Sunshine, A Smaller Waist, And Plenty Of Wine: Is This The Best Fitness Holiday Ever?

We’re tired of the bootcamp exercise mentality. Shouldn’t fitness be fun, not a punishment? Joanna Hall, former resident fitness expert on ITV’s This Morning, agrees – so that’s why she’s teamed up with Woman & Home to create a healthy holiday with a difference.

Joanna founded WalkActive eight years ago: an exercise programme and walking technique that has revolutionised the world of low-impact, high results workouts. “You’re building awareness of your body, and its shape and your health,” says Joanna. ‘You really see improvements in your body and posture, and it’s long term and sustainable.”

Our exclusive WalkActive holiday in the south of Spain will set you on the right path to fitness in just four days – and you’ll see the results for yourself. We quizzed Joanna about her plans for the trip, it spectacular location, and why Walkactive is the only exercise programme you’ll ever need…

Get WalkActive! Book your place on our Walkactive healthy holiday in Spain

What’s so special about WalkActive?

Joanna: “It will anti-age your body, improve your posture, reduce joint wear and tear, and even increase your walking speed by up to 24%. Better yet, you can easily incorporate it into your everyday life, so that every movement you make is improving your body shape and fitness – without you even noticing!

Do you have to be super-fit to join the holiday?

“No, not at all – this holiday is suitable for complete beginners as well as those who’ve done WalkActive before. You’ll learn the techniques in seminars and workshops as well as practical workout sessions.

“You don’t even have to walk fast for WalkActive to benefit your body – it strengthens your core and gets all those muscles working, even if actually you’re not walking at full speed. And we don’t have a bootcamp mentality at all: everything is educational and enjoyable and designed to be effective.”

Can I eat what I want?

“Yes! Spain is famous for its great food and wine – and rest assured, this won’t be a tee-total trip if you don’t want it to be. There’s no control over people’s food intake, and you’re very welcome to enjoy a glass of wine or two.”

Sotogrande (Alamy)

Tell us more about the location…

“We’ll be staying at Hotel Almenara in Sotogrande, in the south of Spain. We’re going to be doing sessions within the beautiful hotel grounds and around its fabulous golf course, and there will be some walks through the lovely local villages and countryside too. Everything is designed to be a feast for your eyes: lots of gorgeous landscapes, and sunrise body boosters to get you set up for the day with fantastic views.

“I’ve just come back from a research trip to the hotel – it really is stunning. WalkActive is all about enjoying your environment as well as getting all the physical benefits from the programme, so it’s important that I choose our locations very carefully. And there’s nothing better than doing some warm-weather WalkActive!”

Is this a walking tour?

“No – it’s a health and wellness holiday, rather than a tour of the area. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t go sightseeing in the spare time.

“If you fancy some sunshine and a tailored programme to help boost your fitness, this is for you.”

Sotogrande (Alamy)

Can I travel alone? Will I make friends?

“Of course you will – the trips are really sociable. Lots of couples and friends do WalkActive trips together too, and there’s no competitive edge.

“We have a lot of fun, great chats, and your body gets better with every session. Even if you don’t come with friends, you’ll definitely make them on the trip.”

What does a typical WalkActive day look like?

“There are three components within the programme: you’ll be working on your technique and posture, core and tone, and pace and fitness. We’ll also be doing time trials and waist-shaping sessions, and we have optional one-on-one time with me or the training team each day – which is a great way to get feedback on your progress.

“There’s a session every morning before breakfast – it’s optional, but seeing the sunrise is a great way to start the day. You have an hour and a half for breakfast, then there’s a session every morning before lunch. Then it’s downtime: you’re free to laze by the pool, read a book, have a spa treatment – whatever you fancy. We have sessions every afternoon from 4 until 6pm – with some lovely sunset stretching. So you have time to perfect your tan, as well as your body!

“We work really hard to make our contact time and workshops really useful, so everyone gets the benefit from it. You don’t get that on an average fitness holiday.”

Get WalkActive! Book your place on our Walkactive healthy holiday in Spain

Will I really get fit in just four days?

“Yes – you’ll be amazed with the differences you see. One previous client was quite fit – she regularly worked out with a personal trainer – but she really surprised herself with how much she progressed with WalkActive. And she was blown away by how well it nipped in her waist, increased the distance between her hips and her ribs, and improved her posture. It really is a waist whittler.

“On the last day we have a challenge session, where you can see how much you’ve progressed throughout the trip – and at the end of it we’ll be have a lovely tapas lunch. So you’ll be rewarded for all your hard efforts!”