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It used to be that you’d check your healthy habits at the airport right along with your luggage. Vacation meant relaxation—not just mentally, but also from all your fitness and diet rules. As more and more people embrace exercise in their everyday lives, though, their getaway rituals are changing. So much so that, according to a recent Expedia.com study, 53 percent of Americans believe it’s important to exercise while traveling. But that can be easier said than done when you’re confronted with a change of routine and poolside daiquiris on repeat. To stay on track, try working these easy-to-accomplish fitness tips into your next trip.
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Skip the tour bus
Traversing a city by foot will help you accomplish two big goals. First, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your daily 10,000 steps. The other perk? “Walking lets you truly experience a region like a local,” says Jamen Yeaton-Masi, the vice president of tour development at Country Walkers, a walking-tour company. “It forces you to slow down and be present in the moment.” Another way to cover more ground: Hop on a bike. Element Hotels offers free two-wheelers to guests, or check out Cycle Cities, which gives guided bike tours in major hubs around the world.
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Pick a fit hotel
The days of dingy, ill-equipped hotel gyms are long gone—now accommodations make getting sweaty part of the experience. At Westin hotels, guests can rent New Balance gear for $5 and then hit up a 3K or 5K running route plotted by RunWestin concierges. Similarly, at Fairmont Hotels, President’s Club members can borrow Reebok workout clothes as well as a yoga mat and stretch band. Indoor cyclists will love staying at select Westin locations where they can live-stream Peloton classes on a bike in a WestinWORKOUT studio. The Standard Hotels in Miami, L.A., and New York offer Peloton bikes, too. Finally, Hilton has Five Feet to Fitness, where select rooms (for a higher rate) offer more than 11 pieces of equipment and accessories to make in-room workouts easier.
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Try a new or local workout
When you travel to Italy, you don’t pass on the pasta, right? Apply that same mind-set to getting active. Not only do destination-specific activities (like rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park or surfing in Waikiki) burn a ton of calories, but they are also way more fun than slogging it out on the dreadmill. You can also book unique fitness outings with Airbnb Experiences, which are “activities led by locals who are passionate about sharing their talents and interests in sports, wellness, and getting outdoors—think Muay Thai in Bangkok or a hike to waterfalls in Vancouver,” says Riccardo Ulivi, Airbnb Trips market lead, North America. “Whatever you’re into, you can get a real taste of the destination without sacrificing your workouts.”
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Book a wellness trip
More and more, the importance of self-care is being recognized and embraced—yay! Now, that attitude is carrying over to trip planning. “People want experiences that deliver physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental health— along with pleasure,” says Beth McGroarty, director of research and PR at the Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit research and educational organization for the global wellness industry. A few go-to outfits: Look for yoga retreats with Yogascapes, immersive outdoor getaways with REI Adventures, and biking escapades with DuVine or Trek Travel.
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Bring a trainer with you
If you like guided workouts, travel-friendly choices abound. Download the Nike Training Club app for 100-plus free workouts (such as yoga, circuit training, mobility, etc.). Another cool tech find: For $40 a year, you can subscribe to the Fitbit Coach app, which offers personalized body-weight and video workouts plus audio coaching based on your fitness level—just sync the brand’s Ionic or Versa ($300 and $200; amazon.com) with the app. Beyond that, lots of new streaming platforms are bringing niche workouts to everyone, including Obé ($27 per month; ourbodyelectric.com) and ClassPass Live ($70 for a starter kit and $15 per month; classpass.com).