax and de-stress from a  busy life. But that doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing. For many people, time away from the office or the responsibilities at home provides a great opportunity to add some exercise into their lives.

Finding a gym when on a holiday in rural Norfolk might not be that simple but the beauty of the countryside is the multitude of opportunities it offers to get out into the fresh air and do something a little different. Even for gym fanatics who work out every day, doing exercise that is different can stimulate different muscle groups, provide a new motivation and add variety to the usual routine.

Take to the water

Whether you are in a rowing boat, a kayak, on a paddle board or actually in the water, there is nothing so bracing and life-affirming as being water-bound. One of the much touted benefits of spending time by ‘blue space’, is the fact that being by water can lower your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And it can help your mind switch off from everyday life. For a fun day of paddle boarding, we recommend the team at North Norfolk Paddle Boards, who operate out of Wells-next-the-Sea and Burnham Overy Staithe.

Go for a run

There are runs and then there are hard-core runs. While your regular running route might be a five kilometre steady run around the streets where you live, throwing the occasional long, off-road run into the mix can really boost your fitness levels. Challenge your body to cover greater distances and keep working for longer. This will stimulate your energy systems to burn more calories. Doing a long ‘smell the roses’ run is also a great way to clear the mind. Try a section of the North Norfolk Coastal Path for an invigorating off-road run. Stiffkey to Cley is a great seven mile route. Or you can go for broke with a 21 mile run from Stiffkey to Cromer. The coastal bus service will return you to your starting point if you don’t fancy running back.

Take your bike for a spin

Cycling is such a great way to see the countryside and gets some good endorphins. Whether you love swallowing the miles on a speedy road bike or tackling the challenges of an off-road mountain biking experience, getting onto two wheels can be a real buzz. Norfolk has many quiet country lanes that are perfect for cycling. There are also a number of forest trails and ancient ways, such as the Peddars Way, that offer car-free routes. Huff and Puff Cycles at Kelling provide cycle hire plus information about the best local cycling routes.

Do an outdoor exercise circuit.

There is something just a little bit more challenging about doing a circuit outdoors. Whether it is the ‘back to nature’ aspect of jumping over logs or sprinting between trees or just the thrill of being outdoors in all weathers – an outdoor circuit can really tap into your inner-Bear Grylls.

Find an area where you can mark out your circuit. You might use props such as fallen logs, park benches or low-hanging branches. Then use your imagination to create a 10-12 station circuit based on the natural surroundings.

Rookery Farm Norfolk - play area

Power through some miles

A power walk across the gently rolling landscape in the early morning is a really brilliant way to start the day. You burn calories, get the blood pumping, clear the mind and you often see things from a very different perspective.