man looking outside a airport window at a airplane

How To Be Fit & Productive While Waiting At The Airport

“C’mon…..I don’t want to be late….”

You have heard the horror stories. TSA is understaffed and Americans should expect longer than usual lines while going through airport’s security checkpoints. That means you’re going to have to get to the airport even earlier than you normally do.

It’s a modern day game of Russian roulette. Instead of death, you’re dealing with a slow process that can potential lead you to missing your flight.

Even though the FAA recommends that you get to the airport three hours ahead of your flight, you decide to show up four hours earlier instead.

“Yeah, I’m going to be prepared” you tell yourself proudly.

Well you get to the airport and it’s crickets. It takes you less than ten minutes to go from front entrance, check in, and make it through security. As you sit down at your gate you think to yourself:

“Now what!?”

Well here comes your friendly traveling fitness professional to break you off with some simple suggestions to help the time fly by while waiting at the airport.

Take A Walk

In our fast paced society it’s easy to overlook this simple effective activity. Whether you’re gaining muscle or losing weight, walking is beneficial towards your recovery. It’s one of the simplest cardiovascular activities that you can do.

The only problem is that it takes 30-60 minutes at a brisk pace to reap the fat burning benefits of walking. That’s why people gravitate towards high intensity interval training exercises like sprinting, bike sprints, jump rope, etc. because they are done in a short amount of time.

Don’t forget that it’s the total calories you burn in a day that matters in the weight loss game. Which is going to burn more calories, you sitting at your gate or you walking around the airport?

If you’re a nervous flyer, walking is an excellent way to burn off that anxiety. Walking has a natural calming effect on the body.

Do Some Luggage Exercises

Your luggage can do more for you than just pack some clothes. You have yourself a makeshift piece of exercise equipment. Just because it’s not shaped like a dumbbell or barbell doesn’t mean you can’t use it to your advantage.

One of my favorite activities to do with luggage is farmer’s walk. Instead of dragging your luggage by its wheels, actually use the handles and carry your luggage.

You can do one side at a time (aka suitcase carries) or use both of your hands. Brace your abs and walk as long as you can before placing it back on the ground.

This is a great exercise that combines cardio and strength.

Other Luggage ideas:

Luggage Rows
Luggage Squats
Luggage Overhead Press

Don’t Settle For Food

While walking around the airport you should be able to spot all the different types of convenience stores and restaurants the airport has to offer. Too often people go to the first restaurant they see near their gate. Turn your blinders off and explore.

Knowing what the airport offers means that you will make better selections. Why settle for a fast food’s hamburger and fries when you can have a chicken spinach salad from a quality restaurant.

Eating poor quality foods can slowly change your entire trip. What starts as a simple burger and fries turns into soda on the plane, which leads to even more fast food when you land. Next thing you know, you come back home with an additional 10 pounds around your waist.

Don’t let that happen! Don’t settle!

Get Healthy Snacks

If you read this article, then you know you should pack snacks as part of your carry-on. Well sometimes you still could forget. Go to the airport’s convenience store and get some snacks that support your diet plan.

Some great snacks you can find at the airport are:

  • Fruit
  • Cheese
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, not the sugary trail mix with candy and dried fruits)
  • Protein bars (not the best but not the worst)
  • Beef jerky

Supply Yourself With Water

water pouring into a glass

When flying you want to make sure you’re hydrated. Please make sure you get some water. If you packed a water bottle, take the time to fill it up. If you forgot to bring it, purchase some water bottles from the airport.

Get Your Work Done

If this is a business trip, use this time to be productive with your job. You’re on the clock right? Take care of business receipts if coming from a trip. If you’re at the start of your trip, fine-tune your project/presentation.

Research Your Destination Area

To keep your body in shape you want to make sure that you know:

  • The best places to eat
  • Where to shop
  • If there are some local gyms you can workout at during your down time.
  • Does your hotel have a fridge
  • Are there some trials nearby
  • Can you do a weightlifting routine at your hotel

Do your research and know what you are getting into when you arrive at your destination.

Meditate

Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you actually took some me time to meditate? Meditating is a great way to reconnect with yourself and find clarity.

Find somewhere quiet and just concentrate on your breathing. With all the free time you have, you can get a solid session in. Think how awesome you will feel during this flight due to implementing this relaxing strategy.

If you don’t know how to mediate, download an app like Headspace or check out a website like Zen Habits and learn.

Read

Airplanes are now being designed to allow you to stay connected and entertained by allowing Wi-Fi and providing satellite TV.

Take the time before, during and after your flight to read.  Reading increases your personal development and also calms your mind. How do you think I got through the first three Game of Thrones books?

It was all by reading at airports and while flying international flights that’s how!

Call Family & Friends

We all have people in our lives that as the years pass by we speak less and less with. Use this time to reach out to those loved ones. They can be family or friends.

Reconnect and catch up on each other’s life.

You never know what tomorrow may bring so get in touch today!