Stay Fit and Balanced with Pilates during Holidays

Wellbeing Coach, Pilates teacher and meditation practitioner Olivia Trussell has worked at two of the world's premium and award winning health retreats in management roles. Now located in Adelaide, she offers group sessions and individual coaching sessions and today shares her advice for staying fit and balanced with Pilates while on holidays.

During a holiday it is important to disconnect from the outside world and allow your mind, body and spirit to relax. Time off provides a fantastic opportunity to maintain the healthy exercise and nutritional habits you have worked hard to achieve. In a new and exciting environment you may feel more inspired and motivated to create a fresh exercise plan or improve an existing one. With free time up your sleeve, there is no better time for exercise and healthy living than during your holiday escape.

Firstly, consider your personal needs for improving or maintaining your current level of fitness. If it involves resistance training, ensure you select accommodation with gym facilities. Here you can work with weights and use the space for your mat work too. For cardiovascular training - a nearby beach, park or walking / running path will suffice.

As a Pilates teacher, I like to include the following FOUR exercises into my daily routine, regardless of whether it involves walking, running, dancing or resistance training. The exercises focus on core strength and mental/physical balance.

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Benefits: Improves flexibility in your spine. Excellent for relieving back pain. Core and pelvic floor awareness plus a gentle warm up.

How: Start on all fours with hands beneath shoulders and knees beneath hips. Inhale to bring your body into a neutral position, exhale to curl tailbone under, round the spine (include cervical/neck spine) and stretch like a cat. Inhale to return to neutral spine and tilt the tailbone toward the ceiling as the ribs lower toward the floor. Lift the head, sternum, and eyes toward the ceiling. Inhale and return to neutral. Repeat x 5.


Benefits: Rotates the spine and stretches chest, shoulders and back muscles. Encourages neck muscles to relax. 

How: Start in all fours position as above. Thread right hand under the left arm and rotate torso to the left, come back through centre and reach right hand to the ceiling and rotate to the right. Repeat on left side. Repeat x 5 (on each side).


BenefitsStrengthens muscles in the back, core and glutes, whilst improving balance and hip stability.

How: Reset in all fours position. Inhale to prepare, exhale as you slide one foot along the floor and extend completely before you float the leg up to hip height (no further however below is fine). Inhale and return. Repeat on the other side.

As you progress, lengthen the opposite arm to leg and float both off the floor on the exhale, inhale to return. Keep your head and neck in line with the spine by gazing at the floor.


Benefits: Builds core strength and creates a flatter stomach.

How: Lay on the floor in a supine position (on your back). Bend your knees with your feet in line with your sitting bones. Place your hands at the base of your skull and clasp your fingers, to support your head and neck. Inhale to prepare and as you exhale, slowly lift the chest up and draw the ribcage down towards hips. Inhale whilst returning to the starting position. Repeat x 10.


Draw your knees to your chest, rock gently from side to side and finish with your favourite stretches. Release into a relaxed supine position. Close your eyes, connect to your natural breathing - slowing and deepening your breath. Relax here for five minutes.

Remember to add balance to your holiday – including enjoying the food you eat. Delight in all types of food and opt for healthier food options – fresh fruit and vegetables plus smoothies. Say YES to a piece of delicious cake and do not deny yourself of food that will make your taste buds dance. BALANCE is the key. Embrace your healthy and balanced holiday.


You can connect with Olivia on her website at

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