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How To Keep Fit While Traveling Even On A Romantic Getaway
by: Jim Kaese

Through the years, I traveled quite a bit for work and pleasure. In addition to finding places to stay that matched my budget and amenity preferences, I always tried to identify hotels that offered good fitness options. However, time and time again, I would show up at the hotel and discover that the "state of the art" fitness center was a closet-sized room with old or broken equipment. Or, the "lap" pool was a short oval without lane lines. Or, the "running routes" consisted of a map provided by the concierge that directed guests to jog around the streets of the hotel 10 times. It boggled my mind how these hotels could make such blatant misrepresentations. So, I decided to write the first cross-country guide that objectively recommends the BEST places to stay for those who enjoy healthy living and staying fit.

I believe everyone should take into consideration the quality of the fitness facilities -- including couples on a romantic getaway. Exercise not only helps boost your immunity system, lower stress, and improve your sleeping habits; it also helps your sex life. Studies have shown that healthy people have better sex and tend to be happier. And, I believe it's important to emphasize that when I say "exercise," I'm not talking about an hour of hard-core running or lifting weights at the gym - 20 minutes of brisk walking can do the trick.

San Francisco is one of my favorite romantic cities -- the bridge, the fog, the rain, the restaurants, and the cultural offerings create a perfect stage for a wonderfully romantic trip. Any of the SFO hotels in my book would be great fitness/romance combinations, but the Hotel Rex is the best deal for the money. A small, intimate hotel property just steps from Union Square and China Town, Rex also provides guests with a discounted pass to a fantastic (but small) health club down the street, Club One.

If money is no object, The Miraval Spa and Resort in Tucson is a marvelous getaway for couples looking to stay fit and be pampered. All meals are included as well as any type of exercise option you can imagine -- horseback riding, lap swimming, rock climbing, etc.

For those looking to add a little more "party" to their trip, Miami's South Beach hotels are filled with romance. The Shore Club, Delano, Ritz and National are all in the book, bestowing lots of love and liveliness to their guests.

Colorado Springs' Broadmoor Hotel is a breathtaking resort beset by serene lakes and mountain landscape. Broadmoor's Fitness Center and Spa is well-equipped with modern machines and a regulation lap pool. And, the nearby trails create fantastic jogging and mountain biking opportunities.

New York City can never be left off the romance list. Several properties make exceptional romantic destinations, but Le Parker Meridien, across the street from Central Park, tops my list. It's NYC, so expect small yet cozy hotel rooms. The Scandinavian flavor, tremendous views, and extensive on-site health club make it one of the best.

Exercising for only 20-30 minutes each day will allow you to start the day healthy and help you make better choices throughout the rest of the day. Then, enjoying small indulgences like your favorite piece of pie or a few cocktails or sitting around by the pool for six hours will not seem like a big deal. Don't forget about that improved sex too!

Make exercise part of your daily vacation routine, just like showering or brushing your teeth. When you think about it, 20 minutes is not that much time at all. Especially while on a vacation, when you don't have to worry about going to work and all of the other hassles at home.

Exercise will allow you to not fret so much over what you're eating and drinking. You may end up taking in more calories, but being active and exercising should help to burn those off fairly easily.

Vacation is supposed to be a break from all that troubles and worries you, right? When I go away, I like to eat the local food and experience the local customs without concerns about how many calories are in my dinner, etc. Knowing that I performed my daily workout reassures me that anything I take in will be worked off either that same day or the next. So, no, don't worry about avoiding certain foods -- just make sure to get in a daily sweat.


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