Can you see your toes if you look down? And finally, look in the mirror – is the first impression a good or a bad one?

If your answers include any of the following: “more than a few seconds”, “no” or “bad”, then TNT is diagnosing you with chronic festive overeating. The cure?

It’s got to be a fitness boot camp. Obviously, no one wants to go running around in the freezing British weather at the moment, so to motivate yourself, why not jet off to one of these European destinations to battle the pudding-induced bulge instead?


The cycling holiday: Fuerteventura

Workout: Pedal off all those extra pounds with an intensive week of cycling in sunny Fuerteventura.

Elite Cycling runs a seven-night package that will teach you pacing techniques, climbing and descending skills, and group riding tips as you take on the scenic Canary Island roads.

The package also includes some strength and conditioning classes, and the resort has facilities for scuba diving, windsurfing, beach volleyball, tennis, skating, basketball and golf.

Stay: The cycling camp runs February 9-16 and is held in the bayside Las Playitas village, which is near a sandy volcanic beach, perfect for crashing out on after a long ride. 

Pay: £699pp based on two sharing.

Go: Fly from London Gatwick to Fuerteventura for £161 return with easyJet.

The military regime: Andalucia

Workout: The Camp’s slogan, “Drop a dress size and get fit in one week,” says it all.

To do that, the instructors put you through a rigorous, military-style training week of activities that include stretching, boxercise, swimming, aerobics, circuit training and core stability work.

Think you could be doing all that in your local leisure centre?

Well how do these equally healthy, but more exotic fitness pursuits, sound – hiking in the Sierras de Almijara and Cazulas mountain ranges, and gorge walking at Junta de Los Rios. Thin-spirational, no?

Stay: The Camp is based in a country mansion in a village at the foot of the mountains.

The surrounding area is beautiful, with hills, valleys and gorges to feast your eyes on (since you won’t be doing much feasting in any other sense of the word).

There’s a big emphasis on healthy eating here, and you’ll be put on a personalised diet plan once you arrive.

Fitness weeks run January 26 – February 2 and April 6 – 13.

Pay: Prices start from £1350pp.

Go: Fly from London Stansted to Malaga from £59.98 return with Ryanair.

The boot glamp: Ibiza

Workout: It’s actually more bliss-out than workout at the No.1 Boot Camp’s sunny Ibiza retreat, where yoga sessions, massages and island exploring are the order of the day.

That’s not to say you won’t be kept busy with cardio classes and circuit training, too ­–  that belly isn’t going to flatten itself – but there’s also lots of time allocated to beauty treatments and shopping.

Personal training is also available for those who want to push themselves more. Camps run every week from January through to March.

Stay: Ibiza might be more associated with body-destroying piss-up holidays, but stay clear of the bars and clubs and you’ll find plenty of healthier pursuits here, such as hill-walking and swimming.

Pay: £1350pp based on two sharing.

: Fly from London City Airport to Ibiza from £259 return with British Airways.


The weight loss week: Oludeniz

Workout: A personalised fitness programme is devised for you when you arrive at this camp in Oludeniz, Turkey, which will involve everything from pilates and yoga at the base to getting out into the countryside for some hiking, swimming and cycling.

Organisers say you can expect to drop about 5kg during the week.

Stay: When you’re not exercising, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the other activities Oludeniz has to offer. Stay active with a paragliding jaunt from the top of the 2000m Mount Babada, or go white water rafting on the Dalaman river.

For a more relaxing afternoon, slow down with a mud bath in the Dalyan Delta. Camps run from April to November.

Pay: £650pp based on two or three sharing.

Go: Fly from London Gatwick to Antalya from £129 return with easyJet.

The yoga retreat: Burren

Workout: Take a week or a weekend contorting yourself into muscle-toning, core-strengthening and stability-improving positions at this yoga boot camp.

Experienced yoga and meditation teacher Niamh Jones runs a variety of classes at Burren Yoga, including hatha yoga, meditation and yoga nidra throughout the camp.

Your body and mind will be snapped into shape in no time.

Stay: The Burren is on the west coast of Ireland and spreads from County Clare to County Galway.

It boasts spectacular shaped limestone hills on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean where you can go hiking.

When you’re off the mat, take excursions to the nearby Aillwee Caves and Cliffs of Moher. Camps run every week and on Bank Holiday weekends.

Pay: £243pp for a weekend or £560pp for a week based on three-to-five people sharing.

Go: Fly from London Stansted to Shannon airport for £48 return with Ryanair.

Healthy holidays: Shaping up is just a bonus

Can’t be arsed with a whole week of punishing boot camp exercise? Choose one of these active holidays instead, and you’ll get fit without even trying.

Salsa Dancing

t’s no coincidence that salsa dancers always seem to have the firmest of bottoms and hardest of stomachs – all that spinning around the dance floor is a great cardiovascular workout.

If you’re lucky enough to be heading anywhere in Latin America, take in a salsa class or hit the clubs.

Burn it: An intensive 30-minute salsa dancing session can help you burn 300 calories an hour, so if you’re spending the whole night whirling around a club, you’ll be looking trim in no time.


Flying down snowy slopes by day and supping wine and eating pizza in cosy chalets by night … sure, a typical skiing holiday might not be quite the thing for health purists, but you’ll find yourself racking up the exercise hours without even noticing it.

Lugging ski equipment around, trudging up steep slopes and of course the skiing itself are all sure to tone you up.

Burn it: Research shows that you can burn 422 calories an hour just downhill skiing at a moderate speed, while for cross-country skiers it’s more like 500 calories.

Snowboarders can expect to work off up to 630 calories per hour.

After all of this you’ll have earned yourself the right to tuck into a huge pot of cheesy fondue.


Plunging into some refreshing waves on holiday is the moment people dream about.

But pleasure-factor aside, it’s also a top toning exercise, creating upper-body strength and chiseling the chest, abs, arms, triceps and muscles in your back.

Burn it: Breaststroke is the best stroke for improving fitness, burning approximately 150 calories every 10 minutes if you really go for it.



Photos: Getty; The Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre; Leon McGowran; The Camp; Thinkstock