Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hotel Monaco: Staying Fit While Eating Around Philly

The well equipped gym at Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia
Philadelphia has become a foodie paradise, and vegetarians and vegans will find plenty of places where they can fill their bellies.

The pulley machine
But what to do about belly bloat? If you stay at the Hotel Monaco, you can work out at the excellent gym. The bright, spotless gym has state of the art cardio equipment, all with their own television screens - or you can watch the hive of activity below around the Liberty Bell.

There are also stability balls and a bosu ball, hula hoops, free weights and weight machines and weighted balls. The large pulley machine intimidated me.

Cardio machines at Hotel Monaco
The gym also keeps in mind creature comforts, with a water cooler, soft towels - and chilled ones - ear buds if you've forgotten, newspapers - even fresh fruit so you don't hit the mini bar and negate all that exercise.

If you are shy about your workout, you can use the yoga mat in your room.

Gym amenities include chilled towels
Group fitness fans can take one of the free weekly classes; cardio sculpting at 6:30am on Wednesdays, or cardio boxing, also on Wednesdays at 6pm. Of course, that cuts right into the free daily cocktail social hour...

If you prefer to get your cardio outside, take one of the free bikes for a spin. The hotel is right on a bike lane and you can easily zip over to Fairmont Park.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Stay Awhile, Stay Fit - Extended Stay America

The exercise room at Extended Stay America
People stay at Extended Stay America hotels for a variety of reasons: price, convenience, the full kitchens, the huge discount for long stays.

But just because you are at a budget hotel, it doesn't mean you don't want to ignore your fitness routine. In fact, if you are at the hotel because you are relocating, on a long business trip, or renovating your house, you may NEED to exercise.

Breakfast is included
The exercise room at the Extended Stay America in Secaucus, where I recently spent a weekend, won't win awards, but the facility did let me continue my marathon training.  There were 2 treadmills and an elliptical machine and while I was disappointed that they didn't have individual screens, there was a television on the wall, and there wasn't anyone else using a machine while I was there.

The outdoor patio where I completed my exercise routine
I wanted to run outside, but the office park location was not conducive to an outdoor run.  There is a pretty enclosed patio, though, where I was able to go through a routine of squats, pushups and burpees.

There is also an indoor pool where you can get a decent workout.

The breakfast was also a good post workout touch: there were granola bars, packs of unsweetened instant oatmeal (alas, no milk to make them, though) and whole pieces of fresh fruit.