Seven Fabulous Fitness Breaks to Energize and Rejuvenate
With the world on pause, daily life, including workout routines and trips to the gym, have been put on hold. To stay healthy during these unprecedented times, home workouts have been practiced in many homes all over the world. Whether it was a full body HIIT workout, an intensive abs training or a relaxing yoga routine, the world found creative ways to stay in shape at home.
Before the global pandemic, research from Booking.com showed that being physically active while travelling is one of the motivations to travel for 83% of Indian travellers. As travel restrictions begin to ease in a phased manner and travellers start to take their first steps towards experiencing the country again, Booking.com presents seven fabulous destinations to inspire travellers to expand their workouts beyond their four walls, when it’s safe to travel again.
Kheerganga, Himachal Pradesh
For travellers who have been practicing their mountain climber exercises at home, Kheerganga is a great place to consider visiting once travel restrictions are lifted. Located deep in Parvati Valley at an altitude of approximately 2950m, Kheerganga offers trekkers an unforgettable experience. Also known as nature's paradise, this place is known for hot water springs and panoramic view of the valley. Travellers will need to reach Bharsaini, located 16 km away from Kasol to reach Kheerganga via Kalga village or Nakthan village.
Valley of flowers, Uttarakhand
Travellers who have built their stamina working out at home can finally bring it to use by planning a trek to Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand, when it’s safe to do so. One of India’s oldest treks and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Valley of Flowers is known for its vast variety of flora and fauna. Located in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, this fragmatic garden is at a height of between 3352m to 3658m above sea level. Travellers can experience the vibrant beauty of nature overlooking the snow-clad Himalyan mountains while they are trekking. The trek popular amongst botanists, nature lovers and mountaineers starts from Joshimath, a religious town near Haridwar
Mirik, West Bengal
Located on the banks of a huge lake in the vast Himalayan Valley, Mirik near Darjeeling in West Bengal is an excellent destination for runners and athletes, whenever it’s safe to travel again. Travellers can enjoy a good run alongside the lake surrounded by Dhupi trees on it western bank and a vast garden on the eastern bank. And if you are in for more adventure, you can trail down to Marma Valley from Mirik. Travellers can also expect to witness beautiful tea estates on mountain slopes and relish local momos and thukpas in this quaint hill station.
Old Silk Route, Sikkim
When it’s safe to do so again, hop on a bike and take a ride through the old Silk Route. This route is perfect for bike enthusiasts who have missed being on the road the past few months. With a 360 degree view of snow clad mountains, travellers can enjoy the ancient Silk Route, a part of which goes through East Sikkim in India. The ride is known to be a thrilling experience and is on the wish list of many travellers. An interesting fact about Silk Route is that it comes from Lhasa (Tibet) and enters into India in east Sikkim region near Jelep la further moving towards Kupup, Zuluk and proceeding towards West Bengal.
Hampi, the land of ruins is the destination for travellers who have been practicing their cycling skills, whether indoors or outdoors, these past few months. Situated between the banks of river Tungabhadra and the city Vijayanagara, it is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most enjoyable activities in Hampi is to hop on a bicycle and take a picturesque ride around the most widespread archaeological sites in India. And while you are taking the ride, make small pit stops to discover indie cafes and relish local cuisines. One can rent a bicycle for a day and take back interesting stories the city has to offer, the most unique one being that the image used on the Rs 50 note is the famous stone chariot of Hampi.
During the time that travel was on pause, travellers also managed to practice yoga, whether it was at home virtually or while social distancing in a nearby park. Varkala is a town in the south Indian state of Kerala, where palm-covered red cliffs and golden beaches have made it a popular setting for yoga classes. Every second building in the town is a yoga studio, ashram or teacher training school, while the beach is often dotted with impromptu classes. What’s more, the state of Kerala is celebrated as the home of the ancient holistic healing system, Ayurveda, as well as for its mesmerising network of tropical backwaters. And a backwater cruise or an Ayurvedic massage both make for a blissful treat after a sweaty yoga session.
For travellers who have been practising yoga at home, there really is no better place than Rishikesh to go to deepen your practice. Known as the ‘birthplace of yoga’, Rishikesh was attracting yogis long before the Beatles turned up to try to master transcendental meditation. Endowed with spirituality by the sacred Ganges River that runs through it, this Himalayan town is home to ashrams that date back hundreds of years. Travellers can partake in numerous styles of yoga and meditation, from Hasya yoga (laughter therapy) or advanced ashtanga, to being baptised in the icy, fast-flowing holy river or learning to play the sitar
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 50,688 respondents across 29 markets (1,991 from Australia, 999 from New Zealand, 1,994 from USA, 1,990 from Canada, 1,998 from Mexico, 1,989 from Colombia, 1,995 from Brazil, 1,990 from Argentina, 1,994 from Spain, 1,989 from Italy, 1,986 from France, 1,990 from UK, 1,994 from Germany, 1,988 from Netherlands, 986 from Denmark, 989 from Sweden, 1,980 from Poland, 993 from Croatia, 1,996 from Russia, 982 from Israel, 1,997 from India, 1,999 from China, 997 from Hong Kong, 1,955 from Thailand, 1,997 from Singapore, 996 from Taiwan, 1,988 from Indonesia, 1,994 from South Korea, 1,952 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in November 2019.