Giving up on poorly equipped hotel gyms? Find a local one instead

By John Walton, February 14 2012
Giving up on poorly equipped hotel gyms? Find a local one instead

It's hard to keep your workout routine up on the road, business travellers know. With hotel fitness centres often poorly equipped, busy and grim, sometimes it's all to easy to give up, stay in and watch TV, especially on a longer business trip.

But get up off that couch: an increasing number of local health clubs in Australia and overseas offer short-term taster memberships that can get you moving and keep you on the workout wagon.

National gym chains often provide a membership option that lets you into all their gyms nationwide -- and sometimes internationally as well. Make sure you check the fine print and keep an eye out for any per-visit surcharges: that cheaper option might end up being a bad deal in the long term.

Week-long trial packages, as if you were a new arrival to the area and looking for somewhere to work out, are perfect for the business traveller. Your best bet for these are the national chain gyms -- check their websites for deals you can sign up for online, print out and bring with you.

But if you're out of luck there, you still have some options for a workout that won't break the bank.

Big chain fitness centres are often the easiest to find (and best advertised), but their policies often don't allow for much flexibility from staffers.

Look for small independent gyms instead, where you can make a deal with a manager for a reasonably priced membership for the duration of your business trip.

You can even negotiate with them for extras like loaner towels and a personal trainer session or two to spice up your workout.

Web searches can be useful to find these smaller gyms, as can the concierge or front desk staff at your hotel.

How do you keep fit when you're on the road? Do you hunt down a gym or stick with the hotel's fitness centre? Share your tips with fellow Australian Business Traveller readers in the comment section below.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


04 Nov 2010

Total posts 670

Good advice, I never thought about taking up a one week trial membership, Anytime Fitness could be especially good for business travelelrs because they are open 24x7 so you can get your workout in any time that suits your schedulke, even when you wake at 3am due to jetlag!

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