As we begin a new year in 2024, many of us realize that from Thanksgiving, to Christmas, then New Years and any other celebrations that lie in between, we’ve been eating good food and having parties for nearly two months straight! Now that January has rolled around once again, it’s time to build our determination to make 2024 a productive year not only for our personal goals, but also for our health. When we state our exercise goals for the coming year, it can be difficult to keep that drive for self improvement going. Many of us have dreams of living a healthier lifestyle, and sometimes all it takes is discovering which form of physical activity is a good personal fit. The great thing about Houston, is whatever you’re interested in, there is probably a gym dedicated to it. This year why not try out a couple of these locations? When you find something that you enjoy, keeping this year’s resolution won’t seem hard at all!
Finding a general purpose fitness club is somehow always the most daunting task. While there are many gyms that are great for more specialized exercises, finding one that checks all the right boxes can be tough and sometimes quite expensive! One great option that won’t break the bank is Houston Gym, which is a spacious, multi-purpose facility including a fully equipped weight room, personal trainers, a variety of classes from cycling, to yoga, Pilates, and barre. They even have an on site massage therapist and an active membership deal where you can enroll for only $20/month with a $25 sign up fee until January 15th!
Spin classes can be a great source of cardio, and if you enjoy biking, it’s definitely worth a try. Cycling or “Spin” classes are led by an instructor that will guide the participants through a series of exercises performed while on a stationary bike, typically synced with music. This requires both balance and endurance, making it a great high-intensity, full body workout, and the bikes are very configurable for people on different levels of experience. RYDE in the Heights is one location that specializes in spin classes, although they are also commonly taught at general fitness clubs like Houston Gym, Lifetime, or Planet Fitness.
Another more specialized fitness club is Momentum. This gym is dedicated to rock climbing, or more specifically bouldering, with a 43,000 square foot facility located by the Heights and Downtown. Climbing is a great full body exercise that can be way more fun than your every day workout routine, and it’s also an easy way to make new friends. They have routes ranging from beginner to competition levels, and offer guided classes for those looking to learn. In addition to climbing walls, they also have a full gym, locker room, and yoga classes. Both memberships and day passes are available for anybody that is interested in giving it a try.
A great option to ease yourself into regular exercise is to sign up for a few yoga classes. Relax and focus on your breathing while an instructor guides you on the journey of increasing flexibility. Being a low impact form of exercise, yoga is very beginner friendly, although even the most experienced athletes tend to enjoy it as a way to wind down after more intense workout routines. Black Swan Yoga offers donation based classes throughout the day with the goal of providing accessible yoga to everyone, which makes them a great choice to try out a couple classes!
Another low impact style of exercise that will improve flexibility and muscle growth without an emphasis on cardio is Pilates. This typically consists of mat based exercises focused on moving one’s body weight to target core muscle groups. While it is recommended to supplement Pilates with some form of aerobic exercise to achieve a well balanced routine, it is a quality, beginner friendly option to burn calories without much risk of injury. Boost Pilates in the Heights is a great location to try out a few classes where the instructors will guide you on how to use any specialized machines at the gym.
Perhaps none of the gyms listed so far stick out as somewhere that you’d like to go exercise, but even those of us who have an aversion to fitness centers may still have an interest in sports or exercise in general. If this sounds like you, then you might be interested to hear that there are countless community and recreation centers throughout Houston that host “open play” for a variety of sports. This means that they will have a gym or outdoor courts set up for anybody that shows up during a specified time. If you have an interest in any sports from basketball to pickleball, it is worth checking out the schedule of some nearby community/rec centers to see what programs they have.
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