Vacation Spots That Keep Your Health In Mind.

By: Cassie Shortsleeve,  Article originally posted on Men’s Health.

If extra vacation days aren’t enough incentive to actually go on vacation, here are a few more: You’ll lose weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, andyour Body Mass Index (BMI).

The trick? Choosing the right trip. According to a small study from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, a health and wellness vacation—i.e. a week spent focusing on healthy food, exercise, and stress management—is your ticket. In the study, people who experienced such a trip lost an average of 6.8 pounds, lowered their blood pressure by 7.7 percent, and saw a 5.2 percent decline in cholesterol levels and BMI.

While we can’t promise the same results, there are plenty of great getaways across America where your workout and diet won’t suffer. Here are five trips that put your health first. (And for more cool trips and kickass challenges, check out the Men’s Health Adventure Guide!)

Eat Right at the Sofitel Hotels
Grub on the go can leave you feeling queasy a few hours later—and it could also derail your weight-loss progress. So forget a diet disaster, and stay at one of the many Sofitel locations across the U.S., including Chicago, New York, and Miami. You can dine the guiltless way with the hotel chain’s De-light menu, which puts an emphasis on fresh ingredients—but doesn’t sacrifice flavor. The best part: Every option is under 300 calories. Who thought a Pollack fish dish with avocado cream, artichoke hearts, and Dijon mustard could clock in at a mere 129 calories? Find out which cities offer the menu at

Be Happy and Fit in Hawaii
If the gorgeous weather isn’t enough of a sell, a recent Gallup Healthways survey of more than 350,000 people rated the people of Hawaii to be the happiest in the country. Experience those good vibes yourself when you get a taste of the breaks with locals. Don’t fear the North Shore’s 10-foot plus monsters—just sign up for an intro lesson with the premier surf school on the island, Hans Hedemann. There’s a satellite location right inside the Turtle Bay Resort on the island’s North Shore, just minutes from Kuilima Bay’s surf spot.  Just remember: A rising swell isn’t for the faint of heart, so prep your body with these 5 Essential Surfing Exercises before you hit the water.


Build Endurance—for Free—in Aspen
You’d have to try hard not to be healthy in Colorado. (After all, it’s the fittest state in the country, according to a recent CDC report). But in pricey Aspen—a city known for celeb visitors and lofty prices—the trick is to break a sweat on a dime. Our advice: Book the Limelight Hotel for at least three nights, and workouts with killer views are yours for free. Each night, Limelight will hand you two lift tickets that you can use at all four of Aspen’s local mountains.

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