5 Easy Ways To Exercise (And Burn Calories) While Travelling On Holiday

Las Ramblas

Hands up, those of you who try to watch what you eat every day but pig out once your two feet touches foreign soil. And who could blame you? Trying out the local cuisine of a new city is such an important part of travelling!

If you, like me, hate coming back to reality and seeing that you’ve gain a couple of kilos, check out these five easy ways to exercise while on holiday, to mitigate the waistline damage. We’ve included a simple guide on how much calories you can burn for each activity.

Walk Everywhere


If you’re in a central area, chances are, you can take a leisurely stroll to all the points of interests within it. Using Singapore as an example, it would be like exploring the Kampong Glam area, then walking slowly to the City Hall area through Bugis, then making your way up the entire stretch of Orchard Road. Yes, your feet might hurt, but isn’t that a great excuse to check yourself into a massage centre at the end of the day?

Three hours of non-stop shopping/walking = 405 calories burnt = almost two bowls of rice



Hiking is one of my favourite ways to escape the bustle of a city area, appreciate the natural beauty of another country, and torch some serious calories. It’s also fun to pack lunch and have a picnic at the peak or a look-out point along the way. The view at the top is always worth the huffing and grunting on the way up, I promise you. Plus, it’ll strengthen the muscles in your legs!

Two to three hours of moderate hiking = 676 to 1014 calories = three to five bowls of rice

Barcelona Spain Beach


Only for a short while, okay? Most of us hit the beach to frolic in the waters or lay immobile on a deck chair while we even out our tan. Next time, dedicate just 20 minutes to swim alongside the shore – not towards the sea as that can be dangerous – and you can work pretty much every muscle in your body: your arms, core, butt and legs.

20 minutes of swimming = 115 calories = about half a bowl of rice

Pullman bangkok hotel g


Let’s face it, who would ever go running or visit the hotel gym when you’re on holiday? To get similar benefits, you can do a high-intensity circuit in your hotel room. High-intensity exercise done in a short period for time has been proven to increase strength and fitness at a comparable rate to long hours of running or cycling. I suggest doing one called the Scientific 7-minute Workout – all you need is a wall and a chair (or the edge of your bed, if your room doesn’t have one). Do two rounds of this exercise while waiting for your travel partner to get out of the shower.

Two rounds of the 7-minute workout = at least 58 calories burnt = about one-third a bowl of rice

Note: This looks little, but it is based on a slow to moderate pace of work out. Go at the highest intensity you can (level 8 or 10, on a scale of 1 to 10 in effort) and you’re likely to burn more than that.

Mirror Club


There’s a reason why Zumba and Bokwa classes are such hits – dancing zaps major calories. Get your heart rate up in the club and if shorty gets low, low, low all night you’ll be working those thighs and glutes (butt muscles) too. Just remember to limit the drinks, okay? You wouldn’t want to wake up with a hangover while on holiday anyway.

Two to three hours of dancing in a club = 930 to 1395 calories burnt = about four to seven bowls of rice

Expert source: Bibi Chia, head dietitian at nutrition consultancy Live Wise.

Note: All calories burnt calculated using a 57kg woman as a basis. You are likely to burn more calories the heavier you are. Calories for rice based on a 200gm serving (one bowl).

About the writer:
Ruby Tan used to write for Her World, and is now a freelance writer with a dream to travel the world. She believes that the some of best things in life don’t have to be bought.