Now You Can Work Out While You Wait for Your Flight

ROAM Fitness — PHL's first gym — has private showers and an infrared sauna, too.

Roam Fitness is Philadelphia International Airport’s first gym and wellness center. / Photography by Paul Loftland for MarketPlace PHL

Everyone knows anything goes at the airport — from sharing cheese fries at 6 a.m. to a raccoon arriving with your luggage at baggage claim. (Truly, a lawless place.) But Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has been trying to evolve, with a multimillion-dollar renovation project and its growing hub for local artists — recent installations showcase María Albornoz’s ceramics, Terrance Woolford’s upcycled designs, Lea Saccomanno’s (Sippin’ & Stitchin’) needlepoints, Amberella’s signature hearts and more.

And now, PHL has its very first gym and wellness center. Opened July 10th, ROAM Fitness — a 1,500-square-foot space located in Terminal F — is a one-stop shop for exercise. For cardio lovers, there are treadmills (both traditional and non-motorized TrueForm runners), spin bikes, a rowing machine and an elliptical.

ROAM Fitness’s cardio machines

If you’re looking to strength train, hit the free-weight area to lift with dumbbells or the cable machine. You’ll also find a Lululemon Studio Mirror stocked with 10,000-plus on-demand workouts (plus new live classes every day!), and a dedicated space for mat exercises, yoga and stretching.

Strength-training section at ROAM Fitness

Didn’t pack your gym clothes? No problem. At ROAM, you can rent — yes, you read that correctly — activewear from Lululemon and Brooks running shoes at no cost. (Socks are not for rent, FYI!) Or, you can buy an entire Lululemon gym ‘fit, or clothes from brands like Beyond Yoga and Girlfriend Collective — just make sure there’s room in your carry on. If, by chance, you’re sporting your own, ROAM will vacuum-seal your sweaty gear before you head to your gate, so you aren’t dirtying your “in case of emergency” packed clothes.

Retail section with lockers

Bonus: The center is outfitted with screens displaying departure updates, so you can keep an eye if your flight time or gate changes.

To help alleviate sore muscles pre- or post-flight, demo Hyperice recovery products that utilize percussion, heat, contrast and compression therapies, or hit the infrared sauna. The single-person sauna features red-light therapy, which has been shown to reduce grogginess, support skin health, and ease muscle and joint pain, among other benefits.

Now you might be thinking, Why would I get all sweaty and smelly before a flight? Great question — 0/10 recommend.

After your workout or sauna sesh, don’t forget to rinse off in one of ROAM’s four private showers. You can book a 15-minute slot upon check-in, and you’ll get towels, a personal locker, and free use of Malin+Goetz bath products.

Infrared sauna, plus an area for freshening up

Co-founders Cynthia Sandall and Ty Manegold launched ROAM’s first outpost inside Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) in 2017. The two decided to open inside PHL — the brand’s second location — based on the data. “There are 323 flights departing PHL each day and all seven of the airport’s terminals are connected behind the TSA security checkpoints,” Sandall says. “Anyone can access our gym and its amenities from any terminal, without having to leave the secure side of the airport — a big relief for those prone to a little extra stress on travel days.”

The sentiment is echoed by Mel Hannah, vice president and general manager of MarketPlace PHL: “For anybody stressed about missing their workout on a travel day, it’s now built-in and accessible.”

Sandall tells me that ROAM’s third location is currently in the works at a “major airport on the West Coast.”

Travelers and airport staff alike can visit ROAM Fitness daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A day pass costs $25, or you can opt for an annual membership at $35 per month. Reservations can be made in advance online, or at ROAM’s front desk upon arrival.