The Future of Travel and Fitness: Would You Try an Airplane Gym or a Fitness Vacation?
Travel has traditionally had a negative impact on our fitness routine. That's if we have one at all. For many travelers, time spent away from home used to mean a break from taking care of yourself. Be it for business or pleasure, time on the road was a chance to let your healthy habits go and skip the exercise. Those days are beginning to fade away as a new generation of travelers begins to lead the charge towards healthier and fitter travel routines.
And this isn't just about a hotel gym. It goes way beyond that.
Have you ever thought about squeezing in a workout at 35,000 feet?
How about taking a vacation built completely around workouts in a foreign country?
These new concepts are starting to come to life as the race to court fitness-minded travelers begins to heat up.
While most baby boomers did not prioritize health and fitness while traveling, a majority of millenials consider wellness to be a top concern. According to a Hotels.com survey, as many as 80% of travelers between the ages of 18-35 would like to stay active on vacation.
It's an exciting time for travel and fitness. As the gap between them begins to close, let's take a look at some of the ways that you might find yourself staying fit while you travel in the coming years.
Workout in the Airport or on the Airplane
Thinking about how much time we spend in airports leads me to think - why are more people not taking advantage of this time?
Layovers, delays, and early check-ins often leave us with hours to burn in the airport.
So why not burn some calories?
The concept of gyms in airports was developed from research that shows that many travelers would love to squeeze in a workout before departure or after arrival. While this trend is new, ROAM Fitness at Baltimore-Washington International Airport is open for business and might be offering travelers the best workout experience in any airport in the world right now. Workout clothes and running shoes are available for rent and showers and post-workout nutrition are offered as part of this top-of-the-line travel fitness experience.
What makes ROAM truly unique is its' location in the airport. Many airports have traditionally offered travelers access to fitness centers in hotels that are connected to the terminal but ROAM one-ups this option by being right in the terminal - after security. This means that travelers who are at BWI for a layover don't have to leave and come back. It also means that you can check in, clear security, and get a workout in while you wait to board. Not a bad way to wait at the airport.
ROAM Fitness is looking to expand to other airports in the near future.
If you don't have time to workout before you board your flight, how about breaking a sweat in flight?
Yes, it's going to be an option really soon.
Airbus has launched a project through its A³* outpost, known as Transpose, that is leading the charge towards custom airplane cabins that will include gyms.
*A³ is the advanced projects and partnerships outpost of Airbus in Silicon Valley, with a mission to disrupt the aerospace industry before someone else does.
Through a partnership with Reebok and Peloton, Transpose has developed a "flying gym" module that can be easily placed into an Airbus cabin and includes stationary bikes, yoga mats, and resistance stations.
It may seem far-fetched to have a space to workout on an airplane, but the idea is actually feasible. A Peloton bike and resistance bands wouldn't take up much space. Even just having enough room to get up from my seat halfway through an eight hour transatlantic flight to do some air squats would be a tremendous boost to the physical and mental fatigue I tend to feel after a long flight.
While the idea of placing fitness equipment on airplanes may make airlines question their return on investment, there are solid indications that travelers are willing to pay more for this type of favorable and healthy in-flight experience. Would you?
Take a Fitness Vacation
We take vacations to escape our normal lives.
We go on vacations to get a break from the responsibilities of being an adult.
Forget the regrets and hangovers from big dinners and too many drinks. Instead, feel rejuvenated and full of energy by doing something better for you on vacation.
From wellness festivals for yogis to adventure tours for Crossfit athletes, fitness vacations are quickly becoming the thing to do to escape the stresses of daily life. Many young travelers have indicated that they have a heavy interest in traveling to places where their favorite fitness instructors, trainers, chefs, and social media influencers are.
Let's meet some of the pioneer companies in this space.
VoyEdge RX is an adventure tour company that caters to functional fitness enthusiasts that want to travel and do Crossfit at the same time. It's a great way to relax while also escaping your comfort zone and trying something new.
VoyEdge RX will plan your trip's itinerary, including lodging and food, and you'll be led by a tour guide to some of the most picturesque places in the world while also doing some of the most intense workouts. Travel as a group and bond with fellow travel and fitness lovers. Visit countries like Costa Rica and Italy in a way that no one else has and gain experiences and memories that will last for the rest of your life.
If Crossfit is not your thing and you're looking for a yoga vacation, consider Yogascapes. Their team of wellness experts leads groups on retreats to countries like Mexico and Iceland while bringing you on active adventures and through yoga classes in beautiful locations. It's yoga on a level far above a studio. Experience new cultures and local cuisines with a supportive community of fellow yoga-loving travelers.
Retreats by Well+Good
The latest to join the fitness vacation party is Well+Good, the lifestyle website that has emerged as a dominant force in online news regarding fitness and wellness. They plan to launch Retreats in March 2018 and it will focus on bringing groups of around fifty people at a time to locations around the world where they will experience group workouts and outdoor adventures. It's expected that each tour will be led by a "fitness headliner," most likely meaning a well-known personal trainer or instructor.
It used to be that when you traveled, your options for exercise dwindled down to almost nothing. Not anymore. We are moving towards a smaller world, full of healthy-minded people constantly on the move and seeking out adventurous experiences. Our options for staying fit are growing and we will find ourselves surrounded with opportunities to be healthy anywhere in the world.
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Cover Photo Credit: Crossfit.com