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America's Healthiest Vacation Spots

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, and your 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.

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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.

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 sofitelde-light.com.

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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.

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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. Got some extra cash? Stay at the premier (but pricier) hotel The Little Nell, whose “Adventure Concierge” arranges personalized fitness conquests for guests, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

De-Stress in Scottsdale

Scottsdale, Arizona is dotted with more resort spas per capita than any other U.S. destination. As it turns out, getting pampered is time well spent—it’s actually good for your health. Research has shown post-sweat rubdowns promote recovery and relieve pain the same way ibuprofen does: by improving your ability to produce proteins needed for rebuilding worn-down muscles. There’s your excuse to relax from start to finish (in case you needed one). Hike Camelback Mountain, play some tennis, finish with one of the many massages the local spas offer, and fly home a new woman.

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Face Your Fears in Utah

Adrenaline isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, researchers at Texas A&M University found that adventure sports like canyoneering (a combo of hiking, climbing, scrambling and rappelling) can produce more of it than something as freaky as public speaking. An activity that’s stressful on your mind and body can help you prep for—and react to—your everyday stressors back home. So book your flight out west and check into a place like the Red Mountain Resort, an all-inclusive, active resort surrounded by Southern Utah’s red rock cliffs. Rappelling down the 150-foot canyons in Zion National Park will test your strength and determination—and better equip your bod for the cubicle stress waiting for you at home.

This story originally appeared on MensHealth.com

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