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Pump Up Your Layover

Earlier this week, I found myself at the airport more than four hours before my flight was scheduled to depart (thanks to an unexpected change in plans). Going through security and grabbing a meal killed only about 20 minutes. As I arrived at my empty gate, I found myself wondering, “Now what?”

If I’d been prepared, I could have spent that lengthy layover on something a little more productive than snacking, reading a novel and staring blankly at the CNN monitors. In Airport Layovers: How to Make the Most of Your Layover, Caroline Costello writes, “Want to get some cardio in during your layover? is a useful Web site where you can search for fitness centers in or around airports in the U.S. and Canada. If there’s no gym in your airport, stuff some sweats into your carry-on bag and go for a jog around the terminals. This is best to do at an airport that offers shower facilities — be considerate of the person who will have to sit inches away from your sweaty armpits on the next flight.”

According to, there are four different fitness facilities within 25 minutes of my airport (including two only five minutes away). For the cost of a day pass — between $7 and $10, depending on location — I could have spent 30 or 40 minutes lifting weights or running on a treadmill, taken a quick shower and gotten back to the airport with time to spare. And it would have been a heck of a lot better for my body than munching on that Cinnabon roll I just couldn’t resist.

Check out our readers’ favorite airports for layovers.

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