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6 Awesome Ways to Stay Healthy on Vacation

Don’t let diet and exercise go out the window when you’re on vacation. It’s easy to stay healthy and still enjoy your well-earned trip

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    Breakfast in Bed

    En español | Here’s a good way to watch your waistline and meet the locals: Shop for local ingredients to make your own breakfast in a hotel room equipped with a kitchen or in a rented apartment. That DIY breakfast will not only save time in the morning, but you’ll also save on calories better spent for splurging at must-visit restaurants. Plus, shopping at nearby markets is a fun way to really get to know a neighborhood and its residents.

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    Pack Your Walking Shoes

    It burns calories, saves you money and improves your mood. And it’s also a great way to soak in your surroundings. We’re talking about walking — the best way to combine sightseeing and staying healthy. Not only will you save on cab and bus fare, you’ll also burn calories. Even better, walks in the park or the countryside, where you can enjoy nature, can help boost your mood, according to a recent Stanford University study.

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    Speak a New Tongue

    If you’re in a foreign country, go ahead and try out the language. Even if your vacation isn’t abroad, try picking up the local slang or dialect. Studies have shown that stepping out of your comfort zone has health benefits for the brain.

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    Rent a Bike

    More and more cities, here and abroad, are offering great deals on bike rentals by the day or even the hour. It’s a fun way for tourists to see some of the sights and certainly healthier (and less expensive) than sitting in a taxi or bus. Plus, cycling is good aerobic exercise and burns about twice as many calories as walking.

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    Soak Up Some Sun

    Before you slather on the sunscreen, you ought to consider the many health benefits of soaking up a little sunshine. It’s no secret the body produces vitamin D from direct sun exposure, which leads to good bone and tooth health. But this vitamin may also help lower the risk of colon and breast cancer, say researchers with the University of California, San Diego. On the other hand, don’t go baking for hours in the sun. All we need is 2,000 international units (IUs) of D daily, or about 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure. After that, you’ll need a hat and some sunblock.

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    Read a Book

    A travel guidebook shouldn’t be the only book you read while traveling — bring along a novel, too. Scientists say it’ll make you more empathetic. That’s because reading fiction allows us to see life from the characters’ viewpoints according to a 2013 Dutch study. Need more convincing? Reading can also protect against memory decline in older adults, researchers with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found.

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