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It used to be that the only kind of exercise you could do at the airport was sprinting to the gate to catch your flight. But that’s definitely no longer the case.
One exciting travel-meets-fitness trend that has emerged in recent years is the airport gym. Many of them are located right in the terminal, after security, and some will even lend you sneakers and other workout gear so you don’t have to unpack your suitcase.
The next time you find yourself departing from, or connecting through, one of these airports, consider squeezing in a workout before your flight. In addition to making better use of your time — which might otherwise be spent sitting in the terminal munching on prepackaged snacks from Hudson News — you may find the endorphin rush gives your mood a boost. Plus, you’re way more likely to sleep through that long-haul flight after putting in some hard work at the airport gym.
Roam Fitness at Baltimore-Washington International Airport
After security, between concourses D and E at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), is the 1,175-square-foot ROAM Fitness gym. Here, travelers can borrow Lululemon workout clothes and Brooks running shoes; book showers stocked with Malin+Goetz products; and stow away luggage in the oversized, power-enabled lockers. In the gym, you’ll find cardio machines, weight machines and free weights. A day pass costs $25 and a yearly pass comes to $360, or $30 a month. You can also purchase three day passes for $65 and five day passes for $100. And while ROAM is only available at BWI for now, the brand is looking to expand to other airports in the US and beyond.
Yoga Rooms at San Francisco International Airport
OK, so these aren’t exactly gyms. But for travelers seeking private spaces to get in a quick pre-flight workout, these free-to-use facilities at San Francisco International (SFO) are a great option, largely because they offer complimentary mats. And though many other airports now offer yoga studios, SFO was the first to introduce the concept, and there are now two locations at the airport. Find them at the Terminal 2 connector between Terminal 1’s boarding area C and Terminal 2’s boarding area D, as well as Terminal 3 near boarding area E. And as long as there’s no one else in the room trying to get their Zen on, there’s really no reason you couldn’t use the space to practice your bodyweight exercises.
Hilton Health Club and Yoga Room at O’Hare International Airport
Catching a domestic flight out of O’Hare International Airport (ORD)? The Health Club at the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Hotel, located near the domestic terminals (it’s closest to Terminal 2) and accessible by underground walkways, has cardio machines, free weights including barbells, dumbbells, benches and even a squat rack. The Health Club is open from 4:30am to 11pm from Monday through Thursday; 4:30am to 10pm on Fridays; and 6am to 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays. O’Hare also has a yoga room equipped with mats, soothing music and a video monitor demonstrating yoga poses and asanas in Terminal 3.
GoodLife Fitness at Toronto Pearson International Airport
If you’re passing through Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ), drop by GoodLife Fitness in Terminal 1. The airport outpost of this popular Canadian fitness company allows travelers to stay fit while they travel through Pearson. The sprawling 10,000-square-foot gym offers cardio machines, free weights, luggage storage and express workout programs. Day passes are $17 per person, and you can rent clothes and Reebok shoes for just $3 extra. (Pro tip: Consider signing up for the three-day free trial gym membership before your trip.)
Fairmont Hotel Health Club at Vancouver Airport
You don’t have to be a hotel guest to take advantage of the Fairmont Hotel Health Club in Vancouver International Airport (YVR). With the hotel’s Fit on the Fly program (from $20 for an economy pass) you’ll have access to all the facilities, including a high-end gym with free weights, treadmills, stationary bikes and weight machines, plus a mechanized resistance pool, sauna and showers. To borrow workout clothes and shoes, upgrade to a club pass for $35. For the full Fairmont treatment, splurge on a platinum pass — the priciest option — which costs $50 and adds a nutritious post-workout meal to the package. Fit on the Fly drop-in visits are available daily between the hours of 9am and 9pm.
The Ambassador Transit Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport
At Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) — which also boasts a movie theater, koi pond, butterfly garden and rooftop pool, among other diversions — you can fit in a workout while you wait for your flight in the Ambassador Transit Lounge at Terminal 2. The gymnasium here includes free weights, exercise bikes and cross-training machines. Showers, workout attire and massages are also available, but will cost extra. Rates for gym access and a shower start at 28.25 SGD (about $21).
Oryx Airport Hotel’s Vitality Well-Being and Fitness Centre at Hamad International Airport
Find the Vitality Well-Being & Fitness Centre in the Oryx Airport Hotel at the South Node terminal of Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH). Visitors can enjoy access to an indoor swimming pool, a hydrotherapy tub, a gym and squash courts seven days a week, 24 hours a day. A day pass costs 175 QAR (about $48) and the gym has a full selection of cardio machines and free weights, in addition to its flashier amenities — though some, such as the squash courts, will cost extra. Showers, anti-jet lag massages and fresh-squeezed juices are available post-workout.
G-Force Health Club at Dubai International Airport
If you’re flying through Dubai International Airport (DXB), consider a stop at the G-Force Health Club, located in Terminal 3 at the Dubai International Hotel. It boasts showers, saunas, a pool, a jacuzzi lounge and a gym. Plus, it’s open 24 hours a day and offers a number of different packages. Travelers should note that different facilities may only be accessible from some concourses, so plan your trip to the health club accordingly.
WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio at Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Another airport gym that’s technically in a hotel, the Westin at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) welcomes travelers to the WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio for $15. The gym has LifeFitness cardio equipment, free weights and an indoor heated pool. As always with Westin, the New Balance Gear Lending program lets travelers borrow clean shoes and workout clothes for $5. The fitness center is open 24 hours, every day of the week.
Chris Castellano is a travel fitness specialist and the founder of Fittest Travel. He recently self-published his first book, “Fit For Travel: Your Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great While Traveling.”
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