4 Ways to Stay Fit at the Airport
Sometimes you need to think outside the box to stay healthy while traveling.
A few years ago, I was traveling for business and had a two hour layover in Atlanta.
I had been traveling a lot over the previous week and was sorely in need of a good workout. I knew it wasn't going to happen once I got to Chicago as I would be heading straight into back-to-back meetings and wouldn't be back at my hotel until late.
I'd probably have no energy for a workout by that point.
It was now or never.
I found a corner of the terminal that was out of the way and had few people around. I took off my jacket and tie and did sets of push-ups for the next twenty minutes. It wasn't much but it made a huge difference. I felt great. I was full of energy and ready to attack my busy day head on.
I realized that day that when you're constantly traveling, especially for business, you may have to think outside the box to take care of yourself. There was no reason I couldn't get my heart pumping and work up a sweat right there in the airport terminal. I was glad I did once I was done.
There are a few different ways to get a workout in while you're waiting at the airport. If you're not up for doing sets of push-ups in the corner of a terminal, no one will blame you.
Here are four ways you can work up a sweat at the airport.
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.
ROAM Fitness is looking to expand to other airports in the near future.
If you're passing through Toronto's Pearson International Airport, consider dropping in at GoodLife Fitness in terminal one. The partnership between Canada's largest fitness company and largest airport allows thousands of travelers to stay fit while they travel through Pearson everyday. The gym offers luggage storage and provides clothes and shoe rentals to travelers who need to borrow apparel.
These airport gyms are great but what if you're in one of the many airports that has no fitness center? As I mentioned above, I've sought out desolate corners of airport terminals and banged out sets of push-ups. There's no reason why you can't get a great bodyweight workout done while you wait for a flight. The gym can truly be everywhere you are, as long as you have some space and time to move your body around.
Bodyweight exercises offer the best return for overall fitness on your investment. They're incredibly effective, time-efficient and require no equipment. You'll burn a ton of calories and build strength with just your body.
Here's a quick bodyweight workout you can do right in the airport terminal.
Perform three to five rounds as a circuit:
1 Minute of Jumping Jacks
1 Minute of Push-Ups
1 Minute of Squats
1 Minute of Chair Dips
1 Minute of Lunges
Rest thirty seconds to one minute between exercises. Rest two minutes between rounds.
Tip: wear workout clothes when traveling. Not only are they more comfortable but you'll also be ready to workout without having to change.
The great thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere. Unroll your mat right in the terminal waiting area or airport lounge and you're ready to go. If you need some guidance, check out this video of Shona Vertue's twenty minute pre-flight yoga routine.
It's becoming more and more likely that you won't even have to do yoga on your own in an airport. JetBlue recently held free hour-long yoga classes in JFK International Airport's Terminal 5. Dallas - Fort Worth, San Francisco, Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports and London's Heathrow all have yoga rooms with complimentary yoga mats and instructional videos.
If you're looking for something a bit less intense, some airports now have walking paths in the terminals for travelers looking to get up and move while they wait for their flight. Look up the next time you're in a terminal and you might see the signs and markers that identify things like step numbers and mileage between points in the airport. Minneapolis - St Paul, Atlanta and Cleveland all have markers and healthy messages for travelers posted throughout their terminals.
If you're going to be sitting for the duration of your flight, why sit while you wait to board? Take a walk around the terminal.
The airport is not the first place most people think of for getting in a workout but when you consider how much downtime you typically have there, it begins to make sense. Put the time to good use and get some exercise.