Airport travel is stressful, it’s a fact of life. We get to the airport, we rush to security, and we get to the terminal just in time to find out about the delay. Some enjoy delays as it gives them an opportunity to enjoy the food and drink options inside the airport. Many airports have updated their systems with this in mind, as most now provide tablets for fliers to use while waiting, allowing them to do everything from order food to play online games. Those of us that know what we’re doing have a little secret; exercise. Little stretches and movements will leave us feeling fresh and charged for the flight ahead. Follow this list of 5 easy to do exercise during your next delay.
Walking some laps around the terminal is not only a fun way to exercise during a layover, it’s also a great way to explore the airport. While walking you can check out the variety of services, do some window shopping, and even do a little people watching. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in France even designed circular shaped terminals that make great walking tracks for those who want to get a little movement before long flights. Just 20 minutes of walking is enough to give you a good cardio workout boost.
Stairs to Nowhere
Stair hikes are the perfect workout component and there tends to be plenty of them in the airport. All you need to find are few steps and you can have your own StairMaster right in the terminal. Exercise your core muscles by doing step-ups. Step one: find a stair; the more your knee bends at a 90-degree angle the better. Step two: lift your right foot onto the stair. Step three: put the weight on your right foot and lift your left foot to the stair. Step four: return to your original starting position by stepping down with the right and then the left until they’re on the floor. Complete at least 15 of these step-ups for ultimate leg and backside stretches. If you’re feeling ambitious, find a staircase and work your way up and down.
If the airport is crowded or your want to stay close to the gate to hear announcements, you can do another simple, but killer exercise that will give your legs a nice workout. Just find a wall and imagine you were sitting in a chair. Positioning your body into a sitting position will give your legs a real burn, which means that by the time you’re ready to board the plane your legs will be begging for a rest. If you’re lucky enough to score a wall with an outlet, you’ll even be able to charge your devices pre-flight.
The last thing that you want to happen while on the plane is leg cramps. Taking your seat for your flight leaves you feeling cramped with little to no leg room. Prepare yourself for this eventuality with calf pumps. Best of all this exercise is really discreet; all you need to do is slightly lift your heels, shifting your weight to your toes. Keep slowly repeating this motion. If you’re feeling bold, you can even give your legs a real stretch by using a chair or wall for support and with your body turned, lift your leg out to the side, up and down, then switch legs.
The Long Stretch
Air travel can wreak havoc on a passenger’s back. Twisting and turning around tiny seats or maneuvering around a crowded airport terminal can leave our backs feeling sore. Believe it or not, stretching is the ultimate key to keeping your back flexible for any situation. Proper stretching is a highly effective way to reduce and relieve back pain. Two types of stretching, dynamic or static, can be used to get you loose and limber before your flight. With static stretching, you simply hold the pose keeping your muscle stretched for up to 30 seconds. When performing dynamic stretching, you move your body to extend and contract the muscle through the pose. Both forms of stretching will give you the benefits you desire.
Taking a few simple steps to make sure that your delay is at least a little more enjoyable should not be a challenge. Don’t lose yourself in your smartphone or the food court. Spend a little time on you and prepare for the travels ahead.