Summer in Calgary is short, so you might as well get outside and enjoy as much as you can by taking your workout outside too. Going outside also has many health benefits like lowering stress, increasing happiness and helping you sleep. Just make sure you don’t forget the sunscreen.
Here are some of the best ways to get active in Calgary.
While many activities can be done outside throughout the year, doing yoga outside on a cold winter’s day is a bit of a stretch. While taking yoga outside has some challenges like the ground being uneven, bugs flying about and random noise or spectators; doing yoga amidst the grass, tree and flowers usually makes up for it.
Outdoor yoga classes:
Calgary Outdoor Yoga: Sundays 10am Mahogany, 1pm Stanley Park
Cost: Pay What you Want
tridoshaYogaYYC: Thursday 5:30pm Confederation Park
Cost: By Donation
Follow Your Chakra Outdoor Yoga: Sundays 2pm Baker Park
Cost: By Donation
Yoga In the Park: Tuesdays 7pm-8:30pm Fish Creek Park
Rooftop Yoga While you aren’t in a park, Junction 9’s rooftop patio offers up some nice views. Times Vary
Why hop on a stairmaster when you can just head outside? Stairs are great for any type of cardio from HIIT training to endurance. You’ll usually get some high 5’s and hellos no matter what pace you want to go. Below are some of the biggest and most popular stairs in Calgary along with their stair count. There’s tons of stairs all over Calgary that will work though.
The original spin class. Calgary has the most extensive urban pathway system out of an city in North America so make sure you hop on a bike and explore it. If you don’t have a bike, there are bike rentals available at plenty of locations.
Reservoir Loop A 15.4km paved trail with some hills, it’s an easy enough loop for kids and people of all fitness levels to do. There’s plenty of benches and lookout points to stop and a shopping complex and Heritage Park are on the route if you need some refreshment or treats. The majority of the ride has great views of the water and some good opportunities to see some wildlife.
Fish Creek Park Fish Creek Park is the second largest urban park in Canada and has plenty of biking trails for everyone. For families and beginners there’s lots of paved flat trails. For those looking for more adventure there are some mountain bike trails and even a small mountain bike park.
Nose Hill Park If you’re looking for some easy mountain bike trails to warm up for the season or to spend an afternoon on, Nose Hill has them.
Mattany Greenway The Mattany Greenway is a 138km pathway system around the city. Unfortunately it’s not all connected so doing the whole route is best for someone that is comfortable with biking on roads and good at navigating. There are still lots of sections for beginner and intermediate riders too though, with many of them connecting to parks and gardens.
Outdoor Fitness Parks
For anybody looking for some low weight or bodyweight exercises, an outdoor fitness park could be all that you need to do you workout outdoors. There are many throughout the city and they all usually have a selection of equipment that targets all the major muscle groups. A list of fitness parks is here, there are many parks that are not on the list though.
While all of the above bike trails are also pretty great for walking/running/hiking there’s also some paths that you can only do on foot.
St Patrick’s Island to Peace Bridge Walk/run along the newly renovated river walk from St Patrick’s Island to the Peace Bridge. It’s a nice walk beside the river and you can stop by Sidewalk Citizen for treats.
Douglas Fir Trail If you want a short inner city hike, this is one of the best ones. Badly damaged in the 2013 flood, the trail wasn’t open again until 2017. The trail goes mostly upward through a forest of Douglas Firs with some good views at the top. It also connects to Edworthy Park if you want to make your journey longer.
Distance:2.5km, 5km round trip
Weaselhead Park While Weaselhead Park is great to bike through, walking through is even better. There are many small trails to explore which aren’t accessible by bike and lots of wildlife to see on the smaller trails. Depending on which routes you take you can spend a few hours or just go for short stint.
Frisbee Golf If you want to get some steps in frisbee golf is a great game that can be played by all. There are 5 public disc golf courses in Calgary and all you need to play is a disc, there’s no admission fee. The most recently opened Disc Golf Course, the Dave Richardson Memorial Disc Golf Park is one of the best disc golf courses in the world.
While Calgary doesn’t have much public water to get out in, you might as well take advantage of the places that we do have. Canoeing and kayaking are great ways to get some low impact cardio in while using your upper body. There are two places where the public can rent canoes. They are also available at most of the private lakes in Calgary if you know a friend that lives in a lake community.
Calgary Canoe Club (Glenmore Reservoir) Canoes available. Should have some experience with canoes and be able to lift canoe on and off rack $15-$35
Bowness Park Canoes and kayaks available. Suitable for beginners. $15-$40