No Excuses: How To Get Your Workout In at the Airport

By Tahnee Lacey

If you are about to embark on a long flight or fall victim to fly delays due to snow and are lamenting missing your daily exercise regime, never fear because there are some easy breezy exercises you can do at the airport. I recently did some of these prior to a 12-hour flight and while I momentarily feared looking like a crazy person to others, I quickly realized that most people actually aren't paying attention.

Try these workouts while traveling to your next destination!


Walk to the terminal and use this lengthy time as a quick cardio warm-up. Skip the electronic sidewalks and escalators. If you aren't carting around a 30lb carry on then take the stairs whenever possible. Use those legs to get that heart rate up.

Repeat the exercises below until take off! (Some of these exercises can also be performed discretely in the aisles of a plane or near the bathroom waiting area, trust me).

1) Lunges - 20 each side
Walking lunges through the airport lounge, lunge jumps or a nice forward lunge. The world (or airport) is your oyster and you have your choice of lunges to choose from. Take it up a level and perform split squats using the lounge seats.

2) Squats - 20
Sit it back and press up through those heels for a great booty workout before you sit in a tiny airplane seat.

3) Calf raises - 40
Most people will just think you have pre-flight jitters when they see you doing calf raises, but you know that you are just working on that gastrocnemius. 

4) Wall Sit - 30 seconds
Grab your Kindle and pretend to read if you are hoping for a more discrete wall sit. If you want to level this up then take it to a wall slide. This deceptively difficult exercise is going to help undo some of that sitting at your desk making you a hunchback time.

You may be thinking,"this sounds like a lot of lower body, but how am I going to work the upper body at an airport?" Good question.

5) Pull ups - 10
Say what? Yes, you can do a pull up at the airport. Look around you and find a bar that can stand in for an equalizer. You might even be able to use an airport seat. If this sounds nuts to you, I will attest that while waiting for a flight from Bangkok I was able to find a lovely metal pole hiding in the corner and I repped out some pull ups. It can be done!

6) Push ups - 10
Put that chest to work! You can do these right on the floor, but if you aren’t too keen on putting your hands on the terminal floor then use a seat for an elevated push up (or a decline if you are feeling good). If the seats are taken and your carry on is sturdy enough, you can also put this on it’s side for a nice elevated push up.

7) Bicep curls or Arnold Press - 15
What good are purses and water bottles if we can’t use them for exercises like bicep curls and Arnold presses? Those large smart water bottles are a pretty decent weight and will keep you hydrated mid-flight!

8) Tricep dips - 15
Take it back to those chairs (or your carry on) and give those triceps some love!

We'd love to hear your stories so if you do some airport exercising, let us know in the comment section below!

Tahnee Lacey is a Chicago-based avid runner, lover of group fitness (trainer and participant), owner of cats and appreciator of donuts. You can follow her on Instagram here