How Do You Stay Fit While Traveling? Article by Norm Goldman

Today Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com are pleased to have as our guest, Jim Kaese, an elite amateur triathlete, entrepreneurial businessman, and endurance sport coach.

Author of The Athletic-Minded Traveler: Where to Work Out and Stay When Fitness Is a Priority, Jim visited America's top 78 travel destinations to find the very best hotel/fitness-venue combinations.

Welcome Jim to Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com.

Norm:

Could you tell us something about yourself Jim and what provoked you into writing about the very best hotel and fitness venue combinations?

Jim:

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.

Norm:

Do you believe that if couples are looking for an ideal romantic getaway they should also take into account the fitness facilities, and if so, why?

Jim:

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 is important to emphasize that when I say exercise,I am not talking about an hour of hard-core running or lifting weights at the gym- 20 minutes of brisk walking can do the trick.

Norm:

If you had to name 5 ideal romantic getaway hospitality properties that combine a unique romantic ambience with great fitness facilities, which ones would you choose and why?

Jim:

? 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.

Norm:

Why should couples be concerned about fitness activities when they are away on a romantic getaway or on their honeymoon?

Jim:

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!

Norm:

How can we determine the quantity, quality, and brand of exercise equipment at recommended hotels if we never have been there?

Jim:

Buy The Athletic-Minded Traveler (laughs). In addition to providing a comprehensive written review covering everything you want to know (room appearance, room service, free breakfast buffets, sheet thread-count, etc.) about each property, we also specifically detail in chart form the quantity of exercise machines, their condition, the brands, weight/strength options, pool dimensions, running routes, etc. But, if you're going to a city that's not covered in the book, the best you can do is call up the concierge and ask him/her your specific questions. Sometimes it even helps to confirm with the maintenance workers.

Norm:

Very often when we vacation we seem to return home fully relaxed, however very much out of shape. How do we avoid this?

Jim:

Make exercise part of your daily 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.

Norm:

There is always a temptation to overeat when we are on vacation. How can we fight off this temptation while at the same time still enjoy ourselves?

Jim:

Like I was saying before, 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.

Norm:

Are there any food we should avoid when we are on vacation and if so, why?

Jim:

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.

Norm:

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Jim:

Only that I've been really touched by the large number of people who have written us saying that they are so happy we wrote this book because they too were constantly frustrated by the travel industry's ignorance about fitness preferences. Letters and emails have come from hard-core athletes as well as recreational exercisers who just like to put in 20 minutes on a good elliptical machine or bike. Our goal all along was simply to provide a reliable resource that would help people enjoy a healthy lifestyle while on the road. So far, it seems that we've succeeded.

Visit SOCAL PRESS.COM to view a sample chapter and find more information about The Athletic-Minded" Traveler, a first-of-its-kind travel resource for those who enjoy a healthy lifestyle and working out while on the road.

About the author: Norm Goldman is editor of the travel site, sketchandtravel.com and the book reviewing site, bookpleasures.com.

Norm and his artist wife Lily are a unique husband and wife team who meld words with art focusing on romantic destinations and hospitality properties.

Norm and Lily are always open to receiving invitations from romantic destinations and hospitality properties in the USA.

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