With more healthy eating options, walking paths, and the occasional yoga room, airports are getting holistic makeovers that'll help you stay fit to fly
The word healthy has never been the first to come to mind when you think of an airport, where you're likely to find yourself indulging in a few cocktails at the bar or grabbing fast food you’d normally avoid while stuck on a long layover. Combined with sitting for hours at the gate and on the plane, you’re usually stiff, cranky, and bloated by the time you reach your final destination. Luckily, that’s all changing, thanks to some new, wellness-promoting improvements in terminals and waiting areas across the country. From farm-fresh eats to scenic walking paths to gate-side yoga rooms, gossip rags and Panda Express with a side of vino (just us?) suddenly seem a whole lot less tempting. (Psst...wearing Workout Clothes that Double as Travel Outfits makes it doubly easier to get into fitness mode while flying.)
Airport food can be notoriously bad for you (Cinnabon, anyone?), so the new locally-sourced options cropping up in terminals coast-to-coast are a relief to any frequent traveler. At Boston Logan International Airport, visit the Berkshire Farms Market in Terminal B, where you’ll find specialty snacks like roasted nuts and gluten-free brownies, all locally sourced from farmers and vendors in the nearby Berkshire Mountains. Also on tap: made-to-order fresh fruit and veggie smoothies. We’re so there.
West Coast travelers can visit Napa Farms Market, another locally sourced foodie haven in Terminal 2 of San Francisco’s International Airport. Fill up on goodies from organic Bay Area vendors like Cowgirl Creamery and The Acme Bread Company, or grab a piece of rotisserie chicken and a few fresh veggie sides at Tyler Florence Fresh. (Make sure to check out the Leading Hotels Offering Healthy Food Services to ensure the rest of your vacay eats are fresh and healthy!)
Take a Hike
If you’ve got time to kill on a long layover, opt for a quick hike—seriously! Airports countrywide have made a layover-induced power walk easier than ever—and way more scenic than the endless Hudson newsstands.
At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, follow the PHX Fitness Trail, a two-mile circuit that leads passengers past sweeping views of Phoenix-area landmarks like Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak. You’ll have to drag your bags along with you in Arizona, but the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida offers a carry-on storage option, so you can ditch your duffel before setting out on the 1.3-mile FLL Fit Walking Path between terminals.
If you’ve got a few hours to spare in San Diego or Anchorage, head outside and follow the scenic pedestrian paths connected to the airports. In California, you can head to downtown San Diego or Point Loma, a beautiful seaside community. If you happen to be stuck in Anchorage, it’s completely worth it to hike the 4.2-mile paved trail surrounding the Lake Hood Seaplane Base.
Get Your Yoga On
If an ideal time for yoga exists, the hour immediately following a de-planing would definitely top the list. Rather than break into your best Vinyasa flow next to the moving walkway, you can now stretch out stiff muscles in one of several airport yoga rooms popping up across the country. Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Chicago O’Hare, and Burlington International Airport in Vermont have all created peaceful, zen oases complete with mats and mood lighting to get your Om on before a flight or during a layover. (Since you made all that effort at the airport, it'd be a shame to let the rest of the vacation go to waste. Utilize these 9 Clever Ways to Make Your Vacation Healthier.)