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Summer Travel Tips: Easy Ways to Exercise While Traveling

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Updated February 15, 2014

woman on treadmill

Consider exercise part of your quest for relaxation on vacation!

Image: © [2009] Jupiterimages Corporation
Getting exercise while traveling not only helps you keep up with your weight-loss efforts, but it can also help make your vacation better: Travel is stressful, so continuing to work out can help you cope, sleep better, and stay more alert on the road. Here are some easy ways to exercise while traveling:

Some "perks" are more important than others when comparing hotel choices, but make sure those that provide ways to stay active are top on your list. Narrow down your choices to fit your other "must-haves" and among those options, find a hotel with a gym, indoor swimming pool, stationary bike, tennis court, or weight room.

Find out if there is a Y nearby to your hotel. You may be able to get a guest or visitor’s pass or pay a small fee for use of the facility. Ask the concierge at the hotel or at a visitor’s center for details or request the contact information for the Y's membership desk.

Do plenty of sight-seeing on foot instead of by car or other transportation. Historical areas often have guided walking tours. If you've been taking it easy, walk simply for the sake of walking. Ask at a visitor’s center about local parks or running paths if you do not feel comfortable walking on streets near the hotel. Ask for a map at the front desk to find local recreation areas so you can combine relaxation with exercise.

]If you can't get out and about (Ever been rained in at the beach? What a drag!), have a back-up plan: Pack a jump rope or exercise bands. Bring a portable DVD player if one isn't provided so you can do a favorite exercise DVD. Pull out your MP3 player, put in those ear buds, and dance or walk in place. If it's after-hours, do some in-room toning exercises (so as not to disturb the neighbors below) such as bicep curls, wall squats, and lateral raises.

Don't make your trip too easy. This can start before you even get to your destination: Park at the far end of the airport parking lot and walk to the terminal instead of using provided transportation. Use steps instead of the escalator and elevators at the hotel or during sight-seeing. Take the long way to go from location to location on-foot, or since you're on vacation, use the "scenic route"!

Choose a hotel a few blocks away from attractions to save money and burn calories getting there. Walk around the airport terminal if your flight is delayed.

If you're on a layover or there is a serious delay, you may even be able to get a full-fledged workout while you wait: Some airports have gyms within their vicinity such as O’Hare's Hilton Athletic Club, which is within walking distance to all O'Hare Airport's domestic terminals. Other airports with exercise facilities on-site or nearby include JFK, Miami, LAX and Dallas.

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