5 ways to connect with your local fitness community

Mar 28, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. ET
Image: Wanda Koch Photography

Imagine wrapping up a long day at the office and heading to a local brewery (so far this isn’t sounding like such a stretch, right?)...but you change into your workout gear first. You’re not just at the brewery for happy hour but for a tough workout at their weekly taproom boot camp class. After class you hang around and share a sweaty post-workout cheers with fellow participants as you chat and meet some new people.

Image: Wanda Koch Photography

Alternative workouts like this are popping up all over the country in places like breweries, malls, greenways, athletic stores, wineries and parks. While the unexpected workout scenery can certainly help with workout motivation, the most important benefits are the social opportunities they provide. As you experience your workout in a new way, you’ll also feel connected to your community. These events offer the perfect place to meet meet new friends or score a first date. The best part is that most of these workouts are free or very inexpensive!

Here are five ideas for taking your workout out of the gym and getting connected with the fitness community in your area!

Image: Wanda Koch Photography

1. Check your local breweries and wineries

The explosion of craft breweries in the United States has brought with it creative ways to get their target audience through the doors and spending time hanging out. Taproom fitness and yoga classes have become a huge trend and many breweries offer regular classes. Here in Charlotte, NC one brewery hosts “Yoga on Tap” every week with hundreds of people in attendance and another offers a weekly CrossFit-style “Taproom Fitness” class. Wineries are hopping on this trend too and offering a variety of classes in their tasting rooms.

Bonus: enjoy that post-workout beer or wine in your post work out glow!

2. Check your local Lululemon or Athleta

Both Lululemon and Athleta often offer free in-store classes led by local fitness professionals.

Bonus: reward yourself after with a cute new workout outfit.

3. Check the Wanderlust 108 Schedule

Wanderlust created “the world’s only mindful triathlon” with the Wanderlust 108. It’s a community focused “field day” that consists of a 5K run, yoga classes and meditation. Wanderlust 108 events are taking place in 20 U.S. cities this year.

Bonus: additional workshops like ariel yoga, acroyoga and slacklining are offered.

4. Check out local run clubs

I don’t know what it is about runners, but they tend to be an extremely friendly and welcoming bunch. Run clubs are a fantastic way to meet other runners and to switch up your usual running route. Many run clubs meet at breweries (notice a trend here?), restaurants or coffee shops and include a social gathering after.

Bonus: most are pet friendly, so your four-legged friend can get their social and exercise time in too.

5. Check out local boot camps or outdoor workout groups

Welcome a breath of fresh air to your workout by taking it outside. You can find everything from outdoor boot camps to stroller workout groups to yoga in the park. MeetUp.com is a great place to find these groups.

Bonus: boost your vitamin D by soaking up some sun.

This post is sponsored by vitaminwater zero and SheKnows