Villa Joyosa

Fitness activities in sunny Spain

I’m back in Ireland after a week in Spain, and while it was not great to switch sunshine to dull clouds and rain, I’m happy to come back home. As I always say, it’s a sign we’ve created a good life here, despite all the bumps in the road the last few years.

I’m joining the Weekly rundown link-up to share my week of fitness, but I’ll also share some more from our week in Spain.

When I’m away I always keep some fitness routine going. It’s what I do naturally to feel good! For the trip to Spain I planned to get back to daily walking in one way or another, and to do simple strength exercises when possible. You can always do some strength training, bodyweight squats, lunges, pushups etc. My in-laws also have some bands and dumbbells, lighter than what I lift in the gym but definitely better than nothing.

I did push-ups most days. After my Bulgarian squat challenge I felt like keeping the momentum going, and since push-ups are my second hardest exercise I decided to make April the month of daily push-ups. It’s an excellent exercise that works on many muscle groups and they will help me up the game with the bench press too.

Talking of the Bulgarian split squat challenge, when I came back to the gym, guess what my trainer made me do? Bulgarian split squats! And a massive load of them, with 4 sets of 10 reps on each leg. It was bodyweight only with some hybrid program after I had been sick. But I crushed them! I did them all and only lost balance once on the right leg. So I certainly have worked up the Bulgarians to some extent!

Spain, day 1-4

Wednesday – Thursday – travel and relax.
We arrived to Spain on Wednesday evening, and had dinner at 23.30 – not really our usual habits but what do you do! It was lovely to see my in-laws again. The next day was very soft, we visited a shopping centre, and later my husband and his dad went on a bike ride. My mother-in-law and I di§d some shopping and then relaxed in the sun at a local bar. The lads came later for hydration and carb refueling!

La Mata

Friday – walking and strength training
On the Friday I finally went for a walk again! This little walk along the beach is about 4 km. I prefer walking along the sea so I walk to a specific spot and then turn back. After about a month of no proper walking I really enjoyed it. The first morning was quite cool because I got up just after sunrise, but it soon warmed up to maybe 19 degrees (66F).

La Mata

I also got some weights going! This patio is quite small but still a nice place for some training, to take advantage of the sunshine.

Lateral raise

I did some good sets of deadbugs, lateral raises, shoulder presses and reverse flyes with the 5 kg dumbbells, and then push-ups and Cuban press (with 2,5 kg dumbbells).

Later we went to the local market and after over a year of searching, I finally bought two nice dresses. Why are all dresses in shops so weird these days? I just want basic dresses with a flowy A-line fit.. I found something online before the trip but then it was too late to order. These two are not the fanciest but lovely summer dresses and they fit me perfectly.

Saturday – lots of walking!
On the Saturday I enjoyed a nice morning walk again, 4 km. It was a bit windy near the water but a glorious morning!

La Mata beach

Later, my husband and his dad did a longer bike ride (100 km) so my mother-in-law and I went for a longer walk through a pine nut tree park (one of my favourite places here) to the beach. I did 18000 steps this day – the longest I’ve walked since the day before Christmas.

On the Sunday we visited a local market, we call it the lemon market because along the road you pass massive fields with lemon trees. It’s beautiful to go there! The market itself isn’t particularly exciting but it has an impressive selection of fruit and veg. For everything else, the Friday market is better.

Market in Spain
I love all this fresh fruit and veg!The lady in blue is my mother-in-law.

Later we took the bus into town for a stroll, drinks and dinner in a new restaurant. I photographed this lady – it’s said she’s waiting for her husband who was lost at sea.

The lady in Torrevieja

What I didn’t photograph was the dinner and drinks! I think I need to re-learn to document daily life! I almost never do that these days which is a bit sad because those photos are nice to look at later.

This week, including Spain, day 5-7

Monday – Villa Joyosa

On this day I skipped the morning walk because we were going on a road trip to a place further away, a beautiful spot by the sea where we planned to stop for lunch and a stroll. This trip had some bummers! We stopped to refuel the car, and I went inside to use the toilet. When I came out I saw the back of the car disappear out on the motorway! 🤣

Isn’t it wonderful that we have mobile phones? I rang my husband, and it was only when he saw my name on the screen that they realised I wasn’t there! What a confused bunch! We had a good laugh about that.

Then later there was a weird noise from the side of the car and it turned out to be a problem with the window at the driver seat. It had come off and couldn’t be closed, they’ve had a similar problem earlier on the passenger side. This is fine until you want to stop and walk away from the car. Obviously nothing you can ignore, so we had to stop at a shopping centre car park to fix it. This was on a public holiday so we were very fortunate that the car repair shop was open.

Villa Joyosa
Villa Joyosa

Villa Joyosa was a nice little town so it was well worth all the trouble! We found a restaurant that looked good and after some attempts in English, Italian and Spanish (my mother-in-law knows some, and I understand some since I know Italian), we figured out what was gluten-free and I enjoyed a fantastic fish. (Again, I didn’t photograph it) I had hoped we could walk around more but I strolled a bit with my camera on my own while we waited for the food.

Tuesday – strength

This was the last full day in Spain for this time, and my body was itching to lift stuff. I did (standard) split squats, lateral raises, bicep curls (with 5 kg dumbbells), push-ups, Renegade row and tricep presses (the latter two with 2,5 kg dumbbells), mixed with showing my mother-in-law some exercises for her knees and lower back. She worked on the mat while I did my lifts.

Renegade row

It was absolutely roasting on the patio but very pleasant – I’m all for warm weather! I’m quite sure this is where I got most of my tan.

Wednesday – travel day

This was the day we would fly home but I had prepped most of my luggage so I could take some time for a good walk. I did the usual route but on the way back I walked on the beach along the water. I need to do more of this! It’s so soothing to walk on the sand and hear the sound of the rolling waves.

In the afternoon we flew back to Cork. Everything went smoothly except the usual… I’m always so fascinated about how people can do advanced jobs that require intelligence and skills but as soon as they get to an airport they’re completely clueless. How is it possible it’s such rocket science to get on and off a plane? I was tired and had very little patience so it was good to sit down on the plane and do nothing.


Well, hello Cork!


At least now we have temperatures that makes walking enjoyable.But it’s been the wettest winter in a long time with almost no breaks from either rain or cold. People are struggling mentally and farmers can’t start preparing their fields because it’s so wet they can’t get there with the vehicles. Ireland really, really needs some dry sunny weather now.
Thursday was yet another rainy day and I stayed inside. After the trip (or a lot of walking?) I was so stiff in my hip area that I put leggings on and did some squats, lunges and glute stretches to loosen up. I spent the rest of the day at my stand-up desk. In the evening it was good to get back to the tune session in town. Despite not having the Spanish weather, it was good to be home.

Friday – back to the gym!

How lovely to go back to the gym! Not only had I been away on holiday, before that I had a respiratory infection and didn’t train for 2 weeks. During that time I sat coughing in my armchair, dreaming about bench presses! It was so good to get a proper lifting session again.

Jävlaranamma blog

I’ve been quite tired in my legs lately – whether it’s still effects of the Bulgarian squats or because I was sick and sat in an armchair most of the time for two weeks? I don’t know but I get easily stiff and tired around knees and hips and one of my glutes is very fussy. It felt good to do some sumo squats which I haven’t done with added weight for a long time.

I really looked forward to the bench press! The first set felt quite easy but then I started struggling at the end of the second set, and just barely made it to the end of the third set. Hard work as it’s supposed to be and I loved it! Then the Renegade row… this is a monster exercise but I love doing it. I was really tired at the end but pushed through to finish the set.

I felt so good after doing some proper lifting again!


A lovely sunny day! I decided to go down to Simon’s cove. I also need to try to take some photos for a coastline competition with the camera club. This theme is so not my cup of tea but I haven’t joined any of the competitions recently so I really want to give this a try.

I didn’t get any photos, but some good walking. I actually went twice! The first time I had to turn back to use the bathroom. Then there was a rain shower, but the sun came back and I decided to try Simon’s cove again. It was lovely and warm despite the wind! The thermometer said 12 degrees but we probably had up to 15 (59F) in places.

When I came to Simon’s cove it was impossible to get down to the rocks because everything was covered in seaweed, probably brought in by the recent storm. A bummer, but I enjoyed the walk and actually got at least 11 km this day. After that I did quite a few rounds in the garden with the lawn mower!

West Cork


With some massively sore muscles since Friday, today is a rest day. I’m not even doing my push-ups! And didn’t do them yesterday either. Even with a challenge like this one, I need to listen to the body and know when certain muscle groups need to chill a little.

Now I’m looking forward to a totally NORMAL week! Work, gym and music. And more grass cutting, I hope!

How have you been doing? Do you have spring weather?

Thanks to Kim and Deborah for hosting the Weekly Rundown linkup!

30 responses to “Fitness activities in sunny Spain”

  1. Wendy avatar

    What a wonderful trip to Spain!! I’m so glad you got to have a change of scenery. You sure kept active, too!

    As always, I love all your photos. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, it was very much needed after a long and dreary winter. I never thought I’d say that about the Irish winter, but here we are!

      1. Wendy avatar

        Hi Susanne!
        I receive a weekly newsletter on pre and post menopausal fitness. This week is all about pushups! I’m sending you the link in case you want to read it. I hope you can access it!

        1. Susanne avatar

          That is great, thank you!

  2. Deborah Brooks avatar

    It’s always fun to travel! I agree, there is always a way to incorporate fitness into vacations and it feels good when you are used to moving daily. Love the pics too

    1. Susanne avatar

      I would go insane if I didn’t add in some strength training of whatever type (even if only bodyweight) also when I’m away, I’ve realised lately how much it helps me clear my head.

  3. Jessie avatar

    Spain looked lovely! Very peaceful and beautiful. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

    Ha, how could they forget you at the petrol station??

    1. Susanne avatar

      It was nice there for sure! For scenery I prefer Italy but these trips are very nice for just relaxing and doing something different, and with good weather. And yes, very funny about the petrol station!! We’ll laugh about that for years!

  4. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Looks like your trip came at a great time! You did an awesome job seeing the sights AND staying quite active with your fitness.

    1. Susanne avatar

      A trip to a warm country is SO nice in the beginning of the spring! Especially years like this when spring doesn’t really take off until late.

  5. Melissa avatar

    Nice job staying active on vacation! We were actually in Dublin for a day last weekend before our trip to Germany. It was rainy but very green!I definitely understand the need for a warm getaway.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh cool! Did you stay overnight? We’ve certainly had some miserable weather, as you saw! I hope you didn’t catch Storm Kathleen who visited some week ago.

  6. Jenny avatar

    Wow this looks like an amazing trip!!! It’s funny, the photo from Cork is such a contrast to the sunny days in Spain. You got in some beautiful walks, and some good strength training while you were on vacation. There are always things I can do with lighter weights (bulgarian split squats of course, reverse flyes) that I don’t need the gym for. I’m glad I read this post today because it reminds me to incorporate the bulgarians into my workout tomorrow!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, Cork WAS a huge contrast to sunny Spain! But it was very expected because I had been following the weather forecasts.
      I got some really enjoyable strength sessions done there, even if I missed some heavier weights. But 5 kgs go a long way for upper body! And I agree, it’s quite enough for the Bulgarians too. I hope yours are improving on your left leg. They are so hard! I’m quite sure I’ll still struggle when we add more weight.

  7. Jenn avatar

    This sounds like a wonderful adventure to Spain! I love how you describe your day as “soft.” That is so perfect.

    You kept up all your workouts while you were gone and that’s truly amazing!

    I have zero patience with transportation as well. We are in good company.

    It sort of feels like spring, but also maybe summer. We don’t have great seasonal differentiation. it’ sannoying.

    1. Susanne avatar

      It is quite nice to actually have true seasonal changes because it makes each season extra special, although I don’t want anything worse than a typical Irish winter (so, NOT like the winter of 2024) because I can’t handle winter for too long or if it’s too cold.
      I think I’d go insane if I didn’t have any opportunity to do some strength training! It keeps my attitude and mood on track!

  8. Denyse Whelan avatar

    Great to see the holiday snaps and to know you are well again. Being so sick when you are used to getting out to walk etc is so frustrating! The left behind story is a good one and your husband cannot be allowed to forget it!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      When I was sick I dreamed of doing bench presses!!! It was so frustrating when I was doing so well. I’m glad to be back in action.
      The left behind situation is so hilarious. Even worse for my mother-in-law who was sitting next to me and didn’t realise!

  9. Marcia avatar

    What a wonderful getaway to sunny Spain! Looks like you enjoyed it to the fullest! Well done on staying active too! Omg on being left behind! That is too funny! Wonder how long it would’ve taken them to miss you if you hadn’t called??

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, that’s a question, LOL!! Interesting how people can get so distracted!
      It was a lovely week and I really enjoyed going for walks again!

  10. Lindsay avatar

    What a lovely trip! And, what a story about the car driving away from you – great quick thinking to give them a call, haha! We have been stuck in a rainy, muddy cycle, as well, but this is the first week it looks like we are going to have some consistent sunny days and mild temps. I’ll for sure take it as a win!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Haha, imagine the situation if I hadn’t had my phone with me!! I almost left my bag in the car… so from now I’ll always, always bring it with me no matter what! I’m sorry to hear you’ve had the Irish style weather too. It’s better here now but very windy. At least it gives a chance for the fields to dry up so the farmers can get to work.

  11. Debbie avatar

    Oh my goodness, I assumed your car had been stolen and that’s why you saw it driving away, not that YOUR FAMILY had left you behind. That story is going to live on in infamy at future family gatherings (and well it should LOL).

    1. Susanne avatar

      LOL! I surely won’t let them forget!! 🤣

  12. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    Wait, what – they left you behind?? LOL!!!! That’s so funny. Without the phone call I wonder how long it would have taken them to notice! It looks like a very wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing all of the pictures! Kudos to you on keeping up with an exercise routine while on vacation.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, it was hilarious, and I felt like I was in some odd Hollywood movie! 🤣🤣 I wonder the same. What would we do in such situations without mobile phones?!

  13. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    What great photos! You captured that trip perfectly. The best part was the sunshine (and the lady statue).
    And good for you, keeping up those workouts while on vacation!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Darlene! It was good to get back to taking some photos again, I always feel I’ve lost that habit. I definitely enjoyed the sunshine!

  14. Anne avatar

    Oh, Spain looks lovely. Where do your in-laws live? (Obviously near the coast!)
    The food sounds fantastic, too. I demand pictures next time. You know, in addition to your *other* fabulous pictures. 😉

    1. Susanne avatar

      I know, I need to up my game with photographing daily life. I stopped doing it because daily life is usually at home or in the office, and there’s too much clutter to take a good photo. But home is slightly different since we’ve reorganised some rooms. And sometimes daily life can be elsewhere!

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