By Cristina Alcivar, VANE Airport Magazine
In airport lingo, the time between when a passenger clears security and boards their plane is referred to as “dwell time.” But for many time-strapped business travelers, dwell time is no swell time, especially when compounded by layovers and flight delays.
And for those who value an active lifestyle, this time spent at the airport can be stressful and put a pause to healthy living. And it's not just the lethargic hours of waiting in terminals, but also their unhealthy and stressful vibes. So, what to do? Hang out in a bar? Linger in d-free? Splurge on bad airport food? While these may appear to be your only options, it is possible to stay active and healthy in the terminal. Here are a few ideas for keeping fit at airports:
1. Walking Paths
I know this may seem like a boring option with all the walking going on already, but walking boosts healthy blood flow, so the more the better. Many airports have created designated walking paths with markers, guides, and scenic routes. Give it a try – it sounds pretty fly!
2. Yoga Rooms in US Airports
Yoga rooms have become increasingly common in airports across the U.S. San Francisco International Airport has two of them in Terminal 2 (in Boarding Area D) and Terminal 3 (Boarding Area E, near Gate 69). Both provide mats and are open 24 hours.
Heading East? You can find a yoga room located in Miami International Airport’s H Concourse. Burlington (Vermont) International Airport also has a yoga room located on the second floor, near a family bathroom and across from the airport Observation Tower. Mats are also provided.
Both of Chicago’s major airports cater to traveling yogis. At O’Hare International, there is a yoga room located on the mezzanine level of the Terminal 3 Rotunda, near the urban garden. It is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and mats are provided. Chicago Midway Airport’s yoga room located in Concourse C is also stocked with mats and is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
And finally, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s yoga studio spaces are open 24 hours at Gate D40 and Gate E31. Mats are provided.
3. Swimming Pools
There are a variety of pools worth taking a plunge in during your layover, from the fully chlorine-free pool at DFW to Changi's rooftop pool in Singapore. There’s also Punta Cana Airport in the Dominican Republic which has an infinity pool meters from the planes. For a list of other airport pools click here.
4. Airport Hotel Gyms
Airport hotel gyms are either attached to the terminal or near pre-security. Many have day passes you can buy to access a workout. For instance, The Fairmont by the Vancouver Airport has a health club with weights, pool, hot tub, sauna, and shower along with a Fit on the Fly program for destination-bound folks. For an extra charge, men’s and women’s Reebok workout apparel is available. There’s also the spacious and fully equipped fit & fly SPA at the Hilton Munich Airport features a 17-meter pool, sauna, steam bath and a fitness center.
5. Airport Gyms
There are also independent gyms located inside airports around the world. Got a long layover in Toronto? Work up a sweat pre-security at GoodLife Fitness gym located inside Toronto Pearson International. If you are Stateside, ROAM Fitness opened in January 2017 at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) offers a 1175-square-foot (109 square meters) gym located between Concourses D and E.
6. Stationary Bikes
Try a stationary bike to recharge your mobile phone and your mood! WeWatt encourages travelers to cycle and self-power their devices. Get in some healthy activity and create your own renewable energy at WeWatt Kiosks located inside the following airports: Brussels Airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Calgary International Airport, La Tontouta International Airport, Brisbane Airport, Geneva Airport, Long Beach Airport, and Indianapolis International Airport.
7. Walkway Station at MSP Airport
Walkway Workstations are treadmill desks that are free to use and feature spacious desk space, a device charging station, and free Internet access. The maximum speed is 2.0 miles per hour—a comfortable pace to walk and work.
There are three stations you can try: One in the Concourse F Service Center across from Gate F3 and two on Concourse C across from Fox News near Gate C12.
8. Explore the airport before you head there.
Yes, airports have websites, and most of us don’t bother to explore them. But in the world of available digital via your phone, why not? Many airport list one-time fitness offerings such a yoga for a few weeks at a time, ice-skating, outdoor walking and much more.
By taking advantage of these eight ways to keep fit at airports, dwell time doesn't have to be so dreadful. With some planning, business travel at airports can be a happy and positive one. So skip the lousy food court and choose to stay active at the airport.
Cristina Alcivar is the Founder of Vane Airport Media, a digital publication that provides the latest news and updates about health and wellness at airports. She is passionate about sharing healthy airport foods, yoga rooms, airports gyms, meditation and quiet areas and much more.