Gyms in Airports: Best Idea Ever, or the Death of an Era?

Gyms in Airports: Best Idea Ever, or the Death of an Era?
Gyms in Airports: Best Idea Ever, or the Death of an Era?

Sometimes an idea crops up that is long overdue, and leaves us wondering why nobody has thought of it yet. My excuse is that I always assume every idea of merit has already been thought of and employed; I just haven’t hear of it yet. But I digress. As people become ever-increasingly health conscious, it should stand to reason that the trend would eventually spread to jet-setters. The bygone era of Sinatra and The Rat Pack slamming back Gin & Tonics on a TWA Constellation are, for better or worse, gone. Hell, you can’t even smoke in a bar anymore.

Gyms, yoga studios, and raw juice shacks have taken the place of cocktail lounges and seedy bars in airports across the country. This is not entirely a bad thing; I run or bike three times a week (most weeks), and I quit smoking years ago. As a man who has traveled a fair amount, I understand the predicament facing travelers: it is hard to get in a workout as a road warrior, and it is also more difficult to eat well than trashy when you’re on the road. So my take on this is hopefully with some modicum of common sense in that if the people want to buy organic, locally sourced spinach smoothies, than let the people have them. People vote with their feet; if they want to spend $40 a day to get in a yoga session, then good! Capitalism is alive and well, apparently even with Bernie Sanders fans. However, if you want to get wrecked on Hurricanes before your redeye then I sure hope you have the opportunity to do that as well. Again, people vote with their feet. If the cultural tides have truly shifted away from the vices and towards virtue, then dive bars at airports will be shuttered by lack of revenue.

If you happen to be interested in hitting the iron, or getting limber before you saddle up to that sweet A320, then you can check your destination hub here. Not only does it list which airports have a gym on location, but it also lists nearby gyms off the airport and their daily rate. Pretty useful. Of course, and this is strictly my own stingy opinion, you could always just pack workout clothes in your carryon bag, wear your running shoes, and go for a quick jog around the airport. Most airports have a parking garage very nearby which provides a relatively safe area to run in, is protected from the elements, and doesn’t take you far from the terminal. If the airport does not have a public shower, throw a pack of these in your backpack. I don’t know about you, but $40 a day for a gym session is just ridiculous. Running is free. So are pushups and crunches, lunges and squats. Every airport outside of sub-Saharan Africa has premium Wi-Fi, and no traveler worth a sack of beans does not carry at least one smart device, and yoga channels are all over YouTube. God bless technology! But it is nice to know that if you want a real gym, they are becoming a lot more prevalent. I do happen to think that Singapore’s Changi Airport is on the right track though, offering massages in their gym. That is a service that all patrons can get behind.

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