Too many business cocktails and breakfast buffets? A trainer from NYC's Chelsea Piers will help travelers keep in shape with a quick and easy-to-do travel exercise routine. Even if you’re not familiar with the Chelsea Piers Sports Center (212/336-6000) on New York City’s Hudson River, you probably realize that the city that never sleeps spends a lot of time working out. You should too, especially when you're away from home.
That’s why Chris Skoglund, who at one time was the center’s Advanced Trainer, developed a variety of simple hotel room workouts using resistance band training. Chris and other fitness experts agree that the hotel pool is probably the traveler's best source of exercise. They suggest that families try to do some laps or water play at least once a day while traveling.
But sometimes there's no pool, or you need to stay near the phone, or you just can't get the kids to leave the room. If that's the case, and you need to keep the calories at bay, here is the most basic Travel Workout designed by Chris Skoglund using a resistance band.
In Room Travel Workout
First, remember when you’re using a resistance band that these inexpensive rubber straps are color-coded depending on how much resistance they have – the more resistance, the greater the workout. You can also modify the workout by altering the distance the bands are stretched.
And, as Chris reminds his students, always actively engage the core of your body during exercise, including the torso muscles at the abdomen, obliques and lower back. Ready?
Here’s the Curl, Squat and Press, a full body exercise for anyone with enough space to stash a band in their suitcase and stand up in their hotel room.
- Start by standing in a squatting position, legs slightly wider than hip width, the resistance band stretched under the middle of both feet and held tightly by your sides.
- As you begin to straighten the legs, pull the band into a bicep curl until your fists pass your shoulders, then press arms overhead until they’re raised as high as possible. without overextending your elbows.
This is a good workout even if you don't have fitness bands with you. Now try to get the kids to do it, too.
Special Hotel Fitness Facilities
The Westin Workout Rooms feature guest rooms that come equipped with their own Reebok Pilates/Yoga and Spinning DVDs, dumbbells, resistance tubing, a stability ball, a yoga mat and either a Reebok Tomahawk XL Indoor Cycle or a Life Fitness Treadmill (available at participating locations). These rooms specifically designed to keep travelers exercising were just the start of an industry trend. Now Westin has special running paths at hand when guests want to jog around a new neighborhood.
At any of the Omni Hotels, guests can borrow a Get Fit Kit which includes a mini radio headset, a floor mat, two dumbbells, an elastic exercise band, booklet of exercises, chilled water and a hand towel. Omni's Get Fit Rooms have a treadmill, Get Fit Kit and minibar stocked with energy bars and sport drinks.
Sheraton Fitness is an initiative by Sheraton Hotels in partnership with Core Performance, an athletic training company. Guest perks at select hotels include time-efficient training programs designed by Core Performance to work with busy travel schedules. The 20- to 30- minute “themed” workouts — including Jet Lag Buster (for long travel days), Meeting Manager (the conclusion of the business day) and Road Warrior (for the incessant traveler) – are outlined in explicit detail through wall signage in the fitness centers. Guests can also access four 30-minute Video On Demand workouts at no charge, order a complimentary “workout in a bag” stuffed with fitness tools like mats, foam rolls, stretch bands and more, and download workout routines from the site. In addition to gym facilities, the Core Performance nutritionists have added healthier dining options for both in-room dining menus and hotel restaurants.
At participating Marriott Hotels & Resorts you'll find fully-equipped finess centers and pools. Many of the newer hotel complexes have expanded their fitness facilities so much that they serve as membership gyms for local residents, meaning an even deeper schedule of fitness classes and available trainers.
If you're not staying at one of these hotels, remember that many smaller chains and boutique hotels offer an exercise wedge with workout suggestions printed on its cover, a yoga mat and brochures, fitness videos, or a fitness kit you can pick up at the front desk.
Up and Away with more Wellness Perks
It's not over yet. In this troubled economy, keep your eyes open for health and wellness value-adds such as complimentary 24/7 fitness rooms, loaner free weights, complimentary workout gear and bathing suits at hotel pools, vegan menus, and Chi (Chinese energy) spas. Don't expect to find chocolate on your pillow, either. Many hotels are cutting out the sweets in order to promote health and wellbeing for their guests.
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