For those of us who have made fitness an important part of our lives, it was a habit that didn’t form overnight. It took time, commitment and consistency to fit exercise into the schedule. According to Dr. John Grohol of Psych Central (www.psychcentral.com), it takes approximately 66 days to form a simple habit (but can take upwards of 8 1/2 months for a more complicated habit to take hold). Long term habits also require a consistent schedule. Unfortunately, people who who travel on a regular basis don’t have the luxury of a consistent schedule and are constantly challenged with making fitness a regular part of their work week.
It’s already difficult finding time during the busy work week to get to the gym to stay in shape. Trying to accommodate a regular workout schedule while traveling may seem like an impossible task. Aside from the work to be completed while traveling (i.e. business meetings, trade shows or special events) the majority of free time is spent in transit (in a plane, on a train or in a car) or at the hotel. It is possible to schedule workouts while traveling, but there are a few factors to consider:
- Scheduling the time for exercise
- Access to facilities and/or equipment
- Safety during exercise
Whether you are a business professional who travels regularly as a function of their job or you are preparing to travel for the upcoming holidays it’s important to have a plan to maintain your fitness routine. The last thing you would want is to lose all of the benefits of the fitness habits you’ve worked hard to build. In the “Workout Advice for the Busy Traveler” series we will explore ways to keep fit while traveling away from home in the following ways:
- Keeping fit at the hotel
- Keeping fit on the plane
- Keeping fit on the road
Keeping Fit at the Hotel
Hotels and resorts over the past decade have become more “fitness friendly” and many are outfitting fitness rooms and swimming pools for the hotel guests. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 84% of properties offer fitness facilities (the highest percentage to date). Hotels will offer the following options for guests:
- Fitness room
- Onsite fitness club
- Access to a local fitness club or recreation center
Fitness Room in the Hotel
The majority of hotels offer a “fitness room” that is essentially a converted hotel guest room. It is traditionally located on the first or second floor of the hotel that can be accessed using any hotel guest key. These rooms offer essential fitness equipment that may include:
- Cardiovascular equipment (i.e. treadmill, bike or elliptical trainer)
- Weight equipment (i.e. multi-station gyms, plate-loaded, hydraulic resistance)
- Equipment accessories (i.e. stability ball, resistance tubing, yoga mat)
These facilities tend to include equipment that are safe for independent use and do not require supervision.
Fitness Club Located in the Hotel
More expensive hotels or resorts may include a fully operational fitness facility. These fitness facilities are staffed (i.e. fitness instructors, personal trainers and management) and offer services and memberships to the surrounding community. Hotel guests are either provided access to the facility as part of the nightly room charge or pay extra to access the facility.
Access to Local Fitness Club or Recreation Center
Some hotels maintain partnerships with local fitness facilities and provide hotel guests with complimentary passes to these facilities. These locations are traditionally within walking distance from the hotel and (if you are moving to the area in the future) will offer membership discounts and promotional services if you join.
Before You Travel – Fitness Advice
Whether you are traveling for business or for personal reasons it is important to choose a hotel that best suits your needs. If you have the option to choose your hotel (and getting in quality workouts is important to you) I would suggest you research hotels that meet both your travel needs and fitness needs. Try and find a hotel that either includes fitness services that accommodate your workout requirements or includes complimentary access to a fitness facility located nearby. If neither option is available there are ways to accommodate effective workouts through creative exercise programs that you can complete in the comfort of your own hotel room. Stay tuned for these programs in future articles at www.todaysfitnesstrainer.com.