Do you also wonder how some people manage to stay fit while traveling? Let me tell you, I once tried to carry a set of dumbbells in my hand luggage, which obviously was not a good idea, and trying to find a safe place to run or work out in a new city was by no means an easy endeavor. Luckily, more and more hotels are offering fitness centers and gym facilities on site for guests to use during their stay at a home away from home. Continue reading below to discover how to access a hotel gym, how to behave properly so as not to incur penalties or disturb other guests and everything else you should know when lifting weights at a resort or accommodation.
Hotel gym rules and etiquette
How to know if you can use the hotel gym for free during your stay
Whenever you make a hotel reservation online, it will be easy to go through the complimentary amenities offered by the accommodation and check whether its premises have a gym or not, and if you can use it at no extra cost. Also, upon receiving the confirmation of your booking via e-mail, you may consult which services are included in the nightly rate to be paid, since access to fitness facilities and breakfast, for instance, are typically among them.
If you are particularly interested in not skipping your daily workout while abroad, consider only hotels with a gym, but bear in mind that the search results page will probably display accommodations where access to the fitness center is free as well as others where you need to pay a small surcharge or additional fee to enter. When the hotel gym remains open 24 hours, paying the hourly rate will be worth it, especially when it will help you fight jet lag after a long-haul journey.
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In order to access the exercise room, you are normally required to bring your untransferable key card with you -the one that opens the door to your room, turns on the lights, etc.-, or else to identify yourself with an exclusive password. Pay attention to how many people are already working out inside, because limited capacity regulations may apply. If you plan to stay in a hotel rated with 4 or 5 stars, you may be given the possibility to hire a personal fitness trainer to coach you.
What to wear and take with you for your gym session at the hotel
As important as bringing your towel to wipe up the sweat from the gym equipment when you are done is wearing the appropriate clothing and shoes. But you already know that if you are a gym rat. If it is travel that has awakened the desire of sculpting your body and taking care of yourself, know that doing otherwise and showing up at the hotel gym with heels or uncomfortable clothes may result in slipping from a climber machine or treadmill, or twisting your knee, and in such cases you will be solely responsible for your safety. Bringing a bottle of water or isotonic drink is O.K. generally, but make sure you check the hotel policies regarding drinks and food, which is normally not allowed.
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Exercising at the hotel gym
Not being a nuisance in the hotel gym is not that hard. Simply take care of every piece of equipment you use as though it was yours. Note that theft or damage of barbells, benches or any other accessories will make you incur fines, and don’t think you are smart enough to get away with it, because there are probably surveillance cameras in the most unexpected spots.
Respect other people’s time, focus and workout and mute your phone, wear headphones, don’t interfere with their progress (no flirting, no random attempts to socialize), don’t take selfies in which strangers unwantedly appear (or even better, don’t take any pictures at all), and use only one machine or piece of equipment at a time, leaving it exactly where and as you found it.
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