Whether traveling for business or pleasure, chances are that many of us will find ourselves in an airport at some point in the coming months. While travel days can sometimes be chaotic as you try to get to the airport on time, haul luggage in and out of the car and make sure you have not accidentally left any of the necessities at home (even though you triple-checked to make sure you have your phone charger), incorporating walking as part of your experience can have many benefits. Here are some of the ways walking can benefit you and your family during travel:

1. Meet physical activity guidelines ? Current guidelines recommend that adults accumulate the equivalent of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, such as walking. This activity can be accumulated in sessions as short as ten minutes. Regularly engaging in this amount of physical activity can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. It is important to realize that even on days when you?re traveling, the airport can be a great place to sneak in some physical activity. For example, you can choose to walk to your departure gate instead of riding a train or shuttle. In addition, if you arrive to the airport early or have time between connecting flights, you can use that time to walk around instead of sitting at the gate.

2. Relieve stress ? Beyond the multitude of health benefits offered by engaging in regular physical activity, walking while at the airport can help relieve some of the stress associated with travel. If you are a nervous flyer, taking a walk through the airport before boarding your flight may help calm you and improve your mood. In addition, if you are traveling with children, walking around the airport is a great way to let them release some energy before takeoff. Walking before and between flights may also be beneficial for anyone who suffers from circulatory problems, improving blood flow before a long flight.

3. Find adventure ? Many airports across the U.S. have art and culture exhibits set up for visitors to enjoy. Some focus on the history of the city or the airport itself, giving visitors a chance to experience the city without ever leaving the airport. Other airports display impressive artwork from local artists or keep children occupied during long waits with interactive exhibits. Doing a bit of pre-travel research about the airport out of which you will be flying or connecting could provide you with an idea of any art or cultural exhibits you may want to check out! Next time you are headed to the airport, make sure to take a comfortable pair of shoes so you can walk, de-stress and enjoy the journey.

Quick Tips:

  • If you are traveling for business and footwear is an issue, pack a pair of comfortable shoes in your carry-on bag so you can quickly change to walk around.
  • You can always ask an airport employee if there is a way to get to your departure gate or desired destination by walking instead of taking a train or shuttle.
  • Check out the website of the airports from which you will be departing or connecting to see what kind of art or cultural exhibits they may have!
  • If traveling with others, take turns walking in smaller groups so you can watch each other?s luggage.

By Virginia Frederick

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