It’s summer time and you’re motivated now more than ever to get fit.
But let’s face it – cooping yourself up in a dark gym isn’t exactly inspiring when the sun is shining outside. So why not kiss those sweaty workout machines goodbye and take advantage of Vancouver’s awesome weather? Burst through your gym doors and try your hands and legs on the inclines and declines of our city’s grassy terrain.
Don’t forget to grab your sunscreen plus a water bottle and get ready to upgrade your drab indoor workouts with these 18 exhilarating outdoor locations.
Ok, so we all know that Vancouver Seawall sits at the top of most lists. But don’t forget that there’s always another cool spot just around the corner.
If you’re looking for a different view then try North Vancouver’s Ambleside Seawall for a 5 km bike ride or run.
Lions Gate Bridge
Try some interval training while crossing the Lions Gate Bridge, one of Vancouver’s most beautiful landmarks. The view will make you forget your legs are burning. After sprinting challenge yourself with some mountain climbers, planks, and lunges.
Stare at the illustrious view of the lake while jogging along the lush Trout Lake trails – highly recommended for your early morning exercise routine.
Frequent Vancouver’s best outdoor courts to break a sweat.
Britannia Community Centre
Perfect for the night owls, the Britannia Community Centre courts are open and lit until 11 pm. Especially convenient if you missed your morning workout.
Queen Elizabeth Park
If you’re easily bored then try out the facilities at Queen Elizabeth Park where you can play basketball, outdoor roller hockey, golf, play tennis, play frisbee or take a walk around the garden to the top of the city with your workout friends. Bring your weights and enjoy some lifting in the shade.
False Creek Community Centre
Paddleboarding challenges your core, balance, and overall strength.
Granville Island, Jericho Beach, and English Bay
Hit up these beaches and visit the Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres to rent a board or try some classes. SUP Essentials is a Paddle Canada certified course that teaches you the basics of stand up paddleboarding. You’ll learn about the equipment, safety essentials, paddle strokes, launching, and landing – master the basics and soon you’ll be toning up your entire physique. Plus, the ocean’s kind of nice to look at.
Start with Vancouver’s easier hikes if you’d like to ease into any tough footwork.
Also known as Quarry Rock, the Deep Cove Lookout Trail comes highly recommended for every one, but especially for beginners. If you’re doing this for the first time then take it at your own pace. If you’re more advanced then you can scale the mountain at a faster speed.
Take a detour from your drive to Whistler and stop by Lighthouse Park for one of Vancouver’s most picturesque trails. This hike is a fusion of the urban city and the coastal rainforest that surrounds it. If your muscles are sore then take it slower, but if you’re in good condition then go hard.
Advanced hikers can kick their workout up a notch with the infamous Grouse Grind, also known as nature’s treadmill. Stairs total up to roughly 2,830 with a length of roughly 2.9 km. No matter which one you choose make sure to bring your biggest water bottle.
Parks work as a natural treadmill, weight station, incline bench, and more. No matter where you live in Vancouver, there’s one nearby. Now is the perfect time to stop taking it for granted.
Hike through the green forests of Pacific Spirit Park and try jumping on benches along the way to work your hamstrings, glutes, calves, and more. See a playing area and practice elevating your body off the ground, always flexing your arms and arching your back.
Kitsilano Beach Park offers up sandy beaches – try running along the shoreline to feel the sand push your lower body to its limits. Mix up your jog with intervals of burpees, sumo squats, jumping jacks, and more.
You’ll see lots of people walking here but that doesn’t mean you can’t start speeding. Plan your route according to the highest point of the park to finish off with the highest viewpoint of Vancouver. Better yet, end it with pushups. Take advantage of the open, green spaces for a variety of different sports.
Of course it goes without saying that safety should come first, but Vancouverites are lucky enough to take advantage of some stunning swimming spots.
Definitely not your conventional outdoor pool. Located in North Vancouver’s Lynn Canyon, you’ll reach the 30 Foot Pool on your way to Pipe Ridge. Make sure you always bring a friend and only swim if you’re fully competent. Get a grip on the side and try long intervals of flutter kicking. Tread water (egg beater always) with your hands above the surface, pivoting from one side to the other.
Popular for its natural backdrop of the beach, trails, and Stanley Park’s forest, the Second Beach Pool is heated and spacious. The entry is sloped so you can take it easy for the first bit and there are separated lanes for when you’re ready for a few laps.
Kitsilano Pool is Vancouver’s only saltwater swimming pool. The outdoor summer pool is located by the beach, cafes, and the surrounding neighbourhood.