Walk, Run, Ride, Paddle, Push and Stretch, San Antonio! Few would question how lucky we are to live in a city rich with such natural beauty. Truth is, we are very fortunate to have year-round opportunities to get outside, and we can even get fit while doing it.
Mobile Om yoga classes held on various nights at sunset provide remarkable views of the San Antonio cityscape. Yoga instructor and founder Cassandra Fauss conducts sessions at the pedestrian Hayes Street Bridge above the San Antonio River and also from a rooftop-covered parking lot at 1221 Broadway at the Broadway Urban Lofts. “The view of the skyline as night falls is spectacular,” says Fauss. Fauss cites the fresh air and sunshine as benefits of the outdoors, saying, “We don’t get outside enough.” But what she likes most about yoga movement in outdoor spaces is, “the realness. The real-life distraction. Hearing the traffic, the train on the railroad, birds chirping are all mediations you don’t get from the indoors.” Mobile Om classes attract yoga students of all ages from novice to advanced practitioners looking for a new perspective. Students often bring children ages 10-12 to join in.
Free Park Fitness
Capitalizing on the many local parks, the city’s Fitness in the Park offers get-fit programs available at no cost across the city. The program is a collaboration of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department and the Mayor’s Fitness Council. Class offerings include fitness boot camps, yoga, hiking and walking on park trails. There’s plenty of ways to get on your feet and get around town on numerous run and walk paths from gentle strolls to ambitious cardio-pumping opportunities. It’s a great way to see favorite haunts and historic and contemporary treasures while you’re on the move. The newest addition to the River Walk, the Museum Reach allows a route that showcases the urban river park starting at the Lexington Avenue Bridge with native landscaping, stellar public art installations, Pearl Brewery and the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Moms United Fitness
Local moms looking to enjoy area park settings with their young children while getting a workout can do so through Stroller Strides. Classes led by trained instructors combine power walking, intervals and body toning using the park environment, exercise tubing and the stroller. More than a workout, it’s a chance to network with other moms.
Two-wheeling enthusiasts can take advantage of the Downtown Bike Ride Routes available on the sanantonio.gov website. There are rides from quick and easy to vigorous. The Alamo Hemisfair Out & Back route affords a well-rounded 1.7 miles past best-known landmarks including the Alamo, the Majestic and Empire Theatres, Main Plaza and San Fernando Cathedral, the Bexar County Courthouse and the contemporary Torch of Friendship sculpture. The Mission Trail Out & Back is a stout 20-mile round trip. You can make biking in a new area easy by catching a VIA bus with a bike rack. If you don’t have your own bike, B-Cycle makes it easy to rent and pedal. Station locations are scattered around downtown, Brackenridge Park and the San Antonio Missions.
The Water Way
One of our greatest natural resources, the San Antonio River is a beacon of pride for us and the joy of tourists. Not long ago, it became available for water recreation use. There are four authorized paddling vendors that can provide equipment and guided kayak and canoe tours on the river. Texas Pack and Paddle proprietor and guide Stacey Banta takes locals and tourists on kayak tours around King William and extending through Mission Reach. “They like to hear the history of the area,” Banta says. The river offers different experiences depending on where you put in and where you go. Outside the city limits, the river is in a more natural state full of wildlife and vegetation, while the Mission Reach includes some chutes and riffles. The King William stretch is full of architecture and beautiful backyards along the banks and is a different experience with locks and cement structures. If you want to do your own thing as opposed to a tour, San Antonio River Authority has guidelines for the various San Antonio River paddle trails, designated access points and paddling safety.
Fitcitysa.com for downtown Bike and Ride Routes, fitness in the park classes, walk and run routes, activity logs, stretches and other resources.
mobileom.com for outdoor yoga information.
sanantonio.bcycle.com for pass costs and station locations.
www.sara-tx.org for paddling safety tips, routes and authorized paddle tour operators.
www.sanantonio.gov for parks & recreation information, parks and trails locations, fitness in the park, and water recreation boundaries, restrictions and guidelines.
northsanantonio.fit4mom.com for information on Stroller Stride fitness and locations.