THE BEST OUTDOOR WORKOUT SPOTS IN AUSTIN

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NICKIE HARRIS

APR 15, 2019

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IMAGE VIA THE TRAIL FOUNDATION | FACEBOOK

Austin weather is unpredictable. But on those days when it’s somewhere between too hot to think about going outside and being able to see your frozen breath, there are prime spots to get fit in the great outdoors. So slather on the sunscreen, grab your go-to workout equipment, and hit the trails, stairs, and boot camps for a workout that’s a little outside the ordinary.

Ever wanted a waterfront workout? The observation decks hanging over the ponds at Butler Park are like a fitness studio with a view. Hit some burpees and air squats out here and you’re shore (get it?) to work up a sweat. Fitt tip: BYO mat because these decks get H-O-T after a day in the sun.

Not every gym has an outdoor arena tailored for plyometric and bodyweight exercises. The Outdoor Arena at Castle Hill Fitness houses a ramp for sprints and lunges, sets of stairs, pull-up bars, and access to all the equipment you need for a killer workout. And it’s like medicine ball city out there. Another huge plus of this arena? The shade covering will protect you — we promise you’ll live through a summertime outdoor workout.

You’ve probably visited Mount Bonnell before. And you were probably wearing sandals because you thought you were going for a casual little trip up to the 2nd highest point in Austin. But imagine the workout you could craft with the hundreds of stairs leading up the peak. We’re talking stair runs, split lunges, and incline push-ups (if you want to get your hands dirty). Head to Mount Bonnell for a evening workout and a sunset that burns even sweeter than your quads.

Whole Foods Fitness on the Plaza brings yoga and fitness instructors to the upstairs Plaza at the Whole Foods on Lamar. As long as the weather is good, you can get a free workout with some of the best studios like CorePower Yoga and Camp Gladiator. The only real downside to working out at Whole Foods is being distracted by the savasana stomach growls when imagining all the good food downstairs.

A walk around a lake probably makes it near the top of the list of most relaxing activities. Lady Bird Hike and Bike Trail is the best spot for walking, jogging, or biking because it’s 10 miles of waterfront and downtown views that you can take at your own pace. For the best starting point, round up your pup and/or your workout buddy at the scenic Lamar St. Pedestrian Bridge and get to steppin’.

Remember the fun you had on the jungle gym in grade school? Recreate that at the outdoor gym that lies on the east end of the Ann and Roy Butler Boardwalk. It just makes sense to stop here after a jog on the boardwalk for your push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. It’s just like the middle school physical fitness tests we all loved, except now you’re only trying to beat your own personal records.

The Veloway is a biker- and skater-specific trail with views that look a whole lot more like Texas Hill Country than South Austin. Fast pedalers and slow movers are welcome on this one-way, 3.1-mile loop that you can cycle through as many times as you like. Seriously, what better way to get active than with the feeling of wind through your (helmet) hair and a sweet view?

A private lake sounds like something for only the Jay-Z’s among us. But at the Arboretum location of Life Time Fitness (formerly Pure Austin Fitness), you can get access to a private lake, plus 14 acres of open space. And always looking out for your wallet, a jog on the private trail goes best with a little kayaking on the lake to maximize the value of your day pass or membership.

Cool name, cooler workout. Both Dane’s Body Shops are indoor/outdoor spaces designed for group fitness classes. Whether you’re looking for strength or conditioning, the ‘mechanics’ at Dane’s know how to help. Expect tire flipping, deadlifting, and lots of functional movements to get you fit. Bonus: you’ll feel like a total badass after a class at Dane’s on Guadalupe because pretty much anyone could drive by and spot you crushing your workout.

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