Traveling the world is something many of us aspire to do, and so is working out to stay healthy. Oftentimes, though, we find it difficult to keep up a training routine on the road due to several changes:

Take advantage of your surrounds! Photo courtesy of Tim Jordan via Flickr

Take advantage of your surrounds! Photo courtesy of Tim Jordan via Flickr

1) Change in Schedule – Most of us have a time set aside for working out in our day-to-day schedule. A vacation alters your schedule drastically, which means you will have to find a new time for your workout.

2) Change (or the lack thereof) in Equipment – If you work out at a gym, you are used to having certain equipment at your disposal. When you are on a trip, though, there is not guarantee the equipment will be available to you.

3) Change in Environment – If you are a jogger or bicyclist, you no longer have a familiar path or destination to exercise. Gym member? Your normal place of exercise will not follow you on your vacation.

Aside from working out, our dietary habits also change when we are on the road. Many travelers, myself included, want to try new foods in the destinations they are visiting, even if these delicacies have high calorie counts, are loaded with added sugars, etc. However, we need to keep in mind that our bodies don’t realize we are on vacation, and the laws of biology (as it pertains to digestion and consumption) do not change.

As a result, traveling can easily serve as an obstacle to our workout and dietary routine. This is especially frustrating when you have to redevelop a workout rhythm after your travels, which can take up to 1-2 weeks. But there are ways to integrate travel and fitness!

1) Plan Your Trip - Most of us make plans when going on a vacation. For instance, travelers usually plan what days they are going to see certain attractions, eat at restaurants, day trips, etc. You can also apply this to work-out sessions! If possible, try to carve out 30-60 minutes of the day where you can exercise. Even if you only have 10-15 minutes to work out, that is better no workout at all!

2) No Equipment…No Problem! – Most vacation rentals do not have a private fitness facility. However, you may be near a fitness center. If your budget allows, most fitness centers offer a relatively inexpensive day or weekly rate for using their facilities. Also, some vacation rentals have private pools, which you can use to tread; swimming burns LOTS of calories.

Of course, you may not have the money for a fitness center and your vacation rental may not have a pool. If that is the case, you’re in luck because there are plenty of body training options, including the following:

  • Push-ups
  • Ab work (Sit-ups, crunches, air-bike, hip raises)
  • Lunges
  • Tricep dips (find a chair or sofa to do these)
  • Squats
  • Planks

All of the above exercises really work your body strength and core muscles. Do enough repetitions and you will not be missing the gym for very long.

Enjoy the Good Life and Stay fit by swimming in your rental's pool!

Enjoy the Good Life and Stay fit by swimming in your rental’s pool!

3) Look at Your Surroundings - Check to see if there are any hiking trails or parks nearby for jogging, walking, etc. Many parks have work-out stations you can use. Also, if you are staying near the beach, try exercising on the sand; you will feel the burn very quickly! Swimming in the ocean is another great way to exercise…and it’s fun!

4) Items to Bring - Bring some lightweight fitness items with you on your trip. Resistance bands are very helpful and allow you to work your arms and shoulders. Also, bring appropriate clothing (gym shorts, sneakers, t-shirts). You don’t want to work out in your jeans or khakis, do you? Another useful item is a sweat belt; this helps you sweat off additional water weight off your abs while working out.

5) Master of Your Diet – According to master trainer, Travis Steffen, diet is anywhere from 70 to 90% responsible when it comes to transforming and improving your body.  One reason travelers gain weight on vacations is because they take no control over their diet. They leave it up to airport restaurants, flight menus, nearby cuisine to determine their diet. Be prepared and pack healthy snacks to take with you on the trip; this is especially helpful in the airports and planes where healthy meals are few and far between.

Also, most vacation rentals have kitchens so use this space to prepare healthy meals while on your trip. You should definitely try the local flavor while on vacation, but be sure to balance it out with healthy eating options!

Finally, remember the reasons you want to travel in the first place…to have new experiences! Why not take this chance to explore new ways to work out, control your diet and stay fit!


Skip Davis; March 27, 2014


Campbell, Adam and Gotthardt, Melissa. “Stay Fit and Avoid Weight Gain While Traveling” Stay Fit and Avoid Weight Gain While Traveling N.p. Web. 26 February, 2013

Elkaim, Yuri. “How to Work Out While Traveling” U.S. News N.p. Web. 10 Jan. 2014

Steffan, Travis. “Losing Weight is About 80 Percent Diet” Workout Box TV N.p. Web. 09 February, 2010

Adventures in medical tourism

Putting my money where my mouth is on a trip to Costa Rica.

By Kirk Meyer | OCTOBER 28, 2012

Places to go for Dental Tourism

Costa Rica is a hot spot to save money doing dental work!

NOT LONG AGO I came down with a toothache. This thing hurt like someone was jamming a screwdriver between my tooth and my gum. I would have paid any price, made any promise, confessed any crime just to make the pain go away. My dentist told me I needed a root canal and crown, which would cost $2,350. And my three existing crowns needed to be replaced, too, because they were nearing the end of their 10-year life expectancy. This would cost about another $3,600. Did I mention that I don’t have dental insurance?

I shopped around a bit, but my dentist turned out to be about average price-wise, so there was no relief there. While surfing the Internet I came across the idea of going abroad for dental work. The general term you see is “medical tourism,” a moniker I admit I don’t like. “Honey, I’ll meet you on the beach as soon as I have my gallbladder removed.” Let’s face it, it can’t be that much fun.

It turns out that this year more than 1.6 million folks will travel outside this country for medical care, according to the Medical Tourism Association, and the numbers continue to grow. In the new “heat, eat, or go to the doctor” America, many people simply have no other choice. Apparently India is the place to go for heart surgery, but Hungary and Costa Rica head the A-list for dental work.

Once I narrowed my search to Costa Rica, I found numerous clinics set up in the capital city of San Jose. They had websites with pictures of clean offices, modern equipment, and, of course, gleaming smiles all around. Moreover, many of the dentists were trained in the United States at places like the University of California, Los Angeles and New York University. Seeing those qualifications, I felt a little less like a lunatic and more like a modern-day Magellan who had bad teeth.

So, before I knew it, my plane was landing at Santamaria International Airport just outside San Jose. My taxi driver immediately started speaking to me in Spanish, although mine is pretty much limited to arroz con pollo and cafe con leche. I was able to glean that he thinks I look like President Carter (which I take as a compliment even though I’m 61 and Jimmy Carter is 88). I once had a Boston second-grader ask me whether I was President Clinton. Maybe all white-haired white guys look alike.

At the clinic, my dentist, Dr. Luis Obando, and his pleasant staff were all quite young yet came across as very competent. They did digital X-rays — which expose patients to 50 percent to 90 percent less radiation than the old style — and used high-resolution cameras to show me the condition of my teeth and the work to be done. Everything was sterile-looking, and the comforting rinse cup was right there within reach. When they reclined my chair, I could see a flat-screen TV mounted on the ceiling tuned to CNN in English.

Oddly, there’s not a lot to say about the actual dental work. Everything went smoothly, just like going to the dentist in the United States. The main difference was, of course, the final cost — about one-third of what I was quoted at home. For example, a crown in the Boston area runs upward of $1,000. In Costa Rica, it costs about $400.

Here’s another way to explain the savings: This trip included a round-trip airline ticket for me and a week’s hotel stay in San Jose; plus another round-trip ticket for my wife, who joined me for a second week, our stay in a luxury villa in a cloud forest, and the four-wheel-drive car rental we needed to get there; plus, lest I forget, the dental work itself. And it was all still cheaper than driving the 10 miles and visiting my dentist back home.

Kirk Meyer is the executive director of the Green Schoolyard Network. Send comments to

**This article was authored by Linda Forshaw for Eyeflare. This website provides travel information and advice on for various destinations throughout the world, including San Diego. Enjoy the article and the Good Life.

A giraffe couple at the Zoo! CC Image courtesy of coralmoore via Flickr.

The San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park in Escondido, California offers a thrilling and unique day out for the whole family. The park is split into thirteen distinct areas including Safari Base Camp, Elephant Valley, Gorilla Forest, Nairobi Village, African Woods, African Outpost, Lion Camp, The Grove, Tiger Territory, Condor Ridge, World Gardens, Asian Savanna and the African Plains.

Whichever of the thirteen areas you choose to visit, you’re sure to come across some of the world’s most interesting and often endangered species. The adult African Elephants were rescued from Swaziland in 2003 when they were due to be killed as a result of over population in the area. This is just one example of the Park’s considerable conservation efforts.

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**This article was authored by Paula Simpson Takamori for Travel to Paradise. This website provides information on all the Hawaiian Islands. Enjoy the article and the Good Life.

In case no one told you, Hawaii sun is HOT!

Yes, we have lovely trade winds and an ocean to cool you, and yes, we have overcast days sometimes that don’t feel so sunshiny, but that doesn’t mean our hallmark sun isn’t shining on above our beautiful islands.

With sun comes UV rays, which can cause sunburns in the short term, and add to the wrinkles in the long term. To avoid both, make sure you use sunscreen liberally throughout your Hawaii vacation.

Here are a few basic sunscreen rules:

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**This article was authored by Blog 4 Travell. This website provides information on traveling throughout the world. Enjoy the article and the Good Life.

The best one day tour you ever thought of can be from Oahu to Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. There are a lot of fun and adventure you can have there. You can explore Volcanoes National Park in one full day trip. There you can enjoy walk along Black sand beach, hike over the lava flow thatcovered the village of Kalapana and Kaimu Black Sand Beach,there are possibilities that you can see lava flowing downstream. You should also visit famous Rainbow Falls, Jaggar Museum and Volcano House there.

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**This article was authored by International Expeditions, a pioneering ecotourism company. This website provides information on Costa Rica tours and all things Pura Vida. Enjoy the article and the Good Life.

Costa Rica is one of the most popular ecotourism destinations in the world, and the 2012 Happy Planet Index (HPI) recently named the Central American nation the happiest country on the planet. To determine the ranking of 151 nations, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) in the U.K. analyzes countries based on their average life expectancies, ecological footprints and experienced well-being.

Experienced well-being is determined using data from a question on the Gallup World Poll called the “Ladder of Life.” Survey respondents are asked to rank their quality of life based on where they stand on the ladder. The bottom, or zero, is the worst, and 10 is the highest. This is multiplied by average life expectancy to determine “Happy Life Years” and that number is divided by the ecological footprint. The footprint, determined by World Wildlife Fund, is the amount of land needed to sustain a country’s consumption needs.

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**This article was authored by Dahlia Nahome, founder of the Costa Rican Vacation website. Enjoy the article and the Good Life.

1) Costa Rica abolished its army in the 1940s to invest in its peoples
education, welfare and environment.
2) Nearly 30% of Costa Rica is protected national parks.
3) Forbes magazine recently voted our local beach in the top five in the
world. Another one of our local beaches has recently been voted as the number one beach in Central and South America in the Trip Advisor traveler poll of 2010…

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**This article was authored by Meghan Hazen, a writer for the Maui Time food blog, Maui Dish. Enjoy the article and the Good Life.

Enjoy all that Ka’anapali has to offer during their first annual three-day Kaanapali Fresh event that provides a delicious and educational experience. On the first night, you’ll be fed by the beach’s best chefs from the Hyatt, Westin, and Sheraton resorts during a progressive dinner that takes place on the three properties. Move from course to course with live music and a beautiful sunset as your backdrop.

The second night will feature a farm-to-table dinner on the golf course – a collaboration of farmer, winery, and chef. Entertainment provided by Makana and Spyro Gyra.

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**This article was authored by Jasmine Stephenson, founder of the Jasmine Wanders website. Enjoy the article and the Good Life.

Costa Rica is one of Central America's top destinations for ex-pats.

Many 9-to-5ers dream of living in an exotic land far away from home, spending long days on the beach, and enjoying a low-stress life. A lucky few have turned this fantasy into a reality. Though expats can be found in every corner of the globe, Central America is a hot spot. Let’s take a look at three popular Central America destinations for creating a new life.

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**This article was authored by Claire Walter, founder of the Travel Babel website. Enjoy the article and the Good Life.

Bringing your own blanket on the plane goes a long way towards a comfortable flight.

Unless we travel first class on domestic flights, if we want a pillow or blanket, we need to bring our own or (on some airlines) pay to use the airline’s. A few months ago, I returned from Fiji on an overnight flight on a flying refrigerator. Since it was an international flight, there were blankets, but Air Pacific’s, like so many carrier’s, were flimsy and small. I could drape it around my shoulders or over my legs and feet, but not both.

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