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By Laura Grace Tarpley

Keeping fit while on vacation

“Why bother working out on vacation?”

We have all said this to ourselves, and we have all regretted it. Cutting out running and vegetables for a week or two seems harmless. When you return to your normal life, though, you feel bogged down, discouraged and unmotivated to get back into the swing of things.

So how can you incorporate fitness into your holiday without fitness taking over your holiday?

Take the stairs instead of elevators

It’s easy to jump onto elevators or escalators. However, remember that this is your vacation, so you are in no hurry. Take time to walk up the steps. Choosing stairs seems insignificant, but if you walk up two flights of stairs three times per day, the calories burned add up.

Walk instead of taxi or public transport

Once again, remember that you are not in a rush. This is your vacation, so take your time and walk rather than jump in a cab.

Walking is also the best way to sight-see. Don’t view the area through a car window; experience it by taking in the smells, sounds and people of the streets. If you walk those ten blocks to the Louvre, you will hear French conversations, smell freshly baked baguettes and come across colorful street art.

Walking doesn’t always feel like much of a workout. Similar to taking the stairs, however, it all adds up pretty quickly.

Find hotels with fitness areas or gyms

Before booking hotels for your trip, make sure they have fitness centers for guests.

Everyone loves to sleep in on vacation. Jump out of bed 30 minutes earlier than you would otherwise, and spend that time in the gym. Many hotel fitness centers include televisions, so time your workout to fall during your favorite morning talk show. That way, you can do bicep curls while also watching Kelly Ripa be adorable!

Run or do yoga

Jogging is a great way to see parts of a city you may not have visited otherwise. Maybe your kids don’t want to go on a trail in the park by your hotel, but you do. Lace up your running shoes and check out that park!

You don’t have to run as far or fast as you would at home. Just get yourself in the mindset of staying fit and healthy. A solo run can also be the perfect time to plan your activities for the day.

If you are on a beach holiday, yoga can be a unique way to experience this relaxing atmosphere. All you need are your beach towel and some deep breaths.

Let’s be honest, we all expect vacations to be relaxing, but family vacations can be exhausting. Beach yoga is a way to unwind from a stressful family zoo trip.

Watch caloric intake during dining and with drinks

It’s easy to get caught up in the pastries of Paris, fish and chips of London and fried catfish of Destin. Make a conscious choice to fit vegetables and protein into your day. Instead of ordering fried shrimp and French fries, order grilled shrimp and local veggies. Instead of ordering a local beer, drink water. You can still experience the local cuisine without putting on extra pounds.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. This is your vacation! You don’t have to push yourself as much as you would during an exercise routine at home. Just keep yourself motivated so that when you return to your normal schedule, you don’t want to give up.

Most importantly, have fun!

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