5 Ways to Stay Fit in Austin
A 15-year veteran of Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Laundry Manager Patrick fell in love with working out while taking his first boot camp class in 2010. After dropping a whopping 65 pounds, he volunteered to share his passion for fitness with his co-workers during three weekly staff workouts.
Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) delivers a full-body workout – from balance and stability to engaging your core muscles – while offering a fun, relaxing way to play on the water. As you stand on the board you can also enjoy the unique views around Lady Bird Lake. I recommend getting started at Texas Rowing Center on West Cesar Chavez. Since it’s right off the Hike and Bike Trail, you could even go for a run and end your workout enjoying the sunset from atop a Stand-up Paddle Board. Texas Rowing Center rents all of the equipment you’ll need, just don’t forget to bring sunscreen!
Take to the Trail
Although I’ve never considered myself a runner, I signed up last year to participate in the San Antonio Half Marathon and used the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail behind the hotel as my guide to train. The trail is set up perfectly for progressively increasing your distance: choose from a 2-mile, 3-mile, 4.5-mile, 5-mile, or 8-mile route (depending on where you loop) and you can double those distances if you turn around and run back to your starting point. If you’re not familiar with the trail, the Hotel offers a complimentary jogging map. What makes the trail a fun place to run is all the other runners, walkers and cyclists who use it – not only do you feel like you’re running with a group of people, but running alongside the lake makes for a calming, peaceful journey.
Row, Row, Ro (no boat required)
Even if you’re not a big fan of water, rowing can provide a great workout. Located conveniently behind the Hotel in the Waller Creek Boathouse, Rō Fitness offers low-impact workouts that work all the major muscle groups in one session. My favourite instructor at Rō is Chelsea. Her hour-long classes are great for beginners and place an emphasis on technique and injury prevention, while her music choices are typically beat-based according to stroke rates – helping you power through even the most difficult sequence. I have easily burned over 1,000 calories a class! On nice days, they even bring the equipment outside, adding a nice view of the lake to an already fun workout. Tip: Your first class is free, with additional drop-in classes only USD 20.
Get Fit with HIIT
On days when I don’t have time to go to the gym or attend a fitness class, I still like to get in a quick HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout. The bottom of the grassy hill behind the Hotel is the perfect area for this since there’s plenty of space and you can use anything from the adjacent stairs to the boulders to the hill itself for assistance. HIIT is a workout style comprised of short periods of high-intensity cardio and strength training followed by short rest periods. A quick easy routine might include 40 seconds of high-knees or jumping jacks and 20 seconds of push-ups, squats or – my favourite – ab crunches. Mix up the exercises for an all-around body workout.
Ignite Fitnez is a locally owned and operated neighborhood gym located in South Austin, just 1 block west of I-35 on St. Elmo. Their strong belief in functional fitness meaning you will find minimal machines in the actual 11,500 square-foot facility. Whether you are in the mood for group classes, heavy lifting, hitting some bags or rolling out your sore muscles, they have got something for you. I enjoy the Bootcamp because it takes you through strength, functional and metabolic workouts. If you are stretched for time, try a round in the designated MMA area. Either will be sure to help you work up a serious sweat!