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Six Great Ways to Stay Fit While on Vacation

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When it comes to vacationing, we all have our favorite things to do. Unfortunately for our physiques, lounging and chowing are usually at the top of the list. And while there's nothing wrong with a little hammock and buffet time, there's also nothing wrong with maintaining the healthy lifestyle that got you looking hot in that sexy swimsuit. So rather than head straight for the all-you-can-eat shrimp platter, consider these options to add some fitness to your vacation fun.

1. Pick up a paddle. Whether it's a kayak, canoe, rowboat, or Shamu blowup raft, you'll get a great workout paddling it from point A to point B. Obviously, the longer you paddle the better the workout. Consider, however, turning around once you lose sight of land or notice your vessel filling with water. Other than that, enjoy the ride. Not only will you have loads of fun, you're also bound to burn off those calories you racked up at the previous night's luau.

2. Go deep! Can't get enough ocean time? Then slide into some scuba gear and take the plunge. Getting up close and personal with sea life is an unforgettable experience. It's also a terrific total body and cardio workout that will keep you in top conditionespecially if you find yourself being chased by something large with teeth.

3. Tee it up! Looking for a little less adventure, but still want to expend some energy? A round of golf should do the trick. True, it's not quite as grueling as a triathlon, but it's a whole lot more social and will burn more calories than you think. And if you really want to work off those poolside margaritas, ditch the golf cart altogether and lug your clubs on foot. Your score may suffer, but your endurance and physique will dramatically improve.

4. Head for the mountains! No, this is not an endorsement to drink beer with a bunch of babes in a ski resort hot tub, but rather a call to hit the trails and explore the scenic beauty of the great outdoors. Unless you're vacationing in Kansas or Iowa, chances are you should be able to find some type of natural elevated terrain that you can walk across, climb up, or ski down. The fresh air and breathtaking views can be a truly spiritual experienceas can a fall over a cliff. So be sure to go at your own pace and have an extra Sherpa on hand for climbs over 15,000 feet.

5. Put the wheels in motion. Still not quite ready to get back in the water after that Great White incident? No problem. There's plenty of ground that can be covered with a good old-fashioned bicycle. From a steady cruise along a coastal path to a 1,600-mile tour through the French countryside, cycling offers a fun way to soak up the sights and rev up your heart rate. As long as there's air in the tires and a clear path ahead, you're good to go.

6. Take it with you. Can't get enough of the great home workouts that have worked wonders for your body and got you in shape to enjoy an active vacation? Just because you're halfway across the globe doesn't mean you can't still do them. The advent of laptop computers and portable DVD players makes it easier than ever to pop in your favorite fitness video for a quick and familiar workout virtually anywhere. No access to technology? No problem! Just grab an exercise band, find a patch of land NOT currently occupied by a highly territorial wild animal that just gave birth, and get down to business.

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