Waiting for a flight is unavoidable, but there are plenty of ways to make the most of your down time! This month, we’ve partnered with Travelocity Gnomad, Pattie Cordova of the lifestyle blog, Living Mi Vida Loca, to share her favorite tips on staying active at the airport while waiting for your next flight.
We’ve all been there– we’re waiting for our flight and we jump on our phones, computer or break open a book and start reading. Next thing you know, it’s been an hour and it’s time to sit even longer in the air as we wait to arrive at our destination. Don’t waste that time you’re at the airport. Instead, take advantage of it, and squeeze in some light exercise.
Read up on your airport amenities
Some airports have seen the need for exercise programs and have addressed these needs with airport gyms. For example, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is home to Zero Level Fitness and Wellness (located behind carousel 10 in the Terminal 1 baggage claim). Zero Level Fitness has both weight and cardio machines, as well as resistance training to give you everything you need for a great workout.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has a free yoga studio, a great compliment to its LiveWell Walking Path that leads you on a seven-tenths of a mile walk. Some airport gyms even offer workout clothes for rent! The Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport Hotel, connected to the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, has a program where you can rent shoes, shorts and t-shirts for just $5.
If you know that you’ll have some time in between flights, come prepared to the airport in comfortable clothes (think workout pants) and sneakers. Having to switch in and out of clothes and shoes will not only cut into your active time, but it’ll give you an excuse to sit it out. Don’t forget to bring along your reusable water bottle so you can refill with water as needed. Hook up to the airport’s WiFi and get that workout playlist ready to go so you can start as soon as you pass security.
More activity, less working out
No one wants to board a plane all sweaty and smelling like they just came from the gym. So aim for light exercise that can be done without breaking a sweat. The trick is to stay active and not settle down for a few hours waiting for a flight. Try walking up and down the long corridors. Skip the moving sidewalk. Take the stairs instead of the escalator. Try carrying your luggage instead of rolling it to your seat. These are all small changes that can make a big difference!
You can also do some exercises in a very inconspicuous way, like chair poses up against a wall and using carry-on bags as weights. If you don’t mind the occasional glance your way, try doing squats and lunges, and maybe even chair dips as you watch planes land on the tarmac. Trust me, you’ll find that most travelers are more interested in getting to their terminal than watching you work out.
You can even do some exercises that don’t require anything more than your breath, like Kapalbhati Pranayama. This popular yoga breathing exercise is a great way to wrap up your airport workout: Sit straight and place your hands on your knees with your palms open. Take a deep breath in through your nose and then quickly exhale your breath in short bursts. Every exhale should have you pulling your navel back towards your spine. You’ll find that you’ll inhale more air naturally. Keep going until you’ve done 20 of these short breath exhales. This breathing exercise is great for working out your abs and giving you some much needed energy to help you through your travels.
Stay active on the airplane
Once you get on your flight, keep the momentum going by getting up once an hour and doing some light stretching. When you’re in line for the bathroom, try stretching out your calves by balancing on your toes for a couple seconds. Continue the stretches when you’re sitting down by lifting one of your legs off your seat a few inches off the floor. Rotate your ankles in a circle clockwise, and then counter-clockwise. You’ll also strengthen your quads as you do these ankle rotations. And remember that yoga breathing exercise? You can do it on your airplane seat too!
Not only is staying active at the airport and on your flight good for you, but it’ll also make the time go faster as you go about your way. Make physical activity a part of your travels and it’ll become a habit in no time! And don’t forget to stay hydrated… with water (not coffee or alcohol).
Pattie Cordova is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads, visit travelocitygnomads.com.
Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.