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Workouts That Travel

A vacation can do wonders for reducing stress levels, but it can derail a healthy fitness regimen. Even some of the most die-hard exercisers find it difficult to stick with a workout program when away from home. Sure, many have good intentions. They may even pack their workout attire. Unfortunately, their gear never makes it out of the suitcase until they're back home.

But travel from home doesn't have to result in an interruption or complete abandonment of your healthy habits. You can still fit in exercise time when away from home, regardless of whether you find yourself in a warm or a cold climate. Even if bad weather forces you into seclusion in your hotel room, there are exercises you can complete without a single piece of equipment.

Below are some tips to help you stay fit while traveling and avoid coming home with unwanted extra baggage.

* Be realistic. You probably won't be able to fit in your normal weekly workouts and that's okay. Shoot for completing at least 50% of your normal regimen.

* Plan ahead. Before leaving town, find out what type of workout facilities your accommodations will have or if there is a nearby park of jogging track (weather permitting, of course).

* Scope out local gyms. If you are staying somewhere that doesn't provide a workout area then inquire at the nearby local fitness centers for their rates. Often they offer day passes for minimal fees.

* Pack a resistance band in your suitcase. The band takes up very little space, yet can provide you with an entire upper and lower body workout routine.

* Don't deprive yourself of all local delicacies. You can enjoy some special meals without going overboard. Ask the restaurants to prepare your favorite dishes with a few lower fat ingredients.

* Be creative. Find unique, fun ways to exercise instead of doing the same routine you do when you are at home. Try biking, hiking, a pedal boat excursion, water-skiing, beach volleyball, etc. Effective workouts aren't limited to the standard fares of walking, jogging and fitness machines.

* Try out your travel routine at least once at home. A new workout that you've never done before will require more time and preparation. This type of frustration just makes for an easy excuse to skip the workout.

* Prepare snacks. If your journey includes a lot of time in the car, be sure to pack some healthy snacks so you aren't forced to eat at all the fast food and convenience shops along the way.

* Play in the pool. If lounging poolside is part of your vacation plans, then hop in the pool every 20 minutes for 5-10 minutes of pool walking (try it in waist-deep or higher water for a really challenging workout).

* Get comfortable. Don't forget to pack comfortable workout attire that fits your destination's climate.

Here is a quick, simple circuit workout that only requires a resistance band and can be done anywhere. Complete at least one set of 8-12 reps of each exercise.

* Bicep Curl

* Tricep Dip

* Lat Pull Down

* Front Raise

* Push-Up

* Squat

* Abductor lifts

* Adductor splits

* Hamstring Kicks