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Apps for Having a Healthier Layover


You’re between flights and between meals when your stomach (or children) begins to grumble. Or perhaps you’re looking for a better alternative to an airline meal. Maybe you’ve got a couple hours to kill. Layovers don’t have to be sodium-packed, fat-saturated snack-fests, though they can easily devolve into such…unless you have the right tools for healthy decision-making. Here are three apps that can help stave off the munchies (and the love handles).


(Free for iPhone and Android)

Before you can make a healthy eating choice at the airport, you need to know where the heck you are and what’s available to you. GateGuru is a comprehensive guide to dining, shops, and services at major airports worldwide. Search for airports by name, location, or code. Once you’re in, the app breaks down airports by concourse and terminal, and lists amenities available. It’s easy to find which restaurants are pre-security and which are after. A handy terminal map helps you locate your restaurant, and perhaps most useful, the app displays user reviews for eateries and stores. While reviews might not necessarily contain nutritional information, it may help you avoid a really greasy slice of pizza!

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Nutrition Menu

($2.99, for iPhone)

So you’ve found a selection of restaurants in your terminal with decent reviews. Time to scope out the menu and the cost, in calories, that is. In its latest version, Nutrition Menu offers calorie count and other nutritional data, including Weight Watchers Points Plus®, on tens of thousands of meals at some 350+ restaurants in the US (and a few in Canada). These popular restaurants are the kind found in many airport terminals, and the information found in this app can really help you trim the fat. (I’ll let you find out how many calories are in an Auntie Anne’s Glazin’ Raisin Pretzel yourself.)

Just picking out of a vending machine? Nutrition Menu’s got that covered too with data on common generic foods and brand names. You can also use the app to journal your calories, fat, carbs, fiber, etc., and even track weight and exercise. And best of all, you don’t need an internet connection to access the food database.

Go Pedometer

($.99, for iPhone, free version also available with limited functionality)

Whether or not you’re looking to manage weight, a layover can be a great opportunity to get in some exercise. While some airports now have gyms, a brisk walk in the terminal can help you maintain while you travel. If you have a light carry-on, or better yet, a travel companion who will watch your stuff until boarding, take a walk before you take off.

An important part of walking for fitness is step count. The Go Pedometer allows you to track your steps even while the phone is in your pocket (it stays locked to avoid starting or stopping the timer). The app will measure your speed, distance, and calories burned as well as steps taken. The in-app timer starts and stops based on your movement, so it’s really hands-off. You can graph the results, and even import music from your iTunes library for a little layover soundtrack.

Photo credit: Airport terminal via Shutterstock; Gate Guru screenshots courtesy of GateGuru

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