Austin is known as a fit city, and a big part of earning this reputation has been the many outdoor activities you can do to stay in shape. Here are 10 ideas for workouts to keep you from annoying the guys grunting at themselves in full length mirrors.
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10.) Power walking at your favorite mall
We’ve all seen them. They wear their pastel and neon track suits as they breeze by each store. Power walkers may be few and far between, but they’re out there. And you can be one, too. Just pick your favorite mall like Barton Creek Square, The Domain, Hill Country Galleria or Round Rock Premium Outlets, and get those legs moving and arms pumping. Track suits are optional.
9.) Tennis, anyone?
Austin has several tennis leagues and plenty of great courts to hone your kick serve, drop shot and overhead slam skills. All you need is a partner, and you can rally for hours on end for a great cardio workout. Check out the map below for the locations of Austin’s public tennis courts. Or, for more serious entrants, there’s the Austin Tennis League. Have fun!
8.) Traveling your neighborhood on foot
You may think you know your neighborhood, but if you only see it from behind your windshield, you’re missing out. Take some time to walk through your neighborhood. You’ll meet your neighbors and gain new perspectives on the little part of town you call home.
7.) Jogging on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail
The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail is a gathering point for Austin’s fitness fanatics. However, you don’t have to be a world class athlete to enjoy this trail. Walkers, joggers, runners and cyclists all “share the road” that lines the north and south shores of Lady Bird Lake. Jogging will get your heart rate up and will give you a bit of confidence passing the walkers. You’ll get passed, too, but you won’t be the slowest person on the trail.
6.) Cycling up and down West Austin’s hills
Cycling is big in Austin. Despite Lance Armstrong’s sharp decline in popularity, his sport remains an activity many Austinites love to do. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, you can find a good number of cyclists rolling up and down the hills of west Austin. If you join them, watch out for vehicles because the hills can obscure cyclists and drivers from one another.
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5.) Hiking through a nature area
Austin has acres and acres of natural area for you to enjoy. Two of the biggest natural areas are Barton Creek Greenbelt and McKinney Falls State Park. Both are worth packing a lunch and strapping on your hiking boots. Also, check out our list of 10 beautiful Austin trails that will replenish your soul. There’s guaranteed to be one in there for you!
4.) Yoga at a local studio
Yoga doesn’t look like something that will absolutely wear you out, but under the right instructor, it certainly is. Yoga will give you increased flexibility through a low-impact workout. If your body can’t handle running and competitive sports, yoga could become the cornerstone of your workout regimen. Plus, Austin has lots of free and donation-based yoga classes with openings for new participants.
3.) Boot camp at a local park
Enterprising fitness gurus around town hold boot camps at public parks. For the instructor, this means no office or studio space to maintain, and for the student, this means an outdoor workout and a nearby, well known location. With just a few students, each one gets a good amount of personal attention. HEAT Bootcamp is one of the most popular choices, but there are lots more available — and plenty of New Year’s deals are still on offer.
2.) Swimming at Barton Springs Pool
You want a shock to your system? Go jump into the constantly 68-degree Barton Springs Pool. People are there year-round letting the frigid water shock their muscles. If you can’t handle Barton Springs, you might opt for an indoor pool at the YMCA of Austin.
1.) Rowing on Lady Bird Lake
If you want some resistance training with a view, try paddling yourself up and down Lady Bird Lake. You can rent canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards at Rowing Dock. You can also join Austin Rowing Club to learn how to work as a team to get rowboat speeding through the water.
Feature photo: Flickr user rudresh_calls, creative commons licensed.