Travel Fitness

Your Gym Has Clean Sheets

Want a spin bike delivered to your room? Get that and more with our guide to staying fit on the road.

Travel Fitness
Ryan Brandt

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After a predawn start, a bout with jet lag, and a triple-meeting afternoon, you’re ready to head to the hotel bar rather than face an aging rowing machine stashed in a dank, windowless room. Put that martini on hold. You’ll feel better during and after your trip if you squeeze in a workout, and we’re here to restore your motivation with a guide to fitness-centric hotel services, the perfect in-room regimen, smart tips from a travel-savvy exercise physiologist, and more. Take our advice and you can retire to the bar and toast your health.

Run the Numbers

Cross a GPS with a sophisticated wrist-top training tool and you get the GARMIN FORERUNNER 305, an ultraprecise data cruncher that can track pace, mileage, heart rate, elevation change, and calories burned, then help you find your way back to your hotel, anywhere in the world. 0;

Travel Fitness

Travel Fitness


Hotels nationwide are catering to health-conscious travelers. Here are eight ways you can reap the rewards.

Stop waiting in line for the cardio equipment and book a WestinWorkout room. For about $20 more than the standard-room rate, you’ll get a treadmill or spin bike, adjustable dumbbells, and a stability ball, plus a fitness library, training videos, and total control over the remote.

What’s better than a hotel with a gym? A gym with a hotel. At Renaissance ClubSport, in Walnut Creek, California, your room comes with 12,000 square feet of workout space, an Olympic-length swimming pool, and full-size basketball and racquetball courts with regular pickup games. In May Renaissance broke ground on a second ClubSport, this one in Southern California.

Call down to the Fairmont Chicago’s front desk and an hour later you’ve got a Trek 1000 road bike. Take it for a spin on 21 miles of paved paths along Lake Michigan. $15 per hour; half-day, $50;

Omni hotels deliver stationary cardio equipment to your room. Reserve a treadmill for $15 and it’ll be in your suite upon check-in, so you can go for a run without going out.

The Rock Stars program at selected Rock Resorts one-ups the “dude at the front desk” found at typical mountain-town hotels. Exhibit A: The Lodge at Vail’s “spokes-person” is charged with dishing beta on the area’s singletrack. A climbing guide is in the works for the chain’s Keystone Lodge.

Order one of ten complimentary on-demand workout programs covering the likes of yoga, Pilates, core work, and meditation on the new Mind.Body.Spa channel at Kimpton boutique hotels (yoga mat included). Westin’s DVD-based fitness programming includes similar offerings, as well as spinning instruction.

Omni, Kimpton, Marriott, and Hilton all offer bundled exercise equipment you can take to your room at no charge. Hilton’s Fit Kits include sets of low-weight dumbbells, yoga mat, resistance tubing, and a 30-minute workout book. Marriott provides the BodyRev, a handheld cardio-and-strength trainer.,

Manhattan’s Affinia Dumont features exercise equipment delivered to your door and rooms with full-length wall mirrors and ample workout space. You also get access to a wellness library, an exhaustive city fitness directory, and a minibar stocked with healthy snacks.

Road Rules

Road Rules & iFit


Shake off slothful companions and other motivation-sapping pitfalls with tips from fitness expert Michael Bracko

Business trip or vacation, there’s usually a lull before the evening meal. If possible, push dinner back to at least 7 p.m. to extend this window of opportunity.

Never tell anyone you’re going to go exercise. “It makes them feel bad that they aren’t doing the same,” says Bracko. “They’ll harangue you to have a drink at the bar instead. I tell people I need to go check my e-mail or make a call.”

Holed up at a convention center? In most buildings you can go for a run after everyone leaves. It’s safe, and you’ll never miss a workout due to bad weather. Plus, with a maze of staircases, monstrous hallways, and random chairs to jump off or over, it’s like a businessman’s jungle gym.

If all else fails, do five minutes of squat thrusts/push-ups. Squat, plant your hands, kick legs back, do a push-up, return to squat position, and stand up.


Before you leave home, get a jump on your travel training with these top Web sites

: Want company? Click on your destination to find weekly group runs starting from the front door at these specialty running stores.

: Use this directory of gyms in and near terminals and you’ll know to connect through Vegas instead of Denver—McCarran International has a 24-Hour Fitness directly upstairs from Terminal 1’s baggage claim.

: Download the Enroute Workout, a ten-step regimen for train or plane seat, to your digital audio player for $5.

: This summer, Crunch Fitness offers free outdoor yoga near its metro gyms, in places like Central Park and Chicago’s Oz Park.

: Runners stock this site with their favorite routes, yielding 4,173 detailed runs in 3,164 towns worldwide.

Fitter, Quicker

No matter how cramped your schedule or room is, Calgary-based exercise physiologist Michael Bracko bets you’ll have 15 minutes before breakfast and dinner and a few square feet of personal space on your next business trip. The good news: That’s all you need to stay in shape. A University of New Hampshire study published in February’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that over the course of 12 weeks, people exercising for 15 minutes twice daily had significantly better improvements in aerobic fitness, blood pressure, and VO2 max than those completing one 30-minute session per day. And with the following Bracko-devised 15-minute, full-body travel regimen, you could squeeze a workout into your walk-in closet.

Complete exercises consecutively for one minute each without rest, then rest one minute and repeat.

Hold a suitcase (not so heavy it affects form) tucked against your chest and stand with legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Squat to 90 degrees. Repeat.

Lying facedown with your upper body resting on bent elbows (shoulder width apart) and fingers interlocked on the floor, raise your hips so you’re in a rigid push-up position on your forearms and toes. Hold for one minute. If you can’t maintain form, complete mini-sets within the minute: 15 seconds up, five seconds rest.

Same as front plank but on your side. Lying on your left side, raise hips to make a rigid plank braced by the sides of your feet and left forearm, which should be directly beneath your shoulder. Hold for one minute (or for mini-sets). Switch sides and repeat.

With your index fingers and thumbs touching so they form a triangle beneath your chest, execute push-ups. (An August 2005 study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that narrow push-ups fired the most muscles, as compared with regular or wide hand placements.)

Stand, facing a chair, and step up with your right leg, then your left. Then down with left, and then down with right. Begin with your left leg on the next rep. Try an armchair without its seat cushion instead of a desk chair to get the ideal height of 12 to 16 inches.

Kneeling on all fours, extend your right arm and left leg straight out in front and behind you, respectively. Bring them back in and repeat for 30 seconds. Then switch armslegs and repeat.

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