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THE MOST EXCITING NEW WORKOUT SPOTS & HEALTHY RESTAURANTS OPENING IN THE TWIN CITIES

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Gina Van Thomme

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Whether your drive to stick with your health and fitness goals is waning or you’re simply looking to shake up your routine a bit, sometimes all it takes to get back on your A-game is a little bit of novelty.

The good news? Even though the Twin Cities are best known for being freezing cold, the health and fitness scene here is heating up. That’s right! A whole crop of gyms, fitness studios, and healthy eateries are popping up around town, making healthy living more fun and attainable than ever.

Is it even possible to resist a diner with a tagline like ‘Everyday Brunching’? Named for its location in Minneapolis’ Standish neighborhood, this newcomer (that opened in early November) focuses on preparing fresh, vegan-friendly brunch items made using locally-sourced ingredients. That’s right: this place only does brunch. And they take that singular focus very seriously, churning out all kinds of delicious bites like toast, sandwiches, oats, eggs, and something called French Toast Pancakes (color us intrigued!). If the ‘everyday’ part of this cafe’s tagline is a challenge, then consider that challenge accepted.

Yoga isn’t all about sweating in silence — at least not if 612 Jungle has any say in the matter! Instead, yogis at the Twin Cities’ very first (and, so far, only!) hip-hop yoga studio hit their mats to music from the likes of Migos, Jay Z, and more. With a variety of classes ranging from the beginner-friendly Trappin’ Lite to the heated Vinyasa-style Soul Lit, this Northeast Studio offers something for everyone. Oh, and keep an eye out for the studio’s regular theme nights where you can flow to the soundtrack of R&B legends. (Past artist highlights have included SZA and Travis Scott!)

This Chicago-based fast-casual spot (think Chipotle but for Mediterranean food) first popped up in Minnesota at the IDS Center in Downtown Minneapolis and has been making moves around the metro ever since. Most recently, shops opened in SLP (in September) and Edina (in November), with a fourth spot opening early this year on the UMN campus. The best part about this place is you can create a dish to suit your cravings. Here, you start with a base like a rice bowl or pita and load up on proteins, greens, sides, and sauces until you’ve crafted the meal of your dreams. Trust us — once you try Roti, you’ll understand why it’s expanding so fast.

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Life Time

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Alright, alright…. this Life Time is technically not a new facility, but it is most certainly improved! This past fall, the inaugural Life Time in Eagan (which, fun fact, opened almost 25 years ago) got a major face life in the form of a $7 million reno. Some of the upgrades? Four new group fitness studios, a new basketball court, new digs for its Alpha and GTX training programs, and refreshed pool, clinic, and spa areas. Plus, the LifeCafe space and menu also received an update, making post-workout refueling even more enjoyable.

A place called Piggy Bank doesn’t exactly sound like it would have an extensive vegan menu, right? Well, in addition to typical bar food like burgers, fries, and wings, this Uptown newcomer has an impressive selection of good-for-you grub — a whole menu full, to be exact! On said menu? A plethora of plant-based handhelds, flatbreads, and other items made with meatless ‘meat’ from The Herbivorous Butcher. Next time you’re in need of a spot that will satisfy multiple paletes and dietary preferences, you can totally bank on this place!

Looking for variety? Your search ends with Keg and Case Market! Since this 30,000-square-foot renovated brewery reopened as a food hall in mid-September, folks have been flocking to St. Paul for tasty eats and artisanal goods. Keg and Case currently houses 20-some vendors ranging from a stand that sells wild mushrooms (grown on-site, no less!) to a fresh-pressed juice stall to slew of sit-down restaurants. Of course, the market doesn’t stray too far from its roots — beer is also served at the on-site Clutch Brewing Co.

The Twin Cities hasn’t been immune to the everything-in-a-bowl trend that’s been sweeping the nation. This is thanks, in part, to Brim, a new spot that opened in September in Uptown and specializes in customizable grain and green bowls packed with healthy, whole ingredients. For the indecisive among us, Brim has curated a menu of Favorite Bowls to make ordering a breeze. (Pro tip: try the Brunch Bowl!) Oh, and don’t forget to wash your bowled beauty down with some local suds — the menu here is packed with them!

Looking for a hardcore workout? Your search is over! AQ, or Athletic Quotient, has just opened their doors Jan. 1 to intense, hour-long group fitness classes in Minneapolis’ Linden Hills neighborhood, and let’s just say things are about to get sweaty. Stop by an AQ Fit class for some heart-pounding intervals that will have you squatting, sprinting, and even SkiErg-ing your way to a super-fit 2019.

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Stay up to date on what’s happening in the Twin Cities health and fitness scene.