Your Hotel's Fab Fitness Five
By Bonnie Knutson Professor, The School of Hospitality Business/MSU | January 04, 2015
Okay, I admit it; I'm a workout workaholic. For me, a day without exercise is like a day without popcorn. I'm no good without either. Call me a Type A personality, call me driven, or just call me stubborn, but whatever I am, I have always been a mover with an"I'll-try anything-once streak" in her. From a childhood of dance, caddying for my dad and learning to play and love all sorts of sports from him, to an adulthood of running, cycling, strength training, zip-lining, and even rappelling, sitting still is just not in my DNA. I would never think about staying in a hotel that didn't offer me someplace to work out – inside or outside. And I'm not alone.
There are more people who, for whatever their reason, have gotten on their own fitness or workout bandwagon. I see it in the parks; I see it in the number of exercise infomercials on TV; I see it at the number of gyms that are sprouting up in strip malls across the country; I see it in the avalanche of stylish workout clothes and vibrant athletic shoes hitting store shelves everywhere. And I see it in hotel fitness centers. While everyone may not be as extreme as I am, the simple fact is that more people are out there a-moving' and a-groovin'. And hotels have taken notice. So have their guests.
It is easy for me to be an apostle for anything that moves people towards moving…even a so-called reality TV show like the Born Loser. And so, I am excited that this issue of Hotel Executive Online focuses on fitness because there is a myriad of energizing developments that offer your hotel opportunities in this area. So in a hats-off to David Letterman, here is a half-top-ten list of fitness trends that your hotel can use to increase guest programming, participation, and in turn, perceived value. I call them the Fab Fitness Five (i).
1. Get Out of Here!
After the third mile, treadmills are boring; I don't care what is on TV or what you're playing on your iPhone. Ellipticals and rowing machines aren't much better either. This simple fact is why there is a big trend to move some fitness outdoors. Hotels can utilize their tennis courts for innovative suicides, lunges or bear crawls; their walkways or paths for cross country run/walks or obstacle courses. Even out of the way gardens or grass areas can be ideal for rope jumping or boxing routines, benches can become incline pushup stations, and stairs can become run-ups and wheel barrow challenges. Let's face it, we all tend to feel better when we're outside in the fresh air. Research has shown that outdoor exercise can reduce tension, frustration, and depression better than the indoor variety. And thanks to wind and varied terrains, outdoor exercise can up a person's caloric burn by about 5%. And what guest wouldn't appreciate that?
2. Variety is the Spice of a Workout Life