HILTON HELPS TRAVELERS STAY HEALTHY

People work out to keep in shape, and then eat rich, heavy meals when they travel to a conference. They try to manage stress by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and then toss and turn all night in their hotel room after partying until the wee hours. According to a Hilton Hotels Corp. survey of frequent business travelers, 53 percent of women and 44 percent of men say they are likely to gain up to 10 pounds while on an extended business trip. And while 60 percent of all respondents bring workout clothes with them, 62 percent of those well-intentioned travelers rarely use them.

Hilton has been investing in the idea of healthy travel since 1996, when the first Hilton Sleep-Tight Rooms, complete with a light box to help realign the body's circadian rhythms and blackout drapes with magnetic closures, were introduced. In 1998, Hilton rolled out its Stress-Less Room (with amenities like yoga videos and heated seat-massage pads) and its Health-Fit room (with stationary bikes and resistance tubing): together the three rooms are dubbed Travel Lifestyle Centers (TLCs). There are now 50, in properties from the Waldorf-Astoria in New York to the Hilton San Francisco, and they are priced the same as a standard room.

Hilton consulted with The National Sleep Foundation in Washington, D.C., the American Institute of Stress in Yonkers, N.Y., and the Biobehavioral Lab in Boston, Mass., on the design of the TLC rooms and also on a tip-filled booklet called “Bridge the Gap Between Home and Travel.” The booklet offers lots of ideas on how to alleviate stress, stay fit, and eat healthy while traveling.

“Planning ahead is the most important part of reducing travel-related stress,” says Paul Rosch, M.D., president of the American Institute of Stress. For meeting planners, this means booking nonpeak travel times and nonstop flights whenever possible, leaving some free time in attendees' schedules, and making sure that they have complete meeting agendas before they leave home.

Free copies of the brochure are available by writing to Hilton Hotels Corporation TLC, c/o DCW, 8730 Sunset Blvd., 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90069. Hilton's home page, www.hilton.com, also has a link to a helpful Web site, www.healthwindows.com, which has information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.