Instead of sitting for hours waiting for a flight, travelers can stretch out in the yoga room at San Francisco International Airport. Opened in January, the airport’s new fitness option is one of several new yoga rooms, fitness centers and walking paths in airports across America.
The trend addresses obesity and the increasing number of delays and long layovers.
“There certainly is more of an awareness, and there’s a great deal more attention given to the idea of maintaining an active, fit lifestyle,” said Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise. “It’s in large part due to the disturbing obesity statistics our nation is facing. With regard to air travel, it’s also an attempt to limit the risks of air-related health problems.”
According to Bryant, those who move around more while traveling feel better when they reach their destination. Sitting still in cramped quarters can lead to blood clots, dehydration and jet lag. Staying active and drinking lots of water helps combat those problems.
The Los Angeles International Airport has an area for yoga, as well as tai chi and an 18-hole golf course at the LAX Flag Courtyard. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has added 1.4-mile marked walking path, created in partnership with the American Heart Association’s Start Walking program.
“Travelers benefit from having a set, measured exercise route, and the Airports Commission benefits from getting travelers to see more of the airport, including many of the shops and restaurants available that they might later decide to visit,” said Patrick Hogan, spokesman for the airport.
At the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, travelers do not have to leave Terminal D to use the Grand Hyatt’s full-service fitness and spa, since the hotel is integrated into the airport’s terminal. For $30, any traveler can use the hotel’s gym and lockers designed for carry-on bags. Workout clothes can be purchased. The Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport hotel also allows nonguests to buy a day pass for use of the hotel’s fitness facilities.
To find a directory of fitness centers inside and within a 15-minute ride of an airport, go to www.airportgyms.com.
For more information, read the ABC News article.