Posted by: Brigitte Diem-Guy,VP Sales & Marketing, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
The Interview: Steve Giblin, President & CEO, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
According to statistical information the most popular New Year’s resolutions include regular exercise and weight loss. This does not come as a surprise for those of us who are regularly going to a Gym and have experienced the “January Gym Membership Rush-Syndrome”. Are you used to jumping on any machine you want? Forget about it: Suddenly there are line-ups to use that elliptical trainer and in your aerobics class, space is so tight, you get a workout just by avoiding not to get whacked by anyone with kick-boxing and other moves.
The January rush may interrupt your regular work-out routine but not to worry: Only one in five people are able to stick to their resolution and three in five people drop their resolution within six months. Generally come February, all is back to normal at your Gym and you are happily back into your workout routine until… your busy business travel schedule kicks in!
Maintaining a balance of a daily workout with your career, personal life and family is hard enough. Business travel may really throw a wrench into your exercise and diet routine. Travelling for work is like a marathon in itself: It’s often long and you have to deal with changing time zones, delays, crowded airports, long security line-ups and high-intensity meetings.
But staying fit while on the road will not only help your physical health, it can also make you perform your best mentally.
As one of Canada’s leading hotel and resort management companies with over 20 hotels across the country, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts recognizes that business travelers these days are active and they want to keep fit when on the road. Our hotels offer fitness facilities equipped with strength training and cardio equipment and many operate 24/7 with key card access so you can work out on your own schedule.
Whether I’m travelling for business or leisure, I also try very hard to keep my exercise routine from falling apart. Here are my three personal tips that may help you to stay physically and mentally fit:
Before I book a hotel, I check-out the hotel’s website to see what kind of fitness facilities are provided and what the hours are. Based on the information I’ll put together a very simple, daily exercise plan keeping my meeting schedule in mind, and pack my work-out clothes accordingly. If the hotel has a pool I use it as an opportunity to change my work-out routine a bit and pack a bathing suit so that I can go for an early-morning swim or do some underwater running. Once at the hotel I leave my workout clothes right next to the bed the night before.
2. EXPLORE THE CITY – RUNNING!
As Business Travelers, we are often so busy with meetings we’ll never get to see anything but the airport and the hotel. I love running outdoors and I try to explore any destination with a running tour of the city early in the morning. You can also just go for an exhilarating fast-paced walk that will get your endorphins going first thing in the morning and get you pumped for the day’s meetings. My personal favorite running tour is through Charlottetown and along the boardwalk at Victoria Park on Prince Edward Island. Simply ask your friendly front desk agent for route suggestions or I also use www.mapmyrun.com to map my own route.
3. VISIT THE LOCAL GROCERY STORE
Eating healthy on the road is always a challenge for me. With some planning however you can maintain a healthy diet and also save some money. I pack sugar-free protein bars for the plane ride and I always look for hotels that have a microwave and mini-refrigerator or a Kitchen in the room. Once checked-in I visit the local grocery store and stock up on lots of water, Greek yogurt, fruit, tuna, steam-in-the-bag veggies or low-sodium, low-fat soups. The extra effort you take will pay off when you can happily bypass that drive-through…or step on the scale when back home! Most of our SilverBirch hotels also offer a free daily hot breakfast with a variety of healthy and organic options.
Steve Giblin, President & CEO of SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts, knows about the challenges of staying fit on the road. With a strong focus on our Associates, he makes an effort to visit every one of our over 20 hotels across Canada regularly. As a former member of the US National Lacrosse Team, Steve is very passionate about regular exercise and its benefits to physical and mental performance.
BDG: Steve, as a busy executive with an extensive travel schedule, how do you maintain your daily workout routine while on the road?
SG: It starts with commitment: Pack the gear and set the alarm for 5:45am, no matter what time zone you are in! Once you get to the gym or start running, your routine takes over. The exhilaration of finishing a work out is always worth it. Eating and drinking in moderation makes getting up also much easier.
BDG: What are you personally looking for in a hotel fitness facility?
SG: New or well-maintained equipment and windows! It doesn’t take much: Two good treadmills, some weights, a stationary bike and an elliptical trainer. TV’s help, filtered water should also be available and the ability to clean the equipment before using it.
BDG: I know you are an avid runner. What is your favorite running route in Canada?
SG: Stanley Park in Vancouver! Especially the trails through the woods are awesome. The lakefront in Toronto and the riverfront in Montreal are very close seconds. Around the golf course in Whistler is always fun!
BDG: Do you have a special tip for busy executives to maintain their exercise routine on the road?
SG: Have a routine ready to get in a workout without leaving your guestroom. The weather could be bad or the gym could be closed for renovations. 20 minutes of stretching the body after a long flight on a cramped airplane will make you feel great. You can also pack some Resistance Tubes, they are very light-weight and don’t take much space in your luggage. Also ask for a room on the third floor and take the stairs instead of the elevator each time you go to the room – you could burn an extra 150 calories a day by taking the stairs!
What is your personal tip to stay fit on the road? What’s your favorite fitness app? What could hotels do better to help you maintain your workout routine?
Share your comments here.