For business travelers, 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 and get in some stretching and walking whenever you can.
If you have a long layover at the airport, there are many ways to exercise while waiting for your flight. Many large airports have gyms on their property or in adjacent hotels. Some are free, while others offer the option of purchasing a day pass.
For example, at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the Hilton Hotel, accessible from both domestic and international terminals, has a health club with cardio equipment, weights, a lap pool, steam room and sauna. At Toronto Pearson International Airport, in addition to the cardio equipment, a circuit training area and free weights, you can also rent workout clothing and shoes if you don’t have your exercise gear handy. The Hilton fit & fly SPA at Munich Airport offers a wide range of massages and features an indoor pool.
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, London, Miami and Hong Kong, among other places.
Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport offers a mile-long fitness trail.
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. In Phoenix, Sky Harbor 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 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 in some cardio by going on a brisk walk. If you have a long trek to your gate, instead of a leisurely stroll or taking the moving walkway, pick up the pace and use it as an opportunity to do some power walking. 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, before you drink, use it as a dumbbell to get in some bicep curls. A one-liter bottle weighs about two pounds. Even while seated in the boarding area you can take a few minutes to get in some light stretching on your legs, neck, shoulders and back. It’ll help get you in shape for the long flight ahead.
Fit Frequent Flyer: Packing List
- MOBS Design Sneakers – athletic footwear that can be paired with any business outfit
- GAIAM foldable yoga mat – packs into a small space so you can reclaim your headspace. OM.
- Multi-tasking sportswear – save space in your carry on with the Workout to Waves sports bra by Spanx, which serves as active wear as well as a swim top