We are in the dead of winter.
As the cold descends over most of the U.S., a lot of people are dreaming of sunshine and sand, looking to escape town for a few days to bask in warmth on a beach somewhere… anywhere.
However, we very often associate a beach vacation with inactivity, overindulgence and generally less-than-fit activities. But it does not need to be that way – in fact, if you do it right, a beach vacation can be one of the healthiest holidays you’ll ever take.
Of course, to keep them healthy, you have to eat healthy and drink in moderation; consider yourself warned. With that caveat, here are six very healthy beach vacations:
- Dominica – This tiny Caribbean island is pretty much devoid of unhealthy pursuits. It’s a great getaway for hikes in the forest, swimming in thermal pools and kayaking. You might want to investigate the organic gourmet meals they offer at the Jungle Bay Resort & Spa.
- Goa, India – If you’re looking to be healthy, why not go to the center of the yoga universe? Visitors rave about the beautiful beaches of Goa along the west coast of India, considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world. Goa is a former Portuguese colony, so there is a heavy Portuguese influence, especially in the cuisine, which centers on fish, fish and more fish. These beaches are very peaceful, the water is crystal clear – perfect for a meditative, yoga-influenced getaway.
- Hawaii, United States – Cheating a bit here because we’re staying domestic, but the surfing in Hawaii can’t be beat, and it’s a phenomenal workout, even if all you can manage is paddling while lying on your board.
- Tulum, Mexico – This is a terrific spot for a mind-body vacation, a peaceful getaway along the Caribbean and near the awe-inspiring Mayan ruins. And to make it healthier, check out the Bikini Bootcamp at the Amansala Resort; they’ll put you through your paces in power-ab sessions, bike and kayak trips, Pilates, and yoga, and serve up healthy grilled fish and jicama salads.
- Tarifa, Spain – You can have plenty of unhealthy beach vacations in Spain; they seem to specialize in hedonistic opportunities. However, Tarifa is (a little) different. It’s renowned for being one of the windiest beaches in the world, and that makes it great for the relatively new watersport of kite-surfing, a combo of surfing and kite flying that is a great workout. The region is also great for horseback riding, rock climbing and hang gliding.
- Any beach, anywhere. No matter where you are, the beach is a great place to get in shape; you just have to behave yourself in the restaurants and not spend the afternoon sipping beers. But long walks or runs on the beach are great exercise, and all that seafood is healthy, as long as it’s grilled or baked and not slathered in some kind of fat-filled cream sauce. And when you’re soaking up that Vitamin D on the sand, remember to wear at least SPF 30 sunblock.