Vacation: A time for relaxation or getting fit?


Do you go to the gym while on vacation? Source: Remi Jacquaint / Unsplash

FOR some, the thought of going on vacation to exercise is a hellish idea.

But for many others, fitness doesn’t stop when they take a break from the routine of everyday life.

Cue fit-cations, the art of vacationing and exercising.

Opposed to getting your “summer body” before vacation, fit-cations offer travelers the opportunity to get in lean shape on vacation.

As American Heavyweight boxer Gene Tunney once said, “To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.”

And this new breed of getaways certainly is giving travelers that radiant glow.

But contrary to perceptions of exercising, fit-cations don’t mean dawn until dusk appointments in a dingy gym.

Fit-cations can be anything from yoga retreats to surf-cations and sea excursions to boot camps.

The last one doesn’t sound too appealing, we agree, but they’re more fun than you may think.

We’ve put together a list of fit-cations around Asia to benefit your overall wellbeing and maybe even learn a new skill.


Whether you hop on a board at any sign of a crashing wave or you’ve never tried this notoriously cool sport before, there is no denying surfing is brilliant for fitness.

Surfing uses every muscle in the body, requires a huge amount of balance and fastens your core strength.

Here are some of Asia’s prime surfing camps for the newbie board-babe to the skilled surfing magician:

Padang Padang Surf Camp – Bali, Indonesia

“Many of our beginners have never surfed before but once tried surfing they will never forget that incredible moment when they caught their very first wave,” Padang Padang Surf Camp said.

Located in Bukit Bali peninsular, the surf camp is a brilliant place for people to learn to surf and hone their skills.

  •  Jl. Labuan Sait, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
  • +62 81999283549

G-Land Joyos Surf Camp – East Java, Indonesia 

“Surf Camp Indonesia G-Land Joyos is a magical place and one of the surfing world’s most incredible surfing destinations. For many surfers, its been a very special surfing site of primitive beauty,” said G-Land Joyos Surf Camp.

This camp is better suited to those who can already surf. But if you’re not fully at one with the waves, the awesome staff will guide you with their surfing expertise.

  • HUB Bali Nusa Dua Cafe, Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai No 75, South Kuta
  • +62 3614754230

Majestic Puraran Beach Resort Baras, Philippines

Wedged between the tropical mountains and the crystal ocean, Majestic Puraran only has six accommodations.

This privacy allows guests to have whole sections of the beach to themselves and not share the waves.

If you’re stuck between wanting an active and relaxing holiday, then Majestic Puraran is perfect for you.

The resort welcomes surfers of all levels and offers stunning surroundings for those who prefer bikinis and beaches to wetsuits and waters.

Yoga retreats

Yoga is a holistic workout aimed at strengthening the body and mind.

The slow transitional moves and stretching may look easy, but it’s a workout and a half.

Yoga helps to build muscle, improve strength and posture, prevents joints rubbing, increase blood flow, and boost immunity among so many other benefits.

The best part? It’s never too late to start practicing, and where better than on vacation?

Ananda – Himalayas, India

“Yoga at Ananda is completely pure and traditional in form, stemming from the roots of Hatha yoga and adapting it to suit individual needs,” said Ananda.

“It is a disciplined science teaching the techniques of the renowned Bihar School of Yoga encompassing all aspects of life in different ways and levels to balance the mind, body, and spirit.”

Guests can practice five types of yoga at the retreat including Hatha and Kriya. A yoga consultation will be carried out before any action to ensure you’re at the right level and won’t overexert yourself.

  • The Palace Estate, Narendra Nagar Tehri – Garhwal, Uttarakhand  249175, India
  • +91 1244516650

Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort – Sri Lanka

One guest said Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort is not a hotel, but a present for your health, “a good investment in your wellbeing.”

Barberyn Reef has made a part of the southwest coast of Sri Lanka its home. The resort is set along a seafront sheltered by a natural reef creating a warm lagoon.

The yoga packages are staggered throughout the year. The next one involves around four to five hours of yoga a day with two hours of treatments and yoga theory.

Whether you’re already super flexible or have never been able to touch your toes, Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort has something for you.

  • Barberyn Reef Hotel, Beruwala, Western Province, Sri Lanka
  • +94 342276036

Fivelements – Bali 

The award-winning eco-conscious retreat in Bali is renowned throughout the yoga-sphere.

“At Fivelements, Bali, we recognize that optimal wellness comes from embracing and respecting the body, mind, and spirit, where health and self-realization are reflections of the love, authenticity, and harmony within,” says Five Elements Bali.

“The practice of yoga offers ease in the body and peacefulness in the mind. More than an exercise, it’s a path to personal fulfillment, greater awareness, and self-love.”

  • Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa Banjar Baturning, Mambal, Bali, Indonesia 80352
  • +62 361469260

Boot camps

Fitness boot camps aren’t at all how the TV depicts them.

People being yelled at to push themselves harder and being belittled by instructors with bulging muscles? Forget that!

These fitness camps play to your strengths and interests. If you’re an adventurous person who doesn’t sit still on vacation then these are perfect for you.

Equally, if you’re looking to lose a few pounds this is a fun way to do so.

Titan Fitness, Phuket Thailand

Your fitness vacation in paradise is how Titan Fitness market themselves and they’re not wrong.

Based on the stunning Thai island of Phuket, the sunshine alone inspires you to get out and start training.

On offer is one to 16-week programs depending on whether you’re there for fun, to tone up or train for an event.

The weight loss program includes unlimited training, fitness classes, beach training, Muay Thai session, controlled detox and all meals.

The staff will keep you motivated to get the body you want, even when you think your legs are going to drop off.

  • Soi Ta-iad 22/45, Chalong, Amphoe Muang, Phuket 83130, Thailand
  • +66 76604022

Six Senses Zighy Bay

On Oman’s pristine coast is Six Sense Zighy Bay celebrating unrivaled beauty while combing wellness and fitness techniques to get you feeling your best.

Six Sense Zighy Bay takes a practical approach to fitness and delivers results for guests who participate in the program.

Customized training programs offer muscle toning, cardiovascular fitness, improved strength, and flexibility, or an all-around boost to your overall fitness levels.

  • Dibba 800, Oman
  • +968 26735555

Have we swayed you to book a fit-vacation or convinced you to order three pina coladas?