Winter is a really tough time of year for a lot of people. It can be easy to slip into bad habits when it's miserable outside. And snuggling up on the couch is far more appealing than a workout. But, there's an easy way to recharge your body and mind this year, and that's a wellness holiday.
You might think this type of vacation isn't really for you, but taking an active holiday doesn't necessarily mean good times fall to the wayside. It's a great way to work on your wellness both physically and mentally. Here are five of the healthiest holidays you can take that are as rejuvenating as they are fun.
#1 Get your yogi on in India, Indonesia or Thailand
This one is a classic. It's the perfect opportunity to unwind and recharge the batteries with guided meditation, daily yoga practice, or even a massage at the spa.
A yoga holiday will help to improve your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing, and we can guarantee that you'll come back feeling like a million bucks. There are yoga retreats on offer in wellness hotspots like India, Bali and Thailand for all sorts of abilities.
#2 Hit the hiking trails right here in New Zealand
If the thought of a yoga retreat doesn't quite do it for you, hitting the hiking trails right here at home will give you a shot of nature you didn't know you needed. Hiking is one of the best ways to see our beautiful landscapes - and it's not only for experienced hikers. So, grab a backpack and some walking boots and start planning an epic adventure.
Ranging from 30 minutes to three hours to multiple days, both the North and South Islands have something on offer for every fitness level.
#3 Do as the locals do in Vietnam
Vietnam is known for its incredible scenery, interesting culture, picturesque beaches and yummy food. It's a sensory overload in every way, and a perfect place to travel to for a wellness escape if you're trying to leave the winter blues behind.
An easy way to stay fit during a trip to Vietnam is to do as the locals do and hire a bike. Cycling is the main mode of transport for locals in particular areas of Vietnam (like Hanoi, Hoi An and Hue) and is often the most effective way to get around. There are multiple tour operators offering multi-day cycling trips around this stunning country, so book your ticket and get pedalling!
#4 See the Himalayas in Nepal
When we think about the Himalayas, Mount Everest is front of mind. But for the average person it's not realistic to think we could jump on a plane and casually climb the world's tallest mountain. It also wouldn't be a very relaxing holiday.
The Annapurna Circuit is a great alternative. Situated in central Nepal, this scenic trek takes between 12-20 days to complete, depending on how you'd prefer to do it. Taking you through rice-terraces and up steep mountain passes, it's a once-in-a-lifetime trip that will leave you feeling fit and fulfilled.
#5 Kayaking in the Northern Territory, Australia
The Northern Territory's Nitmiluk National Park is a stunning place to explore. And one of the best ways to explore it is in a kayak along the Katherine River. There are a number of guided tours available.
It'll give your arms and core a solid workout, but the physical demand is totally worth the effort. Paddle through the network of red rock gorges, waterfalls and sandy banks and take in the beauty of this country.
5 more tips for keeping healthy on holidays
Holiday time can wreak havoc on your usual fitness and eating routines. If you're keen to keep on top of your goals while you're away, here are some easy ways to stay on track while you take a break:
1. Make use of the hotel facilities
Whether it's 30 minutes in the gym or a couple of laps in the pool, every little bit helps to strengthen your body and clear your mind.
2. Be smart with meals
By sticking to fresh and local produce, you'll be sure to avoid post-holiday regret.
3. Put on your walking shoes
It might mean leaving a little bit earlier to get places, but walking is a great way to explore the city you're visiting while keeping active.
4. Limit the cocktails
Limiting yourself to one or two sugary cocktails per day can be the difference between a post-holiday glow and post-holiday woe.
5. Pack snacks
Avoid impulse food purchases and pack some fruit to snack on throughout the day while you explore your holiday spot.