The 5 Best Exercises to do at the Airport
Yes, you can exercise at the airport. It’s OK to be THAT person.
Well, not that person above, because they’re, you know, sitting.
I know you may feel embarrassed and self conscious doing exercise in an airport. But deep down, you also know that sitting for long periods of time can kill you.
You don’t have to work up a sweat and worry about your seat mate cringing when you get on the plane. Though if you want to work up a sweat and wipe down and apply some essential oils afterwards, I won’t judge.
On the surface you may scoff and silently berate that person in the empty gate doing pushups, or yoga poses. But deep down, you wish you had the confidence to get out there and move your body, even just a little, before that flight.
Sometimes I have to get up early and get on a flight. Today I flew from Minnesota to Michigan. This is just a 50 minute flight. But I still had to leave my house at 5am for a 7am flight. After arriving in Michigan I got a rental car and drove to work.
Everyone knows a 50 minute flight includes about 30-40 minutes of sitting on the runway pre and post take off, in addition to the inevitable wait for everyone to exit if you sit in coach.
My drive from the airport to work in the rental car was another 45 minutes. When I arrived at work, I was expected to sit and do some work for the next 8 hours. That’s a lot of sitting.
On my last trip, our meetings went from 7:30am until 9pm.
Did I mention that I’m not a fan of sitting?
My time at the airport waiting for the flight to board is the one time I absolutely know is my own. I am not going to take a phone call. I am not going to get called into a meeting. I am not going to be distracted.
This is the perfect time for a workout!
If you really feel self conscious about doing this, you can do one of two things. Do it anyway. I was sweating out of social fear the first few times I did a workout routine at the airport. But after so many times, I’m pretty relaxed about it, and never has anyone said anything negatively about me. At least not where I could hear it.
Second, you can find an empty gate and do your thing. There are almost always empty gates where no one is sitting, or maybe someone is sleeping. These are the perfect places to conduct your workout.
I bring one exercise band (bodylastics link) in my backpack. Check out our post on resistance band training
I wear a pair of black sneakers that look dressy enough for me to wear with a suit, but are really sneakers that I could run in, like these.
Or your deodorant of choice to splash on after your workout, if you feel the need. I bring lavender as well as cinnamon and clove from DoTerra.
Or a suitable carry-on piece of luggage. I almost exclusively travel with my backpack and bike messenger bag. Easy to carry both at once, able to store 5 days of clothes and necessities, and they fit in any overhead bin.
The world is your oyster.
Best Exercises to Do
After I find my gate, I search for a suitable place to do 5-20 minutes of exercise. You don’t need to do too much. Even 5 minutes is associated with health benefits.
Nope, this kind doesn’t count.
Drop your bags, sit against the wall. I do this for 4 minutes, 1 time.
3. Lunges. Put your backpack on, or carry your suitcase and lunge down the concourse. This one got me some stares, but really, I think most people were just jealous.
4. Walking. Don’t downplay walking. It’s human nature to walk. our biology was made to move and walking satisfies that. Walk as much as possible before your flight.
5. Kettle Bell swings. Nope, I don’t shove a massively heavy kettle bell in my backpack. I just swing my carry-on, whether it’s a backpack or a wheeled piece of luggage. Just make sure you have the space and be polite.
That’s it. It can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. Usually I stick to about 15 minutes.
This charges me up for the day.
Get in some movement where others are sitting and checking their phones.