If you’ve been hibernating the past few months, never travelling farther than the thermostat and the sofa, you’re not alone. However, unlike hedgehogs and dormice, you’re probably not going to emerge from your lair with a svelte figure. Here are our suggestions for places to get the blood flowing again after a long winter, Fitness breaks for spring:
What’s not to love about cruising Southeast Asia on two wheels? The terrain isn’t too rugged, the prices are cheap and there’s great food to eat wherever you stop. Winter floods in Thailand affected mainly the north of the country, so Spice Roads’ 10-day trip from Bangkok to the beaches of Phuket is still a fine option. Even in Bangkok you’ll get a workout climbing the stairs to the towering SkyTrain, and the city lends out free bicycles through its Smile Bike program.
The famously hilly city of San Francisco provides great passive exercise just by walking from the Mission to Noe Valley. Those who like to get wet can jump into things in the monthly swim across the San Francisco Bay to the island fortress of Alcatraz (see waterworldswim.com for info). Even if you’re not quite that fit, you can still don a wetsuit and hit the waves with other surfers off the increasingly trendy Outer Sunset neighborhood. The trick is then going easy at dinner – San Francisco’s restaurant scene is one of the best in the US.
Mountainous Andalucía is the perfect place for a springtime hike. If you’re feeling rugged, hit the Alpujarras – the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, outside of Granada – where villages are spaced easy day-hikes apart. Scores of operators offer bookings and luggage transport, so you can walk with nothing but a water bottle, snacks and maps. Definitely check out Alpujarra Tours, based in an excellent B&B in Mairena. If you prefer a little less up-and-down, walk the coast of Almería from Cabo de Gata north. On the way, you’ll pass beaches that aren’t accessible by car. After your workout, the hike up the hill to Granada’s Alhambra will be a piece of cake.
An idea for the more, shall we say, aggressive traveler. As the center of operations for the mixed-martial-arts battle known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Las Vegas is crammed with training gyms such as Tapout and Wand Fight Team. If you don’t think you’ll be motivated on your own, just check in to nearby Utah’s Biggest Loser Resort, a real-life experience of the TV show of the same name.