Airports can seem like a prison with nothing but your smartphone, magazines and an endless array of junk food to keep you entertained. Then, after hours of mindless inertia in the airport, you get on a plane where you sit—and eat—some more.
Before you crack open another Starbucks mocha frappuccino, buy a suspense novel or download the latest game app, take a look around the airport. It might just contain a distraction that will keep you busy and fit.
One of the best kept airport secrets are the health clubs. Many airports throughout the U.S. have fitness centers equipped with treadmills, elliptical machines, weight machines, free weights and even locker rooms so you can clean up before hopping on your flight. If you're a frequent business traveler who likes to stay in shape, or if you're just traveling on vacation, you never have to miss a workout.
There are many opportunities to get in a workout during long layovers, including a 12.5-mile outdoor trail encircling the Baltimore/Washington (BWI) Airport and a 14,000 square-foot 24-Hour Fitness Center in Las Vegas' McCarran Airport that offers cardio and weight machines, free weights, sauna, massage and yoga. Guests can access the fitness center and heated pool at the Westin Hotel via the Edward H. McNamara/World Gateway Terminal at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. While the Hilton Athletic Club in the Hilton Hotel in Chicago's O'Hare Airport has a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.
For a complete list of airport health clubs, their exact terminal locations, amenities and prices, visit http://www.airportgyms.com.
If you have a short layover and still want to get in a great workout, here's a circuit you can do at the airport's fitness center or health club that will not only leave you pumped up for your flight, it will keep you burning calories while you watch that in-flight movie or read Fifty Shades of Grey.
After a 10-minute warm-up on either the treadmill, elliptical machine or bike, do these exercises in order:
Biceps curls with dumbbells
Repeat the entire circuit once more, followed by a 10-minute cool-down. For each weight training exercise, do 5 to 8 repetitions using a weight that you can lift no more than eight times. Go right from one exercise to another in the circuit.Sign up for a fitness class near you.