When we wrote about keeping fit at the airport this past week, we didn’t think we’d be tipping off the New York Times to this trend, but yesterday they followed our lead and dug this guy out of the woodwork.
Meet Dr. Christopher Berger, a 42-year old physiologist who chairs the healthy air travel task force of the American College of Sports Medicine.
“Travel does not mean deconditioning,” Berger told the paper. “You’re stuck in a terminal for three hours, boo hoo, but you have a climate-controlled place where you can walk literally for miles at some airports if you want.”
Reasonable enough. But he also does things like this:
In March, while on a long layover in Phoenix during a trip from Indianapolis to Los Angeles, he put together his own airport marathon. Arriving in Phoenix, he bounded off the plane, got on the PHX Sky Train and took it to the Metro Light Rail connection. He caught a train to Tempe, where he disembarked and walked to Arizona State University’s aquatic center.
There, he enjoyed an hourlong swim, did a bit of sunbathing, showered, dried off his swim trunks with a hair dryer in the locker room (he had worn his swimsuit under his business clothes), dressed and headed back to the airport, in plenty of time to go through security again for his connecting flight.
Okay, obviously Dr. Berger’s a fitness freak, but that doesn’t mean you have to be to escape the terminal lights on a long layover. (See our slideshow of Sweatworthy Airports.)
Reagan National in D.C. is spitting distance from the 18-mile Mount Vernon Trail that runs along the Potomac. Or, if Chicago’s O’Hare is your stopover, a forest preserve with trails endorsed by the folks at iRunFar.com is only one stop away by train.
Heck, if you’re willing to shell out for a cab and some luggage storage, the beach is only ten minutes from LAX. The point is, if you’re willing to be a little adventurous and resourceful, you can fill in some of those long hours with a dose of sunshine.
Just give yourself time to get back through security.