IN-ROOM FITNESS 101

Hotel Reps: Stay In, Work Out, Tone Up

Some hotels offer an exercise wedge with  workout suggestions printed on its cover.
Some hotels offer an exercise wedge with workout suggestions printed on its cover. (Marriott)

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dropping a few pounds is hard enough, but it can be even tougher on the road, especially if you're not a gym rat and are a little intimidated by the hotel fitness center. You may be more likely to stick with a routine if you work out in the privacy of your hotel room.

-- Elissa Leibowitz Poma

Hotel Offerings

If you don't have time for a fitness center workout or would prefer not to socialize with your sweaty boss on the StairMaster, you can borrow a fitness kit or watch a free video on the TV entertainment system at participating properties of various hotel chains.

· Marriott and Renaissance properties have three fitness kits. One includes an oval-shape, weighted device that you "pedal" with your hands. Another is a foam exercise wedge that has 21 suggested workouts printed on its washable nylon cover. The third kit uses resistance tubes to focus on building strength and boosting energy. The kits' accompanying videos are free, and other videos, including Pilates and yoga, are available for about $6.95. (Prices vary by property.)

· You can keep up your spinning routine in private at a number of Westin hotels in the United States and Canada by using a stationary bicycle available in some rooms. These Westin properties have either in-room bikes or treadmills, plus other equipment, videos, workout magazines and books.

· You won't find chocolates on your pillow at select Hyatt properties (including the Grand Hyatt hotels in Atlanta and New York). Instead, you'll discover a card showing an 11-minute wind-down yoga sequence. Yoga-focused videos are available for $6.99.

· Omni Hotels' Get Fit Kits include barbells, a stretch band, a mat and a small radio with ear buds. At some Omni properties, you can have a treadmill delivered to your room for free.

· The Stay Fit Kit at Hilton Garden Inns includes an eight-pound ball used to strengthen your abdomen. The kit also has a Pilates band, a yoga mat with bricks and hand weights.

Fitness Products

Various items can keep you enthused for a hotel-room workout and are easy to pack. Here are some of the newer fitness products that travel light.

· Download a workout from iAmplify.com (212-201-1544, http://www.iamplify.com/) to play on an iPod or other MP3 player. The 22-minute video "Juris Kupris' Hotel Room Workout" ($9.95) is ideal for beginners, and the audio-only, 30-minute "Hotel Room Workout" ($4.95) is good for intermediates.

· Fitness instructor Leah Garcia understands that business travel is probably not the time for intense workouts. Her "Hotel Room Workout DVD" (919-469-0527, http://www.healthytravelnetwork.com/; $24.95) is a two-disc compilation of various cardio, Pilates and core-conditioning routines, among others, that you can play on a DVD-capable laptop.

· "The Fit Traveler" (Publishers Design Group, $17.95) by Kari Eide and Lissa Mueller is a compact book outlining a 30-minute workout. Another version is "The Fit Traveler: Senior Edition," for the 50-plus crowd.


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© 2007 The Washington Post Company


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