fitness adventures

4 ways to send your fitness soaring with adventure travel

Written by Mark Coughlan

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Exercise is good for you. Surprising, I know, but it still feels like we all need to be told.

In fact, one in four Brits avoid exercise at all costs, according to research from the British Lung Foundation. The reason? They feel it poses a danger to their health.

True story.

While it’s fair to say both sexes need to get fitter and healthier, it’s us men who really need to feel the benefits.

fitness adventures

Diabetes, heart issues, erectile dysfunction – they’re all more prevalent in guys as we head into our 30s and beyond, and getting in shape can help to fight them.

The Royal College of GPs recently suggested that getting out and active is better than drugs (of a medical variety) when it comes to fighting the risk of illness.

With that in mind, here are four thrilling ways to amp up your fitness levels with adventure travel (which – we can all agree – is probably more exciting than your average slog on the rowing machine…)

Hit new heights

fitness adventures

We know that being at high altitude improves cardiovascular health, thanks to the lower oxygen levels in the air, and research in the International Journal Of Obesity has also linked high elevations to lower body weight. While the rolling hills of the UK have their appeal, you’ve got to go abroad to hit some real heights.

Read more: 3 recovery techniques every adventurer should try

Whether it’s the Nepalese foothills, Sherpa lifestyle and awesome views of Everest, or climbing over 5,000 metres to the peaks of Peru before camping out at altitude – and getting the heart pumping with mountain biking and jungle canopy walks – getting active at altitude is a massive step up from pounding the treadmill at your local gym. This is active adventure travel at its finest.

Head for the adventure capital

fitness adventures

Lonely Planet picked Chile out as the top world destination to visit in 2018 – so 13 jam-packed days will not only keep you active, but give you enough Instagram material to last a lifetime.

Read more: Life as a Flash Pack adventure architect

Trekking up mountains, rafting down volcanic river rapids, and a rousing hike through Torres Del Paine National Park are just some of the activities set to make you regret all those trips you spent lounging by a pool.

And let’s not forget, a bit of wine is good for you too, so a glass of Chilean red wine from a family-run vineyard will help seal an epic adventure travel escape.

Embrace the adrenaline

fitness adventures

If you’re going to swap the poolside lounging for something active, you might as well push the limits. After all, a raised heart rate means more oxygen is pumped to the brain, helping you think more clearly and unwind more easily.

Meanwhile, adrenaline helps certain muscles in the body to relax, including in the lungs, so your breathing improves.

Read more: The magic ingredient of Flash Pack travel

Abseiling, surfing, bungee jumping and shark diving all sound like the kind of thing that fits a thrill-seekers’ checklist, so why not combine them all on one spectacular adventure travel getaway to South Africa?

Or for something completely different, you could up the pace even more by heading to Sweden and combining ice rally racing, snowmobile safaris and a lesson in arctic survival skills.

Get active at your own pace

fitness adventures

At the other end of the scale, some people just prefer doing things at their own pace. While adrenaline is good in small doses, the same can be said for getting back to nature and relaxing. And getting active doesn’t have to mean pushing your limits.

Read more: 5 of the best beaches for solo travellers

A 2015 study by ecotherapists, working in a scientific field which is on the rise, showed that outdoor excursions have a positive mental health effect, reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Meanwhile, wellness expert Heidi Kristoffer says that yoga can count as cardio in helping you to lose weight.

A trip to Morocco is sure to slow the pace down, as hiking through foothills and surf lessons combine nicely with spa experiences and yoga pavilions overlooking the ocean.

Photos: Flash Pack and Shutterstock


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