BEVERLY HILLS, CA and WHITE PLAINS, NY — Recent research showing that hotel fitness rooms often disappoint travelers and that travelers who exercise perform 61 percent better than non-exercisers on alertness and reaction tests, have led Hilton Hotels and Resorts and Westin Hotels and Resorts to make changes to their hotel fitness offerings.

Hilton signed an agreement with Bally Total Fitness to provide guests with access to more than 5,000 personal trainers at Hilton or Bally locations across the country. Starting Feb.1, the hotel chain is also enhancing in-room exercise options with a “mini-gym,” designed by Bally, that includes a yoga mat, elastic exercise bands, resistance tubing, two sets of hand weights and basic conditioning instructions that can be done privately or with a personal trainer. Treadmills are also available for in-room use in more than 100 locations for a fee.

“This new relationship with Bally Total Fitness provides our guests the additional motivation to maintain an existing exercise program, start a new one or simply get the advice and guidance of a certified personal trainer,” said Jeffrey Diskin, senior vice president — brand management and marketing for Hilton.

Westin Hotels also recognized fitness as a priority for its guests, spending $12 million to build in its hotels new fitness centers inspired by upscale health clubs. New treadmills, cycles, elliptical trainers, medicine balls, yoga mats and core boards were installed in 53 new WestinWORKOUT® Powered by Reebok fitness facilities in North America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Another 40 centers are slated to open in 2005, primarily in Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The Westin facilities include fitness regimens for travelers and an in-room yoga and Pilates workout. Select locations offer fitness and wellness classes, such as water Tai Chi, Cardio Burn, Spinning and circuit interval training.

To promote the new facilities, Westin is launching a $2 million print campaign in mainstream and fitness-related publications.

“Working out on the road is a priority for many travelers but hotels have typically cut corners in hotel workout rooms, and we wanted to fix that,” said Sue Brush, senior vice president of Westin, in a release.

Hilton's changes occurred after a study conducted on behalf of the hotel by the former director of NASA's Fatigue Countermeasure Program. Westin's changes stemmed from a study by Lieberman Research Worldwide conducted for Westin.