With the unusually warm spring weather Vancouver has been experiencing lately, it already feels like summer is here. And we all know that with summer comes bikini season. You might love to be "up in the gym just working on your fitness" as Fergie does, but there are also so many other rewarding ways to stay fit. Especially with the stellar summer weather, you can head outside to get a golden tan while you work out.
Why not do some fun, rewarding activities that will make you feel good and look good? Your body, mind, and soul will thank you for it.
With so many alternatives to the gym, here are 11 different ways to stay in shape. Who knows, you might just find your new favourite workout.
1. Indoor Bouldering
If you've ever wanted to get into outdoor rock climbing, indoor bouldering is the way to start. Bouldering is challenging but builds perseverance and strength. Plus, all you need is climbing shoes and a bouldering gym. The Hive Bouldering Gym is the premier bouldering gym in Vancouver, with two locations in Vancouver and the North Shore. There are other climbing gyms that offer bouldering, such as The Edge and Cliffhanger.
2. Barre Classes
Want a dancer's body? Try taking barre classes, which are inspired by ballet and incorporate elements of a ballet bar, Pilates, dance, yoga, and sports conditioning. The exercises work out the entire body. Don't fret if you're not a dancer, no experience is needed. Take classes at studios like Barre Fitness with 3 locations or Pure Barre in Kitsilano.
We live in beautiful B.C. so why not make the most of our outdoor playground? Hike with a friend and enjoy the break from the city. There are several hikes for every fitness level, and the view at the top and sense of fulfillment is extra motivation. The fact that hiking is usually free is just the icing on the cake. If you want to do Mother Nature's stairmaster, the Grouse Grind opened last weekend.
Feel like you're in an action movie and learn parkour. A fun way to get fit and to challenge and push yourself, parkour combines elements from ancient sport practices like gymnastics, track and field, and rock climbing to develop a physical training discipline for overcoming obstacles or structures. Vancouver is home to Canada's largest parkour gym, Origins. You can do open drop in or take classes for every experience level at the facility, which is built to help you develop your running, jumping, climbing, crawling, vaulting, swinging, and rolling abilities.
Photo cred - @victoriassecretsport
Take a cue from Victoria's Secret Angels like Adrianna Lima, Elsa Hosk, and Candice Swanepoel, and put on your boxing gloves. Burn up to 727 calories in an hour and blow off steam. Try out boxing gyms like Contenders, Sugarrays, and Griffins Boxing. Many gyms offer boxing classes too, so check out your local gym's class schedule.
6. Flying Trapeze
Train like a Victoria's Secret angel and take a flying or swinging trapeze class. Live out your dream of joining Cirque de Soleil. Circus activities can increase flexibility, coordination, and overall physical fitness. Have a blast while targeting your upper and lower bodies, and strengthening your core muscles. Experience the thrill of the circus at West Coast Flying Trapeze or Vancouver Circus School.
7. Obstacle Course Racing
Experience adventure and adrenaline all in one package with obstacle course races like Tough Mudder in Whistler and Rugged Maniac. Grab your friends and train in a team. Build your endurance, team spirit, and physical and mental strength. The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you finish the race is unreal. The experience of encountering an obstacle and overcoming it can do wonders for your mindset and perseverance.
8. Jet Skiing
Get some Vitamin D and hop on a jet ski! It's the perfect summer date activity. You can burn around 400 to 475 calories an hour just from driving a jet ski, which can be even more calories burnt than if you were canoeing or paddle boarding. Ocean waves get rough, and when combined with fast speeds, provide a full body, cardiovascular workout. This water sport also improves your endurance, coordination, and engages your core, quads, hamstrings, and upper body because it requires constant effort keeping balanced. Rent jet skis at Vancouver Water Adventures. Right now, there's even a Groupon for rentals.
Run, Forest, run! There are so many health benefits to running and you can save money since all you need is shoes. Chase that runner's high, it's an incredible feeling. Do intervals on a track, jog in Stanley Park, run around your neighbourhood, or wherever you please.
Photo cred - @spinsociety
Spinning is one of the latest fitness trends in Vancouver. Unlike outdoor cycling, spinning is possible all year-round and it burns up to 500 calories in 45 minutes. Cycle your pounds and stress away to high-energy music at studios such as Spin Society, Eastwood Cycle, Cadence Cycling Studio, and Cyklus Vancouver.
With so many scenic routes to bike at in and around Vancouver, you can easily get a leg workout while enjoying the summer sunshine. Bike beside the ocean along the Seawall, through the woods at Mount Seymour, or by the city at Central Valley Greenway.
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