Indoor Fitness Alternatives in Vancouver – Part I

Photo credit: djromanj | Flickr

It’s no secret that Vancouverites love to stay fit. With the ocean and the mountains as our playground, locals love hiking, running, biking, and kayaking. But when the temperature drops it can be difficult to persevere with outdoor activities. And going to the gym after a beautiful summer outdoors can be less than motivating to stay active. Luckily, there’s no shortage of indoor sports and activities in Vancouver. From traditional sports like swimming to new, unconventional activities like trampoline dodgeball, there’s no reason working out indoors has to be boring. So if you’re looking to stay active indoors, or just want to try something new, here are some indoor fitness alternatives to the gym you can find in Vancouver.

Rock Climbing
Indoor rock climbing is a fun sport that involves climbing an artificial structure with climbing holds. It mimics climbing natural rock structures outdoors, so trying it indoors is great for beginners who want to gain experience before attempting it outdoors. Indoor rock climbing is suitable for all ages and can be done solo or with friends as rock climbing gyms provide teachers and belayers. Rock climbing is a physical and mental challenge as climbers develop endurance, strength, balance, coordination, and mental control. There are many rock-climbing gyms in Vancouver such as Cliffhanger, The Hive, Coastal Climbing, and The Edge.

Dance Fitness
Got two left feet? That’s okay! With dance fitness programs, you don’t need perfect technique or training, just the enthusiasm to move around and pick up your feet. Dance fitness programs like Zumba, Bellyfit, and Barre have taken off recently as many people have found the group classes an excellent way to stay active. Dance fitness programs are group fitness classes that take their moves from more traditional forms of dance, such as latin dance (zumba), belly dance, Bollywood and African dance (Bellyfit) and ballet (Barre). Dance fitness classes can be found in community centres around the city or at iDance, Exhale Studio, Tantra Fitness, Barre Fitness, and The Bar Method.

Trampoline Basketball, Dodgeball or Aerobics
Extreme Air Park in Richmond is the largest trampoline park in Canada. The football field-sized park of trampolines offers a fun twist on traditional sports. Try their Zero Gravity Basketball, 3-D Dodgeball, AIRobics class, or just bounce around on their trampolines. Jumping across 42 000 sq/ft of trampolines is one way to stay fit!

Photo credit: Evan K | Flickr

Aerial Yoga
If you live in Vancouver, you’ve most likely tried yoga at some point. But have you ever tried it in the air? Aerial yoga uses a hanging silk hammock to suspend participants and help them invert, hang upside-down, and reach otherwise impossible yoga poses. Aerial yoga can help back problems, as inverting allows for spinal decompression. You can try aerial yoga through AntiGravity at the Steve Nash Sports Club in downtown Vancouver.

Swimming & Aqua Fitness
Swimming is one sport that you can easily take from outside to indoors. With an abundance of pools in Vancouver, it’s not hard to find public swim time or lessons. However, if the thought of swimming laps leaves you cold, then why not try aquatic fitness classes? Vancouver pools offer everything from Aquafit to yoga, pilates, and even zumba in water! You can find swimming pools at several community centres in Vancouver as well as at UBC, the YWCA Health & Fitness Centre, and the Robert Lee YWCA.

Would you try any of these? If nothing here catches your eye, check back in a couple days for Part II!

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