Diary / Lifestyle / Sep 26, 2022
Inside the Healthiest Airports
Written by: Christina Valhouli
Photography by: Courtesy of Airports Listed
Sticking to a healthy eating and exercise routine while traveling is never easy, especially if you’re hungry and in a hurry at the airport, and Cinnabons are calling your name. But more airports are making it easier for travelers to stay active and make better food choices thanks to a wide range of healthy amenities. Airports are embracing everything from walking loops to full-blown gyms, as well as therapy dogs to help soothe anxious travelers. Airports are also rethinking how design affects well-being, by increasing the amount of light and adding green spaces through gardens both big and small. Keep an eye on companies such as Roam Fitness, which currently has a gym at Baltimore-Washington International Airport and is looking to expand, as well as Yoga on the Fly a private yoga studio within Denver International. Here’s a look at some of the airports with the healthiest amenities, from sushi and golf courses to outdoor pools.
Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
Singapore’s Changi Airport has scooped up many awards for being the best in the world and it’s easy to see why. There’s a huge emphasis on green spaces, and the airport has multiple gardens, featuring orchids, butterflies and water lilies. Take a dip in the rooftop pool or break a sweat at the multiple fitness lounges. Walk around to soak up the art and don’t miss the airport’s famous Kinetic Rain installation. There are several spas offering everything from massages to fish pedicures. The dining options range from rice bowls to juices and sushi. An expansion slated to be completed in 2019 will offer even more green space, and an indoor garden maze.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
O’Hare is packed with amenities to help make a journey more enjoyable- and healthy. An aeroponic garden adds greenery but its more than just décor; it grows produce such as beans and herbs used in airport restaurants. Have a long layover? Unwind at the yoga room or buy a day pass to the Hilton Health Club, which includes use of the gym, steam room, sauna, lap pool, and Jacuzzi. There’s no shortage of light bites either - try Wicker Park Sushi or Wao Bao for steamed buns.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Before takeoff, clock a few loops along the DFW Airport walking path, a nearly one mile track endorsed by the American Heart Association. The course includes stretches and if you want a cardio boost, head up the 55 foot high staircases that lead to the Skylink stations. DFW also has two yoga rooms that are stocked with complimentary practice mats, exercise balls and stretch bands. To unwind, take a nap at Minute Suites or book a massage at XPressSpa. Grab lunch at the Banh Shop for grilled tofu on a baguette and rice bowls, or tamarind glazed grilled salmon at Whitetail Bistro.
Incheon International Airport (ICN), Seoul
Seoul’s Incheon Airport offers so many things to do that travelers may secretly wish for a longer layover. Squeeze in a workout at the ice rink, tee off at the golf course or head to the sky garden which has walking and cycling paths. There are plenty of areas for pampering and relaxing, from a rooftop observatory to multiple spas. Chinese, Buddhist and Catholic prayer rooms offer a space for quiet reflection. Travelers can feast on Korean, Chinese and western food, ranging from ramen to bulgogi. The recently opened Terminal 2, designed by the firms Gensler and HMGY, is filled with natural light, a kid’s play area and original art.
Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam (AMS)
Amsterdam’s Airport gets top marks for keeping the body and the soul in shape. Settle in with a good book (or an iPad) at the Airport Library, which is stocked with comfortable seats and sofas. Or pull double duty at the Airport Park, where travelers can hop on a bike that will charge devices while you pedal. Need something mellower? Unwind at a meditation room or spa. Travelers can have their meals delivered to their gate but if you have more time, enjoy the huge range of dining options, from kale salads at LEON to a fresh juice at Juicy Details.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
As you’d expect from a California airport, SFO offers a huge selection of ways to stay healthy and active. Feeling stressed? Decompress with a cuddle from the Wag Brigade, a team of adorable therapy dogs. Soothe the soul by viewing the exhibitions at the SFO Museum, or head to the yoga room to stretch out. There are spas for pampering treatments too. Pick up a meal at Napa Farms Market, which has everything from steel cut oatmeal to tempeh sandwiches and grab a green drink at Joe & The Juice.