It’s hard enough to stay in shape at home, let alone while on the road. Vacation is supposed to be the time to chuck the diet out the window while you are relaxing and indulging in exotic eats. But to toss all your hard work out the window is a shame. Here are tips to stay in shape while traveling, which is part “live and learn” from my end and part from fitness trainer, vegan chef and close friend  Carmen Garcia:

Use the Hotel Gym Facilities

It’s easy to get a quick run on the treadmill in or some weights by just going downstairs. Most also have pools, aerobics room, tennis courts and some (like the Ascott Makati I staying in last year in the Philippines) have full on classes. I tried out a personal martial arts class. Other hotels offer summer sunrise yoga (Intercontinetal Boston), Pilates (St. Regis San Francisco) and body sculpting (Ritz Carlton Chicago).

If going down to the gym is too much work, use your own body weight as a workout in the privacy of your own room. Push ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges and tricep dips are great. Super motivated travelers can easily pack resistant bands or a bender ball in a small space in your luggage, along with your favorite workout DVD. All the magazines you bring to entertain yourself on the plane ( Self, Fitness) have great tips and step-by-step  workouts. Try one out.


A great way to see the city, take in some fresh air and have it cost nothing: run. Running is a great way to burn fat and keep toned. Run for 3 minutes, walk for one.


When exploring a new city, I tend to head out and explore everything by foot. Not only am I staying active, but I am getting an up close and personal look at wherever I am. I took this to heart when I did a walking tour of Madrid, a hike down a volcano in Guatemala and strolling around the beautiful island of Wayaka in Fiji.

Take the Stairs

Exploring your new grounds on foot is a great way to get in some cardio, but taking the stairs instead of the elevator gives you some glute and leg action.

Drink Water

Water not only flushes out your system, but it stops you from packing on extra pounds from sodas, fruit juices and alcoholic beverages. 

Pack Healthy Snacks

I tend to favor raw almonds, string cheese and power bars. (Some other great options: tuna kits, fruit, nuts and turkey jerky). Having something on hand will help you from splurging on greasy, high calorie snacks when hunger kicks in.

Order Healthy

Just because you are on the road doesn’t mean you can’t order healthy. Try to stay away from high fat and fried foods. A better option is to order something grilled or steamed. If you opt for a salad, check nutritional information as some may have MORE calories and fat due to fatty dressings and unhealthy toppings.

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