Fit Charlotte

For those of you who made resolutions to get more fit in 2015, I’m sharing ideas on where and how to make that goal happen, outside of your traditional gym setting.

If you’re into running (or want to be):

  • Sign up for the Whitewater Race Series* at the USNWC. It includes cool races like the We Believe Santa 5k, plus, you get to hang out and drink beer at the whitewater center aftewards! Not up for running a whole bunch of races? Go out on the second Thursday night of each month, May thru September for the River Jam Run* and run 3 or 6 miles before listening to some live music! (*Requires registration!)
  • Not wanting to pay to go for a leisurely run? Hop on over to NoDa Brewing on Wednesday nights for Run Club. You can do a 1, 3, or 5 mile run with other craft beer lovers and then grab a bite to eat from a food truck while you cool down. Don’t live in NoDa? Check out Triple C on Thursday nights for their run club or Heist (also in NoDa) on Mondays.
  • Can’t do evenings but still want to run with a group (for free)? Check out Run with Theoden‘s 6.3-mile lunchtime run, starting from Inside Out Sports (1514 S. Church St.) on Thurdays at noon.

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Prefer to exercise on two wheels? Try:

  • FlyWheel on Providence Road. These 45 or 60 minute intense classes will burn off those calories faster than you can say “never coast.” Sign up here for a free class!
  • Not into stationary riding? If you have your own bike, meet up for a spin with Charlotte Area Cycling.
  • Prefer mountain bikes to road bikes? Visit the USNWC and either take your own or rent a bike when you arrive. Miles and miles of trail await you!

Looking for less cardio?

  • Y1 Yoga has two locations that offer a variety of yoga classes for all levels. Also? Their Karma classes support a charity each month. Other studios I’d recommend are Y2 and Charlotte Yoga.
  • FlyBarre is at the same studio as FlyWheel and offers barre style classes. Personally, I feel like I get more out of these than I did when I tried Pure Barre last year. Get a free class by signing up here!
  • If barre classes aren’t challenging enough for you, try Aerial CLT. These ropes, yoga and hoops classes will get your core in shape in no time and don’t worry, no one will leave you hanging!

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If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain:

  • Edge Performance is an amazing training studio full of ropes, prowlers, suspension trainers, rowers, kettle bells and turf that will get you in shape by mostly using body weight, resistance and a lot of will power. This isn’t crossfit and it’s not an easy class for sure, but it works if you push through.
  • Boxing has long been known to be one of the best workouts to get you in shape. Title Boxing has several locations in Charlotte that will help you punch and kick your way to fit.
  • CrossFit. I debated putting this on here because a lot of people are inspired by the muscles they see, quick workouts and the hype of it. If done safely and correctly, it can be a great workout. Also, you have the be the right kind of person to do this. If you don’t like competition, working out in front of others or doing pull/push ups, this isn’t for you.

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Check out the greenways, Anne Springs, and Crowder’s Mountain on the weekends. All are great places for free exercising while being outside!

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Oh, and for the record, your “normal gyms” are a great place to start, although they may be crowded for the next month or two. It takes 21 days to change or create a habit. So stick with it. You are 42% more likely to keep your resolution if you write it down. WRITE IT DOWN. You can do it. There are all kinds of classes here and if you need an accountability buddy, let me know. I’m happy to help keep you on track as you make changes for the better!

Happy 2015 – here’s to making it healthy, too!

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It’s getting hot in here!

For the past few years, I have been trying to do yoga on a somewhat regular basis to help in my recovery from running. It seems that yoga studios are on every street corner these days, so it’s hard to know what sets them apart from one another. I first tried the convenient location less than a mile from my house. They only offered “warm” yoga, but I loved the helpful instructors. Then I tried a studio that I’d heard great things about. The temp was around 90 degrees and the classes were great, but it seemed I was the only non-yogi in the classes. So most recently, I signed up for 31 days for $31 with Yoga One.

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I love this intro deal, which gives you the chance to explore the studio on an unlimited basis for 31 days. Also, they offer Karma classes throughout the week that are only $5 to attend, and the money is given to a selected charity for the month.

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They have two locations, one in Plaza Midwood and one in University. Each location has a plethora of classes, so you can always find one that works with your schedule. The studio is heated to 100 degrees for classes – so take water!

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I have taken several of Liz’s classes and really enjoyed the flow, the feeling and the focus of the practice. I did take one class with a different instructor, that moved at the pace of a cheetah and did not leave me feeling connected to anything.  You definitely have to explore the instructors and find one whose style matches your focus.

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The classes vary in length from 60 minutes to 90 minutes (with 75 in between). The instructors guide practice but do not practice at the front of the room as some studios do.   IThroughout practice, you can see the words “Awaken” “Inspire” “Empower” “Sweat” on the wall. Such simple but purposeful words.

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It’s funny how you buy an “unlimited” package and think you’ll go every day. I’ve probably attended 7 classes since signing up, but it’s been a great introduction to Yoga One. I’m excited to have found this studio and been able to practice with such a large group of people, of all shapes and sizes and all levels of yoga experience. Definitely recommend checking out either location if you’re in the market for a yoga studio.

Run Charlotte

It came out this week that Charlotte made a list of the Worst Cities for Recreation. I was slightly astounded by this article because we have greenways; we have run clubs;  we have races almost every weekend; we have trail runs; we have biking teams; we have the Whitewater Center; we have crossfit gyms popping up in every empty warehouse, so how can this be?

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Sure we aren’t a big-city where everyone walks or uses public transportation, but some do! With the lightrail extension over the next few years, hopefully this will increase. However, from an active person’s point of view, Charlotte is very active and provides opportunities to be active. There are 3 parks within a mile of my house. Once a week, a group of neighbors get together to play softball. Runners, walkers and bikers constantly go by my house.

FlywheelGranted, you have to choose to be active and to use the recreational spaces provided but I have to disagree that Charlotte is one of the worst. Here are a few options for ways to get active in Charlotte:

NoDa Brewing Run Club
Triple C Run Club
24 Hours of Booty (July 25-26)
Whitewater Center
Free Fitness Classes at Romare Bearden Park

Check out the rest of the list and let me know what you think. Should Winston-Salem have beaten us out?