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How To Avoid 'Vacation Fat'

No, you don't have to gain weight while on vacation.

It’s easy to get "vacation fat." You forego your regular fitness routines, say yes to all the food trips, and stress-eat after hours of commuting and adventure. Next thing you know, you’ve hit the buffet for the nth time in a week and your cheeks are looking chubbier in those #wanderlust selfies. Instead of blaming the laundry dryer for your seemingly shrinking clothes, incorporate these workout cheats while traveling.

1. Walk
Instead of commuting or riding a car to a nearby destination, why don’t you walk and enjoy the scenic route? As long as the neighborhood is safe, walking around gives you a chance to interact with the locals and immerse in the culture of the place. Also, book walking tours—many cities in Europe and Asia offer them for free. 

2. Bike
See if the city you’re visiting is bike-friendly. Look around for bike or scooter rental shops. Also try Spinlister, the Airbnb of bikes, surfboards, and snowboards. Leisurely biking burns 243 calories an hour [source: My Fitness Pal] as opposed to just sitting in a bus or car.

3. Organize outdoor adventures.
Traveling is the perfect opportunity to try something new, so fill your itinerary with a new sport, hiking trip, and other outdoor adventures. See what sports and activities the locals are into.

4. Pack your exercise.
Download a fitness app that allows you to play exercise videos or guide you through quickie workouts without the need for fancy equipment. Pack a jump rope, lightweight Yoga mat, or even just a pair of running shoes that you can use during your down time.

5. Look for free workouts.
If you booked a hotel, take advantage of the free gym and pool. Jog at the neighborhood park, public running oval, or community fitness center in your location. Check if your resort offers sports activities such as Frisbee, tennis, or aerobics classes. If it’s fun, you won’t notice you’re burning calories.

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6. Keep moving.
If it’s just a few floors up, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Do 5-10 minute stretches while waiting for the train or plane to arrive. Stroll through the airport terminal instead of using the travelator or moving walkway. Little things add up.

7. Dance
Traveling is the best excuse to try salsa, tango, boogie, hip-hop, and other forms of dance that’s popular in the new city or country you’re in. Hit the clubbing scene with your friends or dine at restaurants that have a dance floor. Conga line, anyone?

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