Getting in Shape in Philadelphia This Spring

Did this past winter turn you into a couch potato? Don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to get back into shape this spring, from heading out for a long walk on a trail through a park to taking an outdoor yoga class along the banks of the river.

After the long, cold winter you and the rest of Philly just went through, the first few signs of spring, whether they are the daffodils pushing up through the ground or the first day it’s above 50 degrees, are a welcome sight. What might be an unwelcome sight is the number on the scale after a season of huddling indoors to stay warm. Luckily, getting in shape in Philly in the warmer months doesn’t have to be much of a challenge. The city’s miles and miles of trails and park land make it easy for you to head out for a walk or run, or to hop on your bike for a long ride. As the temperatures climb, there are also plenty of special programs that will make getting in shape a lot of fun.

Say Namaste Outdoors

What’s one of the first signs of spring in Philly? The return of outdoor yoga classes. Whether you live closer to the Delaware River or the Schuylkill, you’ll have plenty of opportunities throughout the spring (and summer, and fall) to practice your downward facing dog and sun salutations. Yoga on the Pier, held on the Race Street Pier, along the Delaware River, starts up again on April 11. Classes are held daily and are free, although donations are welcome. Yoga on the Banks starts up on April 18 and offers classes on both weekend days and on Tuesdays. Donations are gladly accepted. You’ll want to bring your own mat to either program.

Work Out in the Park

When the weather warms up, you want to get in shape, but you don’t want to confine yourself to the treadmill at the gym. Living in Philly, it’s pretty easy to take your workout outside. Through the month of April, Dilworth Park, by City Hall, will offer a range of workout and fitness programs, for free. On Thursday evenings, you can give Zumba a try, or sign up for an intense boot camp on Tuesdays. Other fitness programs at the park include yoga classes at lunchtime and marital arts classes on Wednesday evenings.

Learn to Ride

They say you never forget how to ride a bicycle, but what if you never learned in the first place? It’s not too late. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia offers an adult learn-to-ride class on a monthly basis. You can sign up for the two-hour class starting the Friday three weeks before it’s held. Spots go quickly, so it’s best to sign up as soon as possible. During the class, you’ll learn the basics of cycling, including how to balance on the bike. The cost of a bike rental is included in the class’s cost, so you don’t need to bring your own.

Hit the Trails

Turn your walk, run, or bike ride into a scenic trip this spring by heading to one of the city’s many trails. Head to Forbidden Drive and the trails in Wissahickon Park to feel as though you’ve actually left the city for the day. Enjoy a view of the city’s skyline while you run, bike, or walk along the Schuylkill Trail. The trail actually stretches for miles beyond the city, so you can go for a challenging, long run or bike ride.

Whether you put your exercise routine on the shelf for the winter months or are looking for ways to get excited about working out again, outdoor programs in the city will help. If you’re more of a DIY type, take advantage of the trails and greenery the city’s parks have to offer.

Image Source: Flickr/Ron Cogswell

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