Like most avid runners, I strive to adhere to my stretching and running schedule every single day. Yet on days that I am traveling, I often find myself stuck in the confinement of the airport, without the opportunity to be outdoors to run. I don’t let this fact keep me from getting my stretching and running completed. I have found that airports are very suitable for these kinds of activities.
Passengers who want to do their exercising at the airport should be at their departure gate with at least an hour to spare before the plane begins boarding. If the seating area is basically empty, then doing laps around the seating area is a great way to get some running accomplished. While sprinting isn’t advisble in the airport, running at a leisurely pace is still more constructive than sitting around being bored or drinking at the bar. If the seating area is filling up, a nearby departure gate will often be vacant for the time being. Nobody is going to make a fuss over one’s stretching and running, and it’s possible to keep an eye on any carry-on luggage brought. Runners who are traveling with at least one other person can ask their companion(s) to guard their belongings while exercising. The only real barrier to airport exercising is when travelers are wearing suits and/or dress shoes; otherwise, there’s no reason to not get fifteen to twenty minutes of paced running completed in the venue of the airport concourse.
As for hygiene issues, one is most apt to shower and change clothes upon arrival and check-in to the hotel, so the fitness- conscious traveler need not sweat it over getting perspiration on his or her clothes. The breathing air in the plane is much more of a hygiene issue than the perspiration produced from running in an airport. Anyway, it doesn’t take that long to cool off before boarding the flight!
Completing running and stretching before a take-off reduces the chances of contracting Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), or “Economy Class Syndrome”. This is a condition where blood clots develop in the legs and chests of air passengers due to being captive in an airplane for a long period of time.
Passengers who bring a light carry-on backback and don’t experience any back problems can even try running through the concourses with their wares, which makes the experience more scenic. What better place is there for running when one thinks about it? The concourse terrain is basically solid and flat, and runners won’t attract any undue attention because people will think they are late for a flight.
Runners don’t need a lot of space to get their hearbeats going. Even in most cramped and tiny of airports, the fitness-consious can stand in one place and then pretend they are on a treadmill for fifteen to twenty minutes.
For those who feel uncomfortable about these “outside the box” ways of staying fit may find solace in the fact that some airports have fitness centers. For instance, a company called 24 Hour Fitness has clubs at Los Angeles International Airport and at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Even shorts and T-shirts for getting that workout completed are often available for purchase at airport gyms!
Travel days do not have to impede runners. Airports offer a different and potentially exciting kind of venue to burn those calories off. Passengers can then board a flight with a feeling of accomplishment!