What’s New in Airport Wellness?


Yoga Room in San Francisco AirportWith the smell of cinnamon buns or French fries wafting through your terminal in the airport, it can be tempting to treat yourself to junk food while sitting on your behind waiting for your flight. While an indulgence every once in a while is okay, if you’re an avid traveler, these treats, couples with and hours of just sitting, can add up.

And airports know this. With delays, layovers and ever-changing flight times, the people running airports know how much time people are spending in their facilities, sitting sedentary and browsing junk food options. Over the last few years they’ve been working to change that up and are adding healthy offerings to their restaurants’ menus and providing travelers with ways to get active.

From the restaurants to the grab-and-go kiosks selling snacks, airport food vendors are making it easier for you to make healthy choices. You’ll find fresh fruit, yogurts, fresh juices and more healthy options at most food stops along the way to your gate.

And chain restaurants’ big push to cater to the healthier lifestyle Americans crave is extending to their locations within airports. For instance, you can have a salad or low-calorie chicken wrap from McDonald’s instead of a Big Mac, a multi-grain bagel or oatmeal from Starbucks, or an egg white veggie flatbread from Dunkin Donuts.

In fact, according to the annual airport food review report by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 75 percent of restaurants at 23 of the top 30 busiest U.S. airports offer at least one healthy plant-based entrée.

If you look around the airport, you’ll see most people sitting, whether they’re reading, eating and drinking at a bar, watching TV, or desperately charging their devices at an outlet. Spending the whole time you’re in an airport sitting before being stuck sitting on a plane isn’t necessarily healthy.

To combat travelers’ tendency to be sedentary, airports have been increasingly adding healthy amenities. For instance, the Philadelphia International Airport installed fitness zones through a temporary program – these fitness zones consisted of stationary exercise bikes scattered throughout the terminals, creating easy access to low-impact exercise for travelers.

And the Philadelphia Airport isn’t the only hub making moves toward becoming a healthier facility. Phoenix Sky Harbor opened the PHX Fitness Trail – a two-mile interior fitness track complete with seven free water bottle-filling stations.

Similarly, the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport has its DFW LiveWell Walking Path, which measures seven-tenths of a mile and features two optional step courses. This airport also boasts a yoga studio.

Operators at the Boston Logan Airport are also looking out for your health with walking paths and four health stations where passengers can have their blood pressure, height, weight and body mass index (BMI) checked.

And, if you find yourself at the San Francisco, Chicago or Burlington, Vermont airports, you can relax, breathe and stretch in their yoga rooms.

This health while traveling trend extends past the U.S. borders.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is equipped with exercise bikes that double as device chargers. The Toronto Pearson International Airport has a 10,000-square-foot GoodLife Fitness club inside the terminal. And if you’re stopping in Dubai, at the Dubai International Airport you can visit the G-Force Health Club, which is equipped with a gym, private shower rooms with towels, toiletries and hair dryers, men’s and women’s steam rooms, saunas, Jacuzzis, a pool and a spa open 24/7.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America.


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