Holidays Are Good For You

House of the Vestals

House of the Vestals, Forum, Rome.


We all need a break now and again, time to recharge the batteries, relax and enjoy the better things in life. This alone is certainly Good For You.

I was in need of a break and being able to get a week off from work during May I booked myself a few days in Rome. I could have gone pretty well anywhere really. I would like to explore Paris, Barcelona, Prague, Berlin or any other number of places that I’ve not yet had the pleasure to visit. However I chose Rome for the very reason that I had already visited twice before and I felt that I would be under less pressure to zoom around the place looking at “must see” things. Plus I do simply love Rome – the history, the buildings, the art.

Late last year I bought myself a FitBit One fitness tracker. It’s an advanced pedometer which keeps track of how active I’ve been every day. I decided to take it to Rome with me as I was sure that I would spend quite a bit of time walking and I thought it would be interesting to keep track of this.

Shown below is the FitBit log for the week before I went to Rome, just Monday to Friday (as these were to be the days I would spend in Rome the following week, for comparison). So this shows an average kind of week sat behind a desk in the office doing IT Support. If you need the image a little larger to see the figures more clearly then please click on it.



These statistics are dreadful. Only 3,731 steps taken on the Friday, not even 2 miles covered on foot. This picture does improve when I walk my commute, but I’m finding it hard to get back into that.

Now let’s see the following week when I was on holiday, resting and relaxing in Rome.



I’ll give you a quick summary of what I was doing on each day.

  • Monday : Flew out to Rome. Walked from Termini railway station to my hotel which was just around the corner to Crypta Balbi. Went for a stroll through the streets to and around the Pantheon.
  • Tuesday : Visited the Forum, Palatine Hill and Colosseum.
  • Wednesday : Visited the Capitoline Museum.
  • Thursday : Visited Ostia Antica.
  • Friday : Walked to Trastevere and back via Tiber Island and then visited Crypta Balbi followed by a little tour around the local back streets. Flew back home.

A quick comparison of key statistics :-

Steps Taken

At Work : 21,854
On Holiday : 96,560

Miles Walked

At Work : 10.6
On Holiday: 46.79

Calories Burned

At Work : 14,604
On Holiday : 22,228

The reason why steps taken and miles walked are more than four times greater and yet calories burned are only 50% more is that you’re burning calories even when at rest.

Okay, I had one medium sized gelato every day and rather more wine than I would have normally conumed, but I didn’t eat heavily throughout the week. I had a reasonable breakfast and then maybe just a panini and some olives, nuts and fruit during the rest of the day. I didn’t set foot inside a restaurant all week, there didn’t seem much point because I was on holiday alone.

The figures given by the pedometer are only going to be approximate, although I reckon they’re not too far out. I also realise that to properly work out just how “good for me” my holiday was I really would need to be keeping track of calories going in not just calories used.

Having said all of that, I think that the combination of all that exercise and the relaxation and enjoyment of my holiday has done me a power of good. Holidays really are way better for you than work, or rather maybe I should say being at work sat behind a desk all day. That is clearly not good for you at all.


5 thoughts on “Holidays Are Good For You

  1. the bad thing is though that when you get back to the office after that week, you have all the old work to do, the things that have piled up while you were away because no one has touched it and then you also have all the new things coming in on the fresh week you just started.

    • Yeah, always a pain going back. You’ll have to remind me exactly where you are so I can properly add Sweden to the list for visiting…. :^)

  2. Well, living on the island of Jamaica you might think life is a permanent holiday for us. BUT I so envy you being able to just skip over to Europe for a short, reasonably priced holiday. It’s a struggle to get OFF this island! Air fare to Miami alone is prohibitive.

    • And yet I’ve not travelled within Europe very much at all. It’s something I want to put right. This trip to Rome was my third to the same city. The first was a 40th birthday present from my sister (wow!), the second was me wanting to show my wife and daughter what an amazing city it is and this one was just “I need a relaxing break”. And sadly Rome is the only place in Europe I’ve visited thus far. It’s crazy, France is just a few miles away, I can get on a train in Leicester, change platforms in London and then get out in Paris. I could do that fairly cheaply on my own, but to take the family… Eeek. The multiplication factor kicks in big time plus a family holiday has to be taken during school holidays and the prices rocket.

      But yes, we are lucky. Living in Leicester makes it fairly easy to get to just about anywhere in Britain and Europe is just a short hop away. I’m hoping to take advantage of that way more in the future.

  3. And as you said, it’s amazing how much you can just WALK on holiday. Something I love to do… Yes, if you have family it gets expensive but you can get cheap packages I think? Here’s to more globe-trotting!

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