As Vancouverites, we know we live in one of the most expensive cities in North America. We also tend to be more attentive to our health and fitness. Our gyms are often full, fitness classes have waitlists, and many are trying new juice cleanses as a way to start the year.
As I continue to explore fitness classes in the city, I looked into ways Vancouverites keep fit without breaking the bank. Keeping the high cost of living in mind, here are five ways to work out on the Vancouverite budget.
As a resident of the West End, I get a lot of running time on the Seawall in the summer. The Seawall is accessible to several neighbourhoods, it is family and dog-friendly, and the views are unbeatable. Investing in a good rain jacket will help out on those wet Vancouver days. A couple of weights are also a good investment to complete the workout in the comfort of your home.
Whenever I want to try a class, I look to see if there are community classes available. In general, most yoga or fitness studios will have community classes available as it is a way for new teachers to train. These are usually beginner classes as well. Alternatively, you can attend one of Lululemon’s complimentary community classes.
Did you know the City of Vancouver has nine indoor swimming pools? There are also four outdoor pools for those summer days (they are coming back… soon, hopefully). Swimming is a great indoor, full body workout, and thanks to the city, it is also affordable. The cost for an adult is $5.67 (plus tax), but check the schedule for “Discount Dip” hours- which give you half off the original entry price. The best part is swimming doesn’t even feel like a workout.
While checking out the city’s pools, take a look at the local community centres that offer fitness facilities. What I enjoy about the community centres are the squash courts. The Vancouver Park Board has eight racquetball or squash courts in six community centres. For a few weeks, my best gal-pal and I would book a court and head for a “gossip workout” session on Sundays. If you haven’t tried squash yet, it is definitely a workout you will feel the next day, but it is also a social activity that will allow you to catch up with a friend (although you will be sweaty). Court rentals start at $9.38 plus tax. You can rent balls and racquets, or grab some used ones to keep it on budget.
Besides being on a budget, sometimes we need motivation. Last year, a friend of mine joined a Dodgeball league. To him, it was a workout that was fun, cheap, and it was scheduled regularly every Tuesday. In Vancouver, there are several different leagues including volleyball, basketball, even curling offered through Urban Rec. Individual and team sign-ups are available, along with different length (in weeks) and game times.
Have fun, keep the piggybank, and stay healthy, Vancouver!
Women doing yoga image via Shutterstock