5 Reasons to pack your running shoes on your travels.

Along with the passports, boarding passes and sun screen my running shoes top my priority list whenever I’m  packing to travel abroad – whether that be for business or pleasure.

However, I am fully aware that mentioning running and holiday in the same sentence may well be an oxymoron for many readers so I’ll endeavour to explain my reasoning behind this.

(More) Relaxation Time

Travelling can be stressful at any time especially with children who can be extremely testing at times.

Yesterday for example my wife and I attempted desperately to enjoy a tapas meal at what was once our regular haunt pre-children, only to be interrupted by periodic regurgitations of food and embarrassingly loud announcements of

‘Mummy, Daddy I need a poo’.

And, only as I write my daughter is repeatedly asking for an explanation as to why mosquitos want to take her blood before she even contemplates going to sleep!

It is said that ‘patience is a virtue’ however if I’m honest I’m not sure that the author of that quote had children…

Time out is vital to help restore patience levels and a morning run for me is the best way to embrace the challenges of the day whatever they may be. (yes,even on a holiday!)

Beach running – My happy place!

Just make sure your partner gets their relaxation time too!

See the Sights

Exploring new destinations can be somewhat overwhelming on occasions and especially when travelling with a young family.

If you’re like me and experience a high degree of ‘FOMO’ (Fear Of Missing Out – for those of you not down with the lingo) sticking on your running shoes can certainly help you gain your bearings quickly and discover those ‘off the beaten track‘ establishments you might have otherwise missed.

You might even catch a glorious sunrise or two on your way.

Perfect that tan

As a Welshman I have to admit Wales isn’t best know for its temperate climate meaning that for much of the year we are more likely to put up an umbrella than douse ourselves in Hawaiian tropic – I mean sunscreen factor 30.

Given the fact that for the majority of the winter months I have the complexion of a milky bar I am therefore obviously not advocating buttering yourselves up and heading out running in the midday sun during the summer months, of course.

(Further to this when actually on  the beach with the family I seem to spend most of my time nestled in some obscenely large hole I’ve created to contain our periodically feral children)

However, an early morning or an early evening run will certainly help boost Vitamin D production which has obvious health benefits for healthy bones.

In addition to this I’m sure very few will deny that a sensibly acquired tan undoubtedly makes you feel better about yourself adding to the mental health benefits from not only exercise but being outside also.

Meeting People

It’s not uncommon to come across other fitness enthusiasts whilst out and about on your daily holiday run/exercise jaunt.

Whilst holidaying in Spain this week I have been greeted with a nod or an ‘Hola’ by the same dog walkers, walkers, cyclists and runners on a daily basis and even witnessed a Zumba class on the beach.

Running and Exercise breaks down those interpersonal barriers and may well allow you to sample a little more of the local language, culture and customs.

I should also add APPs like Strava are also great for creating local competition whereby local segment records for stretches of certain runs are challenged by runner in the local community.

Holiday Weight

How many of us step on the scales on returning home from holiday and are confronted with the horrifying reality that either the scales are broken or we’ve put on a few pounds?

I accept that many will point out that this is part of the course of going on holiday and of course I agree to a certain extent.

However, personally speaking a fews runs here and there mean that I can enjoy eating Spanish Churros for breakfast and a few beers (not at the same time) all the more without having to worry too much about squeezing into my suit on returning back home to work.

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