Finally, an actual incentive to show up at the airport early. Roam Fitness, created by founders Cynthia Sandall and Ty Manegold, is the first fitness company to open gyms past airport security where, let's face it, we could most use it. While there is only one current facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, the company has plans to expand its gym to over 20 U.S. airports in the next 5 years. But will it be worth your time and money?
The tiny 1,175 sq. foot space is a mix of three treadmills, one elliptical, a single bike and free weight area. Dumbbells range from 5 to 50-pound — not exactly your local CrossFit box. If you're looking for a squat rack, bench press or any other accessory weight machine, you're out of luck — Roam doesn't have the space or weights as of yet.
What the gym does provide is a place to get a good cardio routine and a space to do some ball slams, TRX suspension training, a mat for yoga and foam rollers for stretching. It's the kind of setup that is perfect to precede or follow a long stretch in cramped quarters. After all, stretching out before a flight is crucial — according to the CDC, being on a flight for long-durations of time increases your risk of developing blood clots, requiring constant movement and motion in the legs to increase circulation (Here are some good plane stretches to get you going). Studies have even shown that getting a workout in can help to diminish the effects of jet lag if you want to arrive at your destination well-rested.
In addition to the studio space, there are 4 reservable shower rooms that can be assigned at check-in — and can only be used for 15 minutes at a time. Annual members can reserve a shower a day ahead, though the 15 minute slots remain a rule. They offer clothes by Lululemon and shoes by Brooks, free with any pass. If you prefer to wear your own, there's a vacuum-sealer for your soiled clothes. Treadmills are equipped with Netflix, Facebook and Verizon TV among other ‘wellness’ apps, if you need to feel a little more at home during your workout. Roam’s other amenities include an assortment of gluten free bars and, yes, kombucha.
Why did it take so long to get a gym in the airport? Roam's limitations — small space, limited equipment, timed showers — speak to the difficulties of having any gym in an airport. But the business is a worthy one and we expect fliers to be lining up for these services. As Roam's press release puts it, "working out while traveling isn’t a luxury, it’s a right.” Hear hear.
A day pass costs $25, with a monthly rate at $100, and a yearly access rate at $350, roamfitness.com