Active holidays

Important questions before an active holiday

Active holidays

Moving times

Do I need any special equipment? Am I fit enough for this sport? Are there any risks I should know about?

We have resolved to live a more active life. At long last learn scuba-diving, go for regular runs or practice yoga. But these resolutions often fade into the background in everyday life. Job and family don't leave us much time for achieving our fitness targets.

That only leaves us the holiday. On active holidays, those in need of a break can hike, cycle, go snorkelling, play golf or even risk a parachute jump. Travel agents have the right offer for almost every sporting adventure. In many cases, they join health insurers in offering fitness and wellness holidays for "active health promotion" to delight sports fans.


Bike tours are particularly popular with the active holidaymaker. The tours can be really strenuous on trips over mountains and through valleys, across deserts or through ice and snow. You can effectively counter problems with saddle discomfort as well as back and neck pain by positioning the handlebars and the saddle correctly.

Boost your immune system beforehand so you don't catch a cold: a perspiring body can be cooled down too much by the airflow. You can best prevent this by having saunas and alternating warm and cold baths or showers. Functional clothing is also very important. (Source: Adventure Cycling Association)

Mountain trekking

Extreme temperature differences and higher than normal altitudes. These are the greatest challenges when mountaineering and mountain trekking. To stop the body overheating or cooling down too much, you should wear functional clothing based on the multilayer principle.

Simply pull on a light T-shirt, a fleece and a weatherproof jacket, one over the other. A slow ascent is the best protection against altitude sickness. Once above 2,500 metres [about 8,000 ft], do not climb more than 500 metres in altitude a day. Furthermore: go back down a little to sleep and don't stay at high altitudes for too long. (Source: Fjällräven)

Water sports

Splashing around, snorkelling and swimming are among the most popular seaside holiday pastimes. But here too there are health risks that are simple to avoid. If possible, keep your head above water to avoid swallowing any water. It might contain harmful germs.

Wearing bathing shoes protects against injuries and fungal infections. Don't jump into cold water if you're too hot and don't forget sun screen, especially when you're snorkelling. The UV rays penetrate the water to a depth of about one metre, where they can still cause sunburn. (Source: Outdoor Swimming Society)

New sports

Before you start learning a new sport on holiday, you should check with a doctor whether you are physically fit enough for it. It is also advisable to start training a few weeks before your holiday starts.

Book a place on a beginners' course under the supervision of an experienced trainer and make sure that that you alternate between active and resting phases often and regularly. Also find out about the safety rules.

Supports and compression garments in your luggage

The whole point of an active holiday is to arrive at your destination safe and healthy and to return home safely and even more healthy and fitter. This is why you should take precautions to prevent traveller's thrombosis and to protect yourself against injury while on holiday. There are effective orthopaedic medical devices such as supports and compression garments for this. You can buy medi’s special travel socks over the counter from a surgical appliance retailer. With their controlled pressure gradient decreasing up towards the thigh, they activate the muscle pump and thus stimulate the blood circulation.

If you have already had an injury, you should pack a support in your suitcase. This can help after sports injuries and joint conditions and give you more confidence and a stronger feeling of stability. Knee supports, for example Genumedi with its silicone patella ring, have proved their worth time and time again for mild instability of the knee joint, joint effusion and swelling, irritative conditions, osteoarthritis, arthritis and meniscus injuries. Stay on the safe side, ask a medical retailer for advice. Because, once you are properly equipped, you can actively explore your holiday destination and do something for your health at the same time.