From June to August, local yoga studio and yoga mat recyclers Mat Collective offers free outdoor yoga classes at Kits Beach and Riley Park, making it Western Canada’s largest free outdoor yoga program. The classes happen every day in both locations all summer, and class sizes can grow to include over 120 people. “We believe fitness classes need to be accessible to everyone, no matter their income bracket.” Mat Collective also hosts indoor studio classes the rest of the year.
Fit 4 Two offers high-quality fitness classes and wellness programs that target pregnant women and new mothers. It began in Vancouver and now has franchises in 15 locations across Canada. They do outdoor stroller fitness classes and bootcamps, which they confirm aren’t a walk in the park and offer a full-body workout. There are sessions across the Greater Vancouver Area, including at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver and Trout Lake in East Vancouver.
The Running Room is a family-owned business that specializes in workout shoes, clothing, and accessories. It began in Edmonton and now includes 110 locations across North America, including four in Vancouver. Each store has a Run Club, which is a free club that is open to all runner and walkers and holds practice runs and walks every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. Each level gets their own pace group leader too. It’s a fantastic initiative to practice for Running Room races and a great way to meet new friends and exercise, of course!
A North Vancouver-based business, Inside Out Fitness specializes in outdoor bootcamp-style classes. The one-hour workouts are suitable for all fitness levels and include working with body weight, dumbbells, and resistance bands. “The classes focus on developing proper techniques and are intended to improve posture, core strength and help prevent lower back pain.” Inside Out Fitness also offers a one-week free trial, so you can try before you buy.
Vancouver Circus School is a family-owned and operated educational institution, located in both New Westminster and North Vancouver. They’re passionate about providing a physical education in circus arts to everyone, from children to seniors. “Our programs are specifically designed to promote long-term development, physical literacy, and healthy practices.” They have drop-in classes, camps, and long-term programs, which includes an Intro to Circus class. Some classes and performances take place outside.
Another free run club in Vancouver, MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) is a retail co-op that sells exclusively to members, and lifetime membership has been $5 since 1971. Every week they host both an advanced trail run event, as well as a regular run crew that runs between four and seven kilometers (2.5–4.3 miles) each session. But they also organize a meet-up ride on Sunday mornings, which is open to beginner road cyclists who want a workout and go on a scenic ride around Vancouver.
Another outdoor bootcamp option, Survivor Fitness runs classes every four weeks year-round and has locations across the Greater Vancouver Area, in places such as Burnaby, Yaletown, Port Coquitlam, and New Westminster. Their main goal is to help you “get fit, reach your goals, improve your health and get you the results you want!” The bootcamps use various equipment and are suitable for all ages and abilities. These classes have received Georgia Straight’s Best Bootcamp/Outdoor Training Program award in Vancouver 12 years in a row, so they know how to get results.