Tired of waiting around endlessly for your next flight? Then why not squeeze in a quick workout or spa sesh? Or maybe seek out a space where you can restore your wellness?
That might sound crazy, but airports all over the world are catching on to travelers’ growing interest in staying fit and unwinding while in transit, especially during a long layover or at an airport notorious for departure delays. We examined the best fitness-friendly airports from all over the world and took notes on the need-to-know details for each one.
So rather than seeing how many times you can do a squat with your suitcase or running up and down the escalators until you score an interview with airport security, check out this list of the 10 top wellness features to visit if you’re lucky enough to spend your next layover at one of these healthy-minded airports.
Baltimore’s Roam Fitness
If you find yourself stuck with a layover at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI), then taking a quick stop into Roam Fitness might be the thing to do. Open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Saturdays, this gym offers Wi-Fi-enabled Technogym cardio equipment including treadmills, ellipticals, and even a spin bike. They also have free weights, and ample gear for your toughest resistance training. Ready to cool off post-workout? This gym allows you to book a hot shower in advance so you’re guaranteed not to miss your next flight.
Day passes start at $25, but if you’re traveling frequently through this airport, consider snagging an annual pass at $35 per month. Another idea is to put this outing or membership on your credit card to earn rewards. You can find BWI’s Roam Fitness gym next to gate D1, behind security.
Chicago’s Yoga Room and Hilton Health Club
In case you didn’t already know, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) has some of the worst delays in the U.S and is also one of the world’s busiest airports. But if you’re feeling stuck and stressed at this airport, rather than bitterly waiting around for your next flight, you can head over to the Yoga Room in the Mezzanine Level of Terminal 3. Open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., the Yoga Room is equipped with mats and relaxing music. This chill little spot is sure to help you restore some of your (pre-delay) zen.
Interested in a more intense workout? Check out the Hilton Health Club located inside the Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport Hotel just across from Domestic Terminals 1-3. Hours vary, and day passes can be purchased for just $15. We say “just” because this gym also comes with access to a sauna, pool, and steam room — which should be more than enough to help you sweat out any bad flight-delay vibes.
The Yoga Room at SFO
Enjoy a good pre-flight stretch? Then you might want to check out the free yoga room in the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Open 24/7, this nifty little room offers complimentary yoga mats and a quiet space to stretch or get in a quick yoga sesh before your next flight.
Sneak in your next yoga or pilates workout by heading to the yoga room located between the C gates of Terminal 1 and the D gates of Terminal 2.
Pittsburgh’s Sensory Rooms
This isn’t a gym, but you’ll appreciate it if part of your clan is struggling to cope with the general chaos of the airport. Open to the public and located near gate A9 in the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), the Sensory Room was created to provide respite for special needs children. Filled with calming activities and various seating options, this soundproof space was specifically designed for those who may need a bit more time to adjust to an airport (and the plane ride) before or after a flight.
Vancouver Airport’s Fit on the Fly Program
You don’t have to be a guest of the Fairmont Hotel to take full advantage of its health club and pool in the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). This gym offers cardio machines, free weights, and a mechanized resistance pool (so you can practice swimming against the current), plus saunas and showers.
Depending on the type of pass you purchase through the hotel’s Fit on the Fly program, you can even borrow a set of Reebok workout clothes or get in a post-workout meal. Economy passes (for gym use only) start at just $20, and drop-in hours for visitors are between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.
Do note drop-in passes are temporarily unavailable as of June 7, 2022.
GoodLife Fitness in Toronto
Vancouver isn’t the only airport in Canada that’s upgrading its health and wellness game. You can score a preflight workout by getting a day pass for $25 to GoodLife Fitness in the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). There is also an annual membership for frequent flyers. Open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., this massive gym offers everything from cardio and resistance training galore to workout classes, tanning, clothing rentals, showers, and even laundry service.
If you know when you’ll be swinging by for your first visit, be sure to sign up for the free three-day trial pass. You’ll find this sprawling fitness haven located in Terminal 1, on the arrivals level near Gate F.
Hamad International Airport Fitness Center
If you’re travelling farther afield and find yourself in the airport of Qatar’s capital city of Doha, then you might consider popping in for a visit to the ultra impressive Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre. Offering a fully equipped gym, hydrotherapy tub, and temperature-controlled swimming pool, this high-end studio is sure to leave you feeling all sorts of zen.
Entrance fees start at roughly $48 (175 QAR in local currency) and include access to all the above-listed amenities. This fitness center is open 24/7 and located in the South Node Terminal, on the fourth floor above Oryx Airport Hotel.
Airport Fitness Center in Zurich
A trip through this airport isn’t complete until you’ve visited the Zurich airport fitness and wellness center located in the basement of Hotel Radisson Blu. Not only does this place have all the usual gym perks you’d expect (workout machines, showers, etc.) but it’s also a full-service spa with saunas, massages (for an additional fee), and an authentic Turkish bathhouse.
Prices vary based on the package you choose, but access starts at just $15 (CHF 15, in local currency). This wellness oasis is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends; and limited hours on holidays.
Singapore’s Ambassador Transit Lounge
If you aren’t too distracted by all the other things happening in this airport (such as the movie theater and butterfly garden), then hit up the Ambassador Transit Lounge for your next workout. Located in Terminal 3 (on the Mezzanine level next to the movie theater), this fitness lounge features high-end cardio and strength-training machines, plus a shower and toiletries for a few extra bucks. This facility is open 24/7, and you can get a workout and shower for just $20 ($28 SGD in local currency).
Temporarily closed as of June 7, 2022
Dubai’s G-Force Health Club
These Dubai airport health clubs are just as cool as they sound, with several spas that include things such as a relaxation pool, jacuzzi tubs, a steam room, and saunas. After you sweat the toxins out of your system, you can cool off with a shower and a fluffy towel. With three locations (one in Terminal 3 above Gate C15; one in Concourse B above Gates B12 and B22; and the third in Concourse A above Gate A1) you’re sure to find a spot to unwind from the stress of travel no matter which terminal you’re in.
Bottom line on healthy travel
Staying healthy (mentally and physically) while on the go is important, and there’s really no better way than to treat yourself to a workout or spa visit while waiting for your next plane to depart. You can even get some extra points on your best travel credit card or one of the best airline credit cards by using them to pay for your airport workout time.
Just be sure to map out your route to these fitness centers in advance to guarantee you’ll have the time you need to get the most out of your visit, and pack a pair of workout clothes if the facility doesn’t offer rentals. Although we all know the guidelines on how early to get to the airport, this info might be enough to motivate you to get to the airport even earlier than you need to.
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