For business travelers (the road warriors), one of the downsides of being away from home is missing out on your normal fitness routine. As legroom gets tighter on many planes, it’s even more important to try to do some stretching and walking whenever you can.
If you have a long layover at the airport, there are several ways to get some exercise while waiting for your flight. Many large airports have gyms on-site or in adjoining hotels. Some are free, while others offer the option of purchasing a day pass.
For example, the Hilton Hotel at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has a health club that is accessible from both domestic and international terminals, offering cardio equipment, weights, a lap pool, steam room and sauna. At Toronto Pearson International Airport, you’ll find cardio equipment, a circuit training area, free weights and the opportunity to rent workout clothing/shoes if you don’t have your exercise gear handy. The fitness center at Munich Airport also offers a wide range of massages.
Yoga rooms are increasingly common at airports, offering fliers a chance to relax and recharge in spaces with mats, full-length mirrors and soothing décor. You’ll find them in San Francisco, Miami, Dallas, London and Frankfurt, among other places.
If you don’t have time to hit the gym, specially marked fitness trails are another way to stay in shape. At the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, a walking path inside Terminal D measures seven-tenths of a mile and follows colorful tile medallions that are part of a public art initiative. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport offers a mile-long fitness trail. Travelers can stop along the way at water bottle refill stations and take in the view of scenic spots, including the downtown skyline, Camelback Mountain and the red sandstone buttes of Papago Park. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has a 1.4-mile walking path in Terminal 1, where you’ll also find storage lockers that can accommodate a carry-on bag.
But even if there isn’t a specially marked trail at the airport, you can still get some cardio in by going on a brisk walk. If you have a long trek to your gate, pick up the pace and use it as an opportunity to do some power walking instead of taking a leisurely stroll or utilizing the moving walkway. Go part of the way with your suitcase in one hand and then switch hands to give your shoulders and forearms a workout.
There are plenty of exercises you can do while waiting at your gate, too. It’s important to stay hydrated before and during your flight, so buy a big bottle of water and use it as a dumbbell to get in some bicep curls. A full 1-liter bottle, for instance, weighs about 2 pounds. Even while seated in the boarding area, you can take a few minutes to get in some light stretching for your legs, neck, shoulders and back. It’ll help you get in shape for the long flight ahead.
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