Summer Holiday Destination – Countryside Series 1/2

Seasonal Health 21 August 2017

Episode #1 – Countryside Workout Routine

This summer, you’ve chosen to go on holiday to the countryside… that’s a great idea! A stay in the countryside offers a huge range of low-cost activities that allow you to have fun with your kids while very discretely toning your body.

I think you’ll agree with me, just because you’re spending summer in a rural area doesn’t mean you have to turn into lazybones…

Is there a stretch of water nearby?

A lake or a simple pool, aquatic areas are very often converted by municipalities and offer numerous possibilities:

Swimming, of course. The bravest among us will try to swim across the lake and back, but don’t forget about the paddle boat; it’s an excellent way of toning your thighs and buttocks.

And if you want to develop the muscles in your back and shoulders, then there’s nothing quite like a boat ride, a rower is of the essence.

Fly fishing

Those who think fishing is a sport for layabouts or retirees haven’t tried recreational fishing:

  1. You walk long distances, often counter-current (excellent for the thighs).
  2. You have to cast the fly, which simultaneously demands precision and strength in the upper body.
  3. You have to “fight” against the fish to land it without it detaching itself from the rod (an iron fist in a velvet glove is required).
  4. You have to light the fire by rubbing a stone against wood to make it catch fire (well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the first 3 stages are no lie).

River touring by kayak

A cool version of rafting, river touring by kayak is suitable for young children (accompanied by an adult) and no specific type of physical strength is needed.

Like boating, it’s a good way of developing the muscles in the back and shoulders, plus the alternating movement from right to left is excellent for toning your waistline.

However, be careful! Don’t forget a helmet, sun cream and mosquito spray! When you’re just above water level, you don’t feel the water in the same way, but the glare increases the risk of sunburn.



Increasingly more municipalities demarcate hiking circuits and indicate the difference in height and the estimated duration of the hike.

Accessible to all age groups, hiking is an excellent cardio workout and great for blood circulation.

And if you have small children, bringing them in a baby carrier backpack will increase the intensity of your efforts (just like those soldiers who train with their “kit” on their back).



Husband or mother-in-law looking after the children?

If you’ve thought of doing a spot of sport, then now is the time to indulge in your passion for jogging.

Over the first few days, get to know the ground, it’s often more undulating than it appears, and identify “the circuits” that match your distance goals: 5km, 10km or more…

The village rugby pitch may also give you the pre-measured distances for interval training.

If you go on your own, remember to tell your relatives your itinerary and take your mobile phone with you.


Get green-fingered

Does your family home have a garden?

Your help will certainly be welcome and this little wander around the plot will allow you to discover sets of muscles that don’t often get a workout.

Pushing a wheelbarrow is excellent for the biceps, while digging will build the muscles in your shoulders and triceps.

Working with a scythe requires the use of your entire upper body and strengthens the obliques. However, you need to know what you are doing to avoid injuring yourself.

On 2 wheels…

From a simple bike ride to buy bread in the village, to a bicycle tour outing; the opportunities to cycle are numerous.

If you’re going with children, think carefully about your itinerary to ensure they can follow you. Or bring a trailer – that will keep them entertained!

Excellent for the heart, breathing, and toning the legs.

And for even more buttock action, cycle out of the saddle when climbing uphill.

…or the four-legged option

The children will love donkey rides and if they are big enough (or if you can get a kind soul to look after them for the day), you can also plan a horse ride for a whole or half day.

Horse riding strengthens your thighs and back.

It should be avoided if you suffer from lower back pain.

How about dancing?

Villages often organise fair and music festivals and if you manage to find out about what the local village has planned, you’ll have a great opportunity to work out while having a wonderful time with family and friends.

However, if you want to make the most of the benefits then go easy on the beer, soft drinks and ice-cream.


Have a great summer!