Vancouver is known for its mountains and nature surroundings. This means that fitness lovers have the hard choice of choosing between a variety of outdoor workouts as well as the many fitness classes on offer across the city. Here’s a guide to the best outdoor adventures and indoor studios in Vancouver.
Offering “24 styles of yoga and fitness with 900+ classes a week across 12 beautiful studios in Vancouver and Toronto,” Canada’s largest corporate-owned yoga company, YYoga, is one of the best in the business. Consistently recognized as the best in Vancouver, some classes on offer include power yoga, flow, prenatal yoga, YRide, floor barre, and TRX. There’s definitely a class to suit all fitness levels and needs. British Columbia locations include North Vancouver, South Granville, Park Royal, and the city center.
Known as Canada’s original barre workout, Barre Fitness brings Vancouver’s fitness lovers this favorite workout, which includes flexibility training and sculpting the lower body and abs using the ballet barre, upper body exercises with light weights, and fitball core work—all set to today’s hottest music. They also host fitness sessions such as Barre Bootcamp, Barre HIIT, and Barre Cardio. Barre Fitness has locations in Surrey, Port Moody, Yaletown and North Vancouver.
Barre Fitness Headquarters, 1038 Mainland St, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604 669 6906
The Grouse Grind, perhaps the best-used trail in Vancouver and one of the city’s best workouts, is famous for its extreme challenge: the trail climbs 2,800 feet (853 meters) high in fewer than 1.8 miles (three kilometers). It’s so popular that wooden stairs have been built along the trail to prevent further erosion. Each quarter mark is highlighted with signs, with the third quarter being the most treacherous. Enjoy the view from the top of Grouse Mountain (and opt for a Gondola lift ride down).
Grouse Grind, 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604 986 6262
Get a different kind of workout at Vancouver’s Origins Parkour, one of the best parkour facilities in the world. Designed with athletes’ needs in mind, the park has 10,000 sq. ft. (929m²) of space, a giant foam pit, a gymnastic spring floor, a weight room, a climbing wall, and a turf sprint track. As Vancouver is known as Hollywood North, Origins Parkour is used by many film studios to train stunt doubles and actors.
Origins Parkour, 3rd Floor, 2655 Main St, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604 558 1779
The seawall in Vancouver, the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path, has lanes for walkers/runners and cyclists/skaters. Riding a bike along the seawall is a great way to see the city and get some exercise at the same time. The seawall stretches 17 miles (28 kilometers) from Stanley Park through False Creek with many pretty parks and photograph opportunities along the way.
Vancouver’s seawall, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604 682 2222
Known as Vancouver’s premier pole and aerial studio, Tantra Fitness offers pole dancing, aerial yoga, and dance classes. The “fitness alternative” studio’s fun and unique programs give all participants an amazing workout. In addition to classes, Tantra Fitness also offers workshops (“twerkshops,” learning to do the splits, and hula-hooping have been included in the past). There are Tantra Fitness studios across the Greater Vancouver area: in Burnaby, Richmond, Mount Pleasant, and Gastown.
Skiing and snowshoeing
Vancouver has three ski mountains a short drive from the city center: Cypress Mountain, Mount Seymour, and Grouse Mountain. Cypress is the largest skiing and snowboarding mountain in the area, and many events for the 2010 Winter Olympics were held there, too. For a different full-body workout, try snowshoeing; all three mountains offer trails, but Snowshoe Magazine named Mount Seymour the number one resort for snowshoeing in North America in 2012. Grouse Mountain also offers outdoor skating.
Cypress, 6000 Cypress Bowl Rd, Bowen Island, BC, Canada, +1 604 926 5346
Mount Seymour, 1700 Mt Seymour Rd, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604 986 2261
Grouse Mountain, 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 604 980 9311
Urban Fitness Club
Urban Fitness Club suits all fitness levels with a wide variety of classes including circuit training, kickboxing, TRX, HIIT, self defense, yoga, barre, zumba, an ObstacleFit class, as well as an intense Insanity training class. This is the place to visit to get results, and it has the awards to prove it—The Georgia Straight named Urban Fitness Club’s boot camp program in its top three for two years running. There are studios in downtown Vancouver, South Granville, and Burnaby.
Urban Fitness Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada, +1 800 000 8808