Healthy Choices at the Airport

Good afternoon (or evening… really it all depends on when I get internet access at this point.

So it’s 3:08 pm as I start this post, my flight is scheduled to take off at 3:35.  However, since Murphy’s Law states that every time you really want to go somewhere, your flight will inevitably be delayed…  Guess what happened to mine?

As a fairly frequent flyer (1-2x a month, though this past April/May it was more like 3x), I am very accustomed to airport living.  Once, on a flight to visit Ryan for our 2 year anniversary, I got stuck in the Charlotte Airport overnight….  I learned quickly that you don’t have many options when you’re stuck, so you may as well make the best of it.

My bed for the night.... the floor was heated... so there was that.

In the summer months especially, and with the Healthy Living Summit right around the corner, I figured that some of y’all would be traveling.  And, if you’re an unlucky duck like me and thunderstorms in Tampa somehow prevent your flight from RDU to PHL (damn air traffic control), you might be doing your best to stay healthy and fit in the airport of your choosing (or the airport you’re forced to stay in for reasons beyond your control.)

Here are my best tips for Healthy Choices at the Airport:

1. Don’t Check Your Bags

Ugh, bag fees.

This one will be healthy both for your wallet, and your body.  Airlines are frequently the fastest/easiest way to get from point A to point B, and they know it.  They’ve got the monopoly on the sky, unless your daddy owns a jet (if so, I have a deep-seeded friend crush on you, and think we should make things official.)  They have been jacking up the prices on checking bags for a while now, and there’s no sign of stopping (unless you’re on Southwest…. which checks up to two bags fo’ free. and is awesome.)  However, if you can cram all your junk into a carry on bag or two, you’ll save anywhere from $50-$100 round trip, and you’ll be getting some awesome muscles, lugging your junk around the terminals.  Speaking of that, it reminds me of point two.

2.  Even if your bag has wheels, and is meant to be dragged behind you, BUCK UP AND CARRY IT LIKE A CHAMP!

Then your arms will be jacked, like mine.

It’s awesome to whiz around the airport without being the constraints of a wheeled parasite acting as an extension to your arm.  I’ve learned it makes me faster, it makes me able to turn on a dime, and it gives my biceps a good workout.  I like to pretend it’s my own little “Les Mills” class.  I call it Body (scratchout) BaggagePump.

3. Be a little late.

This symbolizes late... but also just a love of my new watch.

Now, this next tip is not for the faint of heart.  If you’re not prepared to deal with stress or chaos and you’re not familiar with the airport you’re in…. maybe steer clear of this one.  But I’ll be honest: I’ve never sprinted harder than those few times in my life where I’ve heard my name called and I was still in the security line at the Philadelphia airport.  It’s like an endless cavern, that airport, and maneuvering my way around rabid Eagles fans and jaded students coming home from Temple, UPenn, Drexel, etc. while carrying my (incredibly full) bags has left me sweaty, panting… and on the plane.  Extra challenge? Do it in flip flops (the only way to travel, IMHO).

4. Avoid this place.

Demon icing

Seriously, I’d recommend a daily snack of pretzels and whipped cream for 2 weeks before I’d suggest going to Cinnabon. Their stats are insane (as in disgusting), and their food ends up making you feel like a sticky faced food monster.  You’re better off without it.  Trust me.

5. Healthy snacks almost always make it through security!

Ah, that's more like it.

I like to always have a few snacks on hand, something to stave off cravings for $18 cheese fries and $6 bags of chips.  I reccomend fruit and vegetables, cut up or prepped.  Dips are a great way to add some flavor, and I got lucky enough this flight to have my boss decide she hates chewing carrots and eating edamame hummus.  JACKPOT! (I’ve even heard of folks who’ve brought overnight oats on plane… it’s worth it.) Other good choices: Fiber One bars, homemade trail mix, pre-popped mini bags of popcorn. Bad choices: Doritos Fiery Habanero.  It will burn your mouth and you can’t even get liquids through security.  And your fingers will be orange.  Don’t blow this one.

6. Stairs, if you dare

Epic climb.

Airlines are full of convenient things like moving sidewalks, elevators, and escalators.  Screw em.  Go the long way, take the stairs instead, do it twice.  I’ve switched to taking the stairs everywhere I go now, and it gives me a great feeling of superiority when I see all those people waiting on the moving sidewalk for the slowpokes to move to the right. Just being honest.

7. BYO(water)B(ottle)

Beware: if you're near me at an airport.... I'll take a picture of you.

Airports are great for water bottles, as long as that bottle doesn’t contain fluids.  Try this funky one that I creepily took a picture of, I bet it feels great on your hands.  There are water fountains all over the place. GO NUTS!

8. Don’t pull your hair out

Just drink me.

I know the airport can be stressful, but don’t pull your hair out… or your eyelashes and eyebrows (they have a term for that, and you should probably get it checked out if that’s your first option).  Baldies aren’t cute (unless they’re ________)  If you’re feelings really stressed, go grab a beer.  I’ll be so expensive you won’t have any money left to buy those $18 cheesefries I talked about, and they’re made from grains…. grains are healthy, right?

Well…. luckily that only took me 30 minutes to write (and that was with the constant distraction of sneakily taking pictures of airport shenanigans.)  Guess I’ll go try to think of something to do for the next 3 hours (UGH!)

Edit: It ended up being a 3.5 hour delay. bleak.

Do you fly often?  

What’s your favorite airport?

Are you flying anywhere anytime soon?!

6 thoughts on “Healthy Choices at the Airport

  1. Plane delays are so sucky! I hope your return flight is on time! Love the tips…. My problem with airports is that in a way they are just like a theme park – once I get there I’m instantly so so sooo hungry! Even when I’m not hungry at all everything instantly looks like I’ve gotta have it, but it’s so much $$$! erg. And of course none of my snacks look appetizing haha

    • Hopefully that’ll be on time, considering it’s the first one of the day and VERY early! (I’d hate to get there at 6am only to be faced with a long delay, ugh). I’ll admit, I splurged on one beer…. but for the most part, stuck only to what I packed.

      that is…. until I got home with my family. Snackage galore!

  2. Enjoying your blog, but esp the pictures you use to illustrate your points!! I had to laugh at Cinnibon at every airport. LAX is the worst for majors and Portland PDX has 3 breweries in there, well Rogue (1) and Laurelwood (2 sites). But this comes from a city that has 42 breweries in their city centre! I think there was a blog that listed Airport Bars and the craft beers they serve.

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