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Sid KaplanOne thing you might not think about is that you should shape up for travel if you want to really enjoy your trip and stay healthy.

Your doctor probably tells you all the time that you should exercise more, but some people find it hard to stay motivated to exercise just because they should. Decide to shape up for travel, and hopefully you’ll stay motivated.

Once you get on the road, you’ll be glad you made the effort to shape up for travel whether you’ll be hiking or biking or kayaking, or even just walking around cities.

There are lots of active travel destinations – hiking the Grand Canyon or the Inca Trail, for example – and you need to be in shape before you leave home if you want to really enjoy them.

Have you ever wanted to trek in Nepal? Then spend some time walking and hiking at home to ensure that you’ll be in shape to be ready to tackle, if not Mt. Everest, at least the Annapurna Loop Trek.

When we went to Madagascar, looking for lemurs had us hiking up and down hills in the rain forests. “Hiking” in the Tsingy was more like rock climbing. We were really glad we were in shape!

You should even get in shape if you are going to someplace like the air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin: you’ll do lots of walking, and it’s apt to be hot and humid. My sister wore a pedometer, and one day she walked seven miles. While that’s not much if you’re a marathoner or long distance hiker, but if you’re a casual tourist that amount of walking could wear you out if you aren’t in shape!

The same goes for cities that cry out to be walked, cities such as Paris, London, Prague, Budapest, even Venice could have you walking in circles for miles. We recently went to Jerusalem, and scrambling up and down those narrow streets and bazaars was tiring, not to mention the steep hike on the Mount of Olives.

How about kayaking? Better be ready for that. Or how about scuba diving? Sometimes scuba can just feel like you fall off the boat and swim gently, but even when it doesn’t seem very hard to dive, you should be in shape.

OK so maybe you don’t want to do anything quite so strenuous. Golf anyone? Maybe exercise at home is driving around in a golf cart, but you might want to train a bit. If you’ve ever wanted to play golf in Scotland or Ireland, be prepared not find golf carts there. Shape up for travel, and you won’t have any problems walking the Old Course!

Just being in good shape will make your trip more enjoyable. Travel can wear you out even if it’s not an active vacation, so shape up for travel, and happy travels.


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