Vancouver: 6 great workouts in the great outdoors

Here are some outdoor workouts I love. Enjoy the scenery (the mountains, the ocean, the people) and challenge yourself at the same time at these top spots in and near Vancouver

Vancouver: 6 great workouts in the great outdoors

Source: Adapted from ourfaves.com, June 2009

1. Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Whistler, B.C.

The bike park on Whistler Mountain is world famous. It’s the largest and longest-running lift-access bike park around and many other bike parks in the world have used Whistler as a model for their own. New to mountain-biking? They’ve got you covered: According to whistlermountainbike.com, Bike 101 is a "daily clinic that offers the ‘never-ever’ mountain biker a chance to learn about downhill techniques while exploring the bike park with a qualified guide." Don’t own a bike? No problem’they even rent them.

2. Grouse Grind

6400 Nancy Greene Way (Grouse Mountain), North Vancouver, B.C., V7R 4K9

After a hard work week of your nose to the grindstone, it’s time to haul your butt up the classic Grouse Grind, a hike up the mountainside for almost 3 km. Access depends on the weather.

3. Wreck Beach

University Boulevard and South West Marine Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z2

Try to race a friend up the 400 or so stairs that climb up the cliff from Wreck Beach. I used to do this when I lived on campus at UBC. It’s a nude beach, so if you’re not into naked strangers it gives you all the more reason to run up those stairs as fast as possible (a better workout!).

4. Cleveland Dam

North Vancouver, B.C.

I find trail running appealing because you don’t need a lot of equipment to get started. Want to take the leap? Join in on a training run for the Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run most Wednesdays (more info at kneeknacker.com). The website says that "anyone who wants to experience North Shore trail running is welcome" but the site also shares route maps for various runs if you’re shy…

5. Kitsilano Pool

2305 Cornwall Avenue, Vancouver, B.C.

An outdoor saltwater pool and Canada’s longest’the laps run lengthwise so you can really get a workout! I guess if you really wanted an outdoor swimming challenge you could try to swim to Vancouver Island instead, but I wouldn’t recommend it. At least they have lifeguards here (and no pesky ferries to get in your way).

6. Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak Centre

2156 Banbury Road, North Vancouver, B.C.

Here’s your chance to get paddling without big commitments of time or money. The introduction to dragonboat paddling is 90 minutes and only costs $15. Their three-hour introduction to ocean kayaking is $70 and includes the kayak rental and safety gear. While you’re there, have a meal in the village or stroll into Deep Cove Park or Panorama Park’you’ll forget you’re only 20 minutes away from downtown Vancouver.

Tanya Bennett contributes to ourfaves.com under the name tanyab. Find her personal blog at ishouldbenapping.com.

Did we miss your favourite healthy spots, or do you have more to share? Create a list on ourfaves.com and we may feature it on besthealthmag.ca, or submit your top picks in our forums.

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