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Your Guide to Staying Active in Downtown Austin

July 22, 2021
Fitness in the Park

Updated January 2023.

The benefits of regular physical activity are nearly endless, among them lowering your blood pressure, improving your mood and reducing your risk for a variety of health conditions. Once you find the motivation, check out our list of ways to meet your fitness goals in downtown Austin. Here, it is easy to get into a new fitness routine or mix things up from your usual one. Enjoy anything from modern studios with fun classes or enjoyable workout sessions outside with a group. We look forward to seeing you around!

Hop on a MetroBike

Congress, San Jacinto and 4th Street all have excellent bike lanes to help cyclists get around safely. If you don’t have a bike but want to get into cycling, download the MetroBike app and borrow a bike from the next kiosk you see. Stations are located throughout downtown and along the Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

Explore the Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail

The Ann & Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail might be Austin’s worst-kept secret. This ten-mile-long recreational trail is great for cyclists, runners, walkers, and tourists, and you can avoid the crowds on the longer loops or by going early in the morning or on weekdays. Enjoy beautiful views of Lady Bird Lake and the downtown skyline while you get in some physical activity. There is even a point near Auditorium Shores that has exercise equipment you can use for bodyweight workouts.

Take Free Outdoor Fitness Classes

The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation hosts multiple weekly fitness classes at Republic Square with its partners. Classes have included yoga, dance, cardio and barre, just to name a few. Check out the Republic Square event calendar to RSVP for a class. Outdoor fitness classes also can often be found at Indeed Tower Park.

Yoga in the Park

Break a Sweat with Swift Fit Events

Swift Fit Events regularly holds free community events around Austin. Luckily for us, most of them are downtown near their home base at Fareground. Enjoy wellness and fitness experiences with fantastic instructors and learn something new or have some fun.

Rock it Out at Orange Theory

With your first class free, there is nothing to stop you from trying out the popular studio, Orange Theory. Hit different heart rate zones and achieve your goals while keeping your heart rate in the cardio zone, known as uncomfortable or Orange Zone, in the studio by working out on a row machine, treadmill and strength floor.

Feel the Burn at Barry’s

Put the pedal to the metal at Barry’s for some Bootcamp classes with HIIT and strength-focused options. Enjoy a good workout with a good playlist, and you can fuel up after your workout at their shake bar.

Shake it Out at Ballet Austin

Ballet Austin isn’t just about ballet; they offer a wide array of fitness classes as well at the Butler Center for Dance and Fitness. They teach weight and resistance training for gentle aging, Feldenkrais, strengthening and stretching classes, Pilates and of course, incredibly fun adult dance classes. The staff is friendly and energetic, and we have never taken a class here we didn’t enjoy.

Get Your Om on at YTX

YTX, formerly known as Wanderlust, is a yoga studio downtown that offers a wide variety of classes. The studios are very spacious with no mirrors and low lighting, so you don’t feel self-conscious. Yogis can choose their practice based on their schedule and what their body needs that particular day. Unwind and relax with a warmed yin yoga session or get the blood pumping in a hot vinyasa class. The majority of the downtown classes are warmed or heated, so be prepared to get sweaty!

Sweat it Out at Soul Cycle

Everyone walking out of Soul Cycle always looks like they just had a great workout. If you want an intense ride with some really motivating instructors, this studio is a great place to try. Classes take place in rooms which are lit by candles that match the mood of the inspirational messages delivered by your assigned cycling instructor. Hop on a stationary bike and tackle some crazy terrains while you improve your cardio endurance.

Try A Class at CorePower Yoga

Grab a water bottle and your mat to and head to CorePower Yoga downtown. This studio offers a few staple classes and rotates through special classes. The staples are Powercore 1, Powercore 2, Yoga Sculpt and Hot Power Fusion. Powercore 1 is unheated and highly recommended for beginning yogis to learn the fundamentals. Hot Power Fusion is also beginner-friendly, but is, as the name suggests, quite warm! Powercore 2 and Yoga sculpt are recommended for more experienced yogis that prefer heated classes.

Lift Your Way to Greatness at Gold’s Gym

If you’re looking to tone or build your muscles, there is a multi-level Gold’s Gym downtown that will help you get your workout (and steps) in. To get to the weight floor, you will pass a cardio theater and cardio machines. Here you can choose from a stationary bike, stair-climber or treadmill. You can try them all! Then you will walk by kettlebells, TRXs and the first area of weight machines. Gold’s also has an area for stretching, core and bodyweight exercises that overlooks the gym floor. The last thing you will pass on the way to the weight floor is a heavy bag and the cycling studio. We highly recommend relaxing in the cedar dry sauna after your workout for an extra sweaty session!

Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail

Take a Stroll Around Downtown

Looking to get some steps in and see the good sites? Take a stroll down Congress while you are listing to the audio tour developed by the Austin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects or a self-guided tour of the artworks downtown in the Austin Art in Public Places collection. If you would rather have less of an agenda, simply start on the Ann & Roy Butler Trail and power walk to the Capitol or window shop on 2nd Street.

Get Your Blood Pumping at Rō Fitness

Looking for a full-body workout that will improve your cardio and your strength? Try Rō Fitness! The best part about this studio is the location. Rō Fitness is located at Waller Creek Boathouse, which means you can stare out onto Lady Bird Lake as you’re working out on your rowing machine. The team pulls the machines out onto the patio overlooking the lake, meaning you can get in some Vitamin D as you row your way to better health.

Hit the Lake with Austin Rowing Club

If you’re looking for a fun and functional arm exercise, we recommend renting a kayak from Rō Fitness’s downstairs neighbor, Austin Rowing Club. The staff is friendly and will help you get into a kayak quickly. If you want a fun, full-body workout, try out a standup paddleboard. Paddleboarding requires a fair amount of core strength to keep your balance while standing. Keep a slight bend in your knees to stay upright while your arms do the paddling to guide you through the waters of Lady Bird Lake.

Find Your Community at RIDE

Looking for a ridiculous amount of fun on a bike? Jam out to some killer playlists and enjoy themed rides at RIDE. This cycling studio is all about welcoming you into their tribe and making you feel good off the bike and on.

Whew! Hopefully, you’re not too exhausted from just reading about some of the fun ways to get sweaty downtown. Grab a workout buddy and have fun while getting fit!

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