Exercise

Get ‘Fit to Fly’ at PIT and BWI

It’s sometimes hard to stay fit when you’re on the road, but this week AIRMALL is doing its part to encourage air travelers to give it an extra try.

From June 5-9 at Baltimore Washington International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport there will be everything from free yoga sessions to fit-friendly giveaways.

Here’s the schedule for Fit2Fly

At Pittsburgh International Airport:

*Monday, June 5: Pinkberry smoothie samplings from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

*Wednesday, June 7: “Come Ready Nutrition” Clean Bar sampling & giveaway at The Strip Market from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

*Thursday, June 8: Fit2Fly Day, with free yoga sessions from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Center Core near the video wall. Free fit-friendly tip cards and gear including water bottles, yoga mats and jump ropes. Blume Honey Water sampling at The Strip Market from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

*Friday, June 9: Free water bottles, jump ropes, Nutri-Grain bars and DefensePac will hand out kits from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. while encouraging passengers to “Walk the Airport” on the airport walking trail.

At Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

*Monday, June 5: Smoothie making demonstration with Smoothie King at 1 p.m.

*Tuesday, June 6: Exercise demonstration and informational handouts at ROAM Fitness from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*Wednesday, June 7: Pinkberry smoothie samplings from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

* Thursday, June 8: Free yoga sessions from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., with free fit-friendly tip cards and goodies including water bottles, yoga mats, exercise bands, stress balls and JimmyBars.

*Friday, June 9: 1K terminal fun walk at 1 p.m.

 

How about a workout – in the gym – on your next flight?

Courtesy Transpose

Sitting for hours on long-haul flights is bad for both butts and brains, but the standard layout of narrow, forward-facing seats in ever more tightly packed airplane cabins doesn’t offer much option for passenger movement.

But what if you could get out of your seat mid-flight and head to the in-flight gym for a workout – maybe a spinning or yoga class– in a section of the cabin the airline could easily swap out, in plug-and-play fashion, for a kids’ play area or a meeting-friendly café on the next flight?

That’s the idea behind Transpose, a project of Airbus’s Silicon Valley outpost known as which has partnered with Reebok and Peloton to display (through May 19) a prototype ‘flying gym’ module complete with stationary bikes, yoga mats, resistance stations and other workout equipment at Mineta San Jose International Airport.


Courtesy Transpose

“For most people, the future of flight will still be on large commercial aircraft,” said Transpose project executive Jason Chua, “We’re trying to allow for new types of in-flight experiences with a modular cabin architecture that allows for customized spaces that can be loaded and unloaded onto aircraft very rapidly.”

Beyond gyms, Transpose cabin modules could be plug-in spas, napping pods, gaming centers, dining areas, yoga studios or, as one traveler suggested, a karaoke lounge. And, Chua suggests, each creative design would offer new ways for both airlines to generate revenue and for brands to engage with flyers beyond putting advertisements on napkins, on tray table stickers, before in-flight movies and in the pages of in-flight magazines.

More ways to carve out the cabin

While quick-change cabin modules may be a new idea, Transpose isn’t the first to suggest using cabin space for activities that promote wellness.

Back in 2002, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) actively promoted the basic stretching and exercise opportunities offered by a metal bar attached high on a wall in unused space near the galley on some of its long-haul aircraft.

More recently, designers at Seattle-based Teague joined with Nike to envision a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with an interior luxuriously fitted out with amenities for professional and elite college athletes, such as extra-long lie-flat seats, a nutrition zone, biometric monitoring and analyzing systems, a recovery room with massage table, and more.

Courtesy Teague

And last summer, Russian plane maker Sukhoi showed off a concept mock up for a its SportJet, a private jet outfitted for sports teams outfitted with special equipment and lighting, including a variety of in-seat diagnostic devices that will test athletes before, during and after the flight, “to diagnose the physiological and psychological parameters of the athlete’s functionality.”

But while in-flight gyms, yoga studios and other high-flying cabin concepts for commercial airplanes seem intriguing, “A lot of these concepts don’t really account for the business model of air travel,” said Devin Lidell, Principal Brand Strategist at Teague, “They don’t answer the question of how can the airline make money with that, and will someone actually pay for it?”

An entire cabin on a commercial plane outfitted with elliptical machines probably isn’t reasonable – or realistic, said Lidell, “But maybe you could have some seats that are mainly for take-off and landing and then allow passengers to move about the airplane in a different way. Or explore having whole cabins built around passengers with like-minded interests. People may pay more for that.”

When it comes to in-flight wellbeing, for now passengers are limited to walking up and down the aisle (when the drink or meal carts aren’t in the way) or doing stretching exercises – sometimes to the odd glances from other passengers, at their seats.

To help, many airlines offer instructions and encouragement for in-seat exercises on the in-flight entertainment system, in the in-flight magazines or on seat-back cards. Some, like Lufthansa, have recruited sports stars to demonstrate the moves in short videos.

Another, extremely low-tech approach comes from Shanghai-based budget carrier, Spring Airlines, which has instructed its flight attendants to actively encourage passengers to perform in-flight exercises, said Raymond Kollau of AirlineTrends.com.

“Flight attendants announce over the PA that they will be demonstrating in-flight exercises – such as waving hands in the air, massaging temples, or stretching arms – and they recommend everyone do those actions as well,” said Kollau, “And many passengers actually join in.”

(A slightly different version of my story about gyms on airplanes appeared on CNBC)

BWI gets a post-security fitness center

Need a real work-out before you fly?

A post-security fitness facility, called ROAM Fitness, is scheduled to open at Baltimore/Washington International Airport on Monday, in the new connector between Concourses D and E.

The space will be open daily from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will have cardio equipment, stretching space, free weights, kettle bells, medicine balls, stability balls, a TRX system, yoga mats and a pull-up bar.

Travelers who don’t have their own workout gear can rent or purchase activewear and footwear and – here’s a great idea – have their own workout outfits vacuum-sealed after a visit to keep odors from mingling.

There’s also a shower reservation system to make sure everyone can freshen up before their flight.

Access to ROAM Fitness at BWI is currently $40 for a day pass, $175 for a monthly pass and $600 for a yearly pass. Passes can be purchased online, on a smartphone or at the door. (Check the website for deals on discounted passes.)

Not a regular at BWI? The next ROAM Fitness center scheduled to open in 2017 is slated for Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

ROAM Fitness claims to be the first public-use post-security airport fitness center with both a gym and shower facilities, but it is not the only airport fitness center.

In North America, travelers can purchase a day pass for $15 to use the fitness and showering facilities (and heated indoor pool) at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport, which is attached to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport McNamara Terminal.

For $20 ($22.40 with tax), travelers can get a day pass to use the pool and extensive fitness facilities at the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport, which is accessible from O’Hare via underground walkways.

And there’s also a branch of GoodLife Fitness on the arrivals level of Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport ($14 CAD/about $11 US for a 14-day trial membership.)

Some options for workouts at airports

MSP Walkway workstation - photo by Robert Little

MSP Walkway workstation – photo by Robert Little

 

*This story is by Robert Little, a high school student who has been working with StuckatTheAirport.com on a variety of project this summer. Thanks, Robert, for all your help!

Most travelers don’t associate airports with exercise, beyond the dreaded run to catch a flight, but some airports are putting these two together. Wishing to help maximize travelers’ precious time, some airports are providing experiences that allow passengers to exercise, while at the same time hopefully ensuring their continued business.

We found two great examples:

Partnering with Minneapolis International Airport since April 2015, Kari Severson, CEO of Minneapolis start-up Walkway, wants to kick the habit of sitting; seeing it almost as the next taboo.

Severson’s Walkways are treadmills that can be bought or leased through a partnership with the company.

Travelers passing through Terminal 1 of MSP airport are offered two free of charge.

Passengers can simply walk up to one for 30 minutes sessions before or between flights. The machines are programmed not to go above five miles an hour, which ensures the traveler will not break a sweat,  but will still receive a beneficial workout.

While the user is working out they’re shown a short commercial, after which they get free charging of their mobile device and Wi-Fi access.

Walkway hopes to expand to more airports in the future and has already partnered with the American Diabetes Association and other Fortune 500 companies in the Minneapolis area.

For the traveler looking for a more comprehensive workout, GoodLife Fitness has a club at Toronto Pearson Airport in Terminal 1. The advantage to having it on the pre-security side is that more airport visitors are able to access it, but it does limit the number of those are willing to clear security again.

All GoodLife members with “all clubs access” are able to access the club everyone else can use the club by purchasing a $15 day pass.

In addition to wide variety of cardo machines and free weights, the 10,000 sq. workout facility at Pearson Airport offers features that make it easy to work out, including luggage storage, showers and clothing and shoe rentals.

Toronto Pearson also boasts other health benefits for travelers, including two massage studios, (one in Terminal 1 and another in Terminal 3), as well as a walk-in clinic and pharmacy.

An even simpler option for the passenger just connecting to another gate are various walking paths in airports.

The American Heart Association has created a list of airports and the provided distances. Airports to look out for include Dallas/Fort Worth (1 ¾ mile), Indianapolis (~2 mile), Minneapolis (1.4 mile), Cleveland (1 ½ mile), and St. Louis (1 ½ mile).

 

Now: Yoga at Vancouver Int’l Airport

YVR YOGA

Vancouver International has joined the list of airports offering travelers a yoga space.

A yoga program – “YYoga@YVR” – will be offered on Fridays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from July 15 to August 26 and will be open to any passenger departing to a Canadian destination in Domestic Terminal C-Pier, across from Gate 46.

The program is being offered as part of YVR’s Take-Off Fridays, the airport’s summer event series of music, entertainment and family-friendly activities in the terminal.

The yoga pilot program is offered through a partnership between YVR and YYoga, a Canadian yoga and wellness company.

Passengers can use the yoga space to practice their own yoga flow, for meditation or for simple stretching.

A YYoga instructor will be on hand to welcome passengers, answer questions and suggest poses and stretches that are particularly beneficial during travel. Mats are provided.

“Yoga can offer tremendous benefits to travelers,” says Berk Kansu, Marketing Manager for YYoga. “It can help passengers feel relaxed and centered and help them move to their next destination in a refreshed, calm way.”