Get Social and Stay in Shape – Charlotte Outdoor Exercise

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By: Lindsay Duncan
IG: @linstigator


Meet People, Get Outside, and Work up a Sweat!

It is spring in Charlotte and not only are the blooms and blossoms emerging in full force but the masses of Charlotte residents are also are coming out of hibernation.  Everywhere you turn, joggers are out in their sporty running gear, bike riders are cruising along the booty loop, families are playing on the playground at Freedom Park, people are walking their dogs on the Greenway, and outdoor patios are packed.  After months of short days and cold weather, Charlotte has woken up and the place to be is outdoors.

Along with the nice weather comes the transition of our attire as we shed our layers of heavy winter garb.  Flannels, scarves and coats are replaced with shorts, sundresses and flip flops.  Warmer weather naturally means less material and not only do we have to face being pasty and pale but we are also forced to assess the winter damage of extra holiday pounds and lazy nights spent on the couch rather than at the gym.  Summer is close and we can no longer ignore the reality that it is time to get back into shape. 

The good news about all of this is that Charlotte is a place full of other busy young professionals that are also attempting to balance their busy schedules.  It is no longer necessary to miss out on being social and meeting new people because of your workout routine and you don’t need a pricey gym membership to be able to meet your fitness goals.  All around town, there are ways to meet people, get a good workout and be outside at your favorite hotspots around town. 

Plus, there is no better motivation to work hard and stay committed than to be surrounded by others there to help encourage you along the way.  Here are some examples of creative ways to get in shape around Charlotte. 

Charlotte Brewery Run Clubs

I know for many of you there isn’t anything much worse than the idea of going on a run.  Running is one of those things that seems like a good idea until you actually start to do it. Luckily, for those of you who do not run with the ease of a gazelle, breweries have stepped in to make the process a little easier with weekly run clubs.  These run clubs meet at the breweries and offer different course options, so you can choose the distance that you would like to run.  

Most offer a one mile loop all the way up to a five mile loop. Plus, you have the motivation of a cold beer waiting for you at the end and other runners right there alongside you. 

The main run clubs are the Noda Brewing Run Club on Wednesdays, Sycamore Brewing Run Club on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Legion Run Club on Thursdays, and Triple C Run Club on Thursdays.

Charlotte Community Yoga

If running is not your thing, you might want to give yoga a try.  Yoga can help burn calories through deep stretching, flexibility and core strengthening movements.  It can be expensive to join a yoga studio but the good news is that there has been an emergence of yoga classes being offered for free or for low cost around town.

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery has weekly $5 yoga sessions on Tuesday evenings called Yoga on Tap.  Arrive a few minutes early, bring your mat and join others for the chance to do some deep stretching before grabbing a beer.

There are other classes available around town at Sycamore brewery, and Triple C Brewery, and Lenny Boy Brewery. Some classes are free and others might have a $5 cost, but they often give you a free beer at the end. Check online to find out more information about these options or to find other places

Charlotte Boot Camps

Another form of exercise that is on the rise is boot camps. If you enjoy getting a cardio workout but want some variation from the monotony of running, boot camps offer a circuit training model with more variety in activities. One of the newest additions to the weekly brewery exercise schedule is Free Brew and Burn classes at Triple C breweries on Tuesday. They are hosted by Orange Theory, last 45 minutes and are followed by hanging out and drinking a beer at Triple C.   

SportsLink – Team Sports

Another local company that can help you get into shape through team sports is SportsLink. If you grew up playing on sports teams or just want to pick up a new hobby, SportsLink offers recreational sports throughout the year which provide a great way to be social while still getting in shape. They offer leagues of all skill levels for soccer, softball, kickball, flag football, ultimate, and volleyball. Some of the sports include a beer voucher at a local bar for some post game celebrations as well as invitations to tickets to other SportsLink social functions. This is a great way to meet people, hang out with your friends and still get weekly exercise. The sand volleyball league even plays outside VGBG Beer Garden at the NC Music Factory so you still can spend a night of your week hanging out at one of Charlotte’s local hotspots.

Charlotte Group Biking

Biking is another huge fitness activity in the Queen City. There are weekly group bike rides around town to allow you to log some miles while meeting new people. A couple of the best beginner rides are the Plaza Midwood ride that leaves from Legion Brewing on Thursdays and the Moe’s Monday ride along the Greenway.  There are websites full of group bike rides for every day of the week, every distance, and every experience level.  Bring your bike and helmet and take a ride around our lovely city.

Take a Swing at Tennis

If you enjoy the game of tennis, there are tennis meetups which are a great way to play without having to pay money or join an official tennis league. You can sign-up to be a member of the meet up and then you will receive weekly invitations for times and dates to play. The only thing that the meet ups ask is that you show up if you RSVP as “yes”. The organizers try to keep and even number and there are limited spots so they are just asking you to free up your spot if you are not going to make it. These meetups are a great way to fit tennis in your schedule and have the opportunity to play weekly against new people.

Don’t Sacrifice Social to Get in Shape

You do not have to sacrifice being social to get in shape. These are just a few of the highlights of what is going on around town on a weekly basis.  They are a great ways to combine seeing friends, meeting new people, being outside, getting to hang out at your favorite hotspots all while still getting a workout.  You have others alongside you to push you and the motivation of a cold beer as a reward when you get done.  Get your summer body today and have a blast doing it.

- Lindsay Duncan