10 Olympic-inspired workouts to try in Vancouver

Got #RIO2016 fever? You might not be a pro-level athlete, but you can get in on the fun here in Vancouver with these 10 Olympic-inspired workouts. Inject a little novelty into your regular fitness routine and go for the (metaphorical) gold! [Photo credit: iStock.com/Leonardo Patrizi]

Kitsilano Beach Pool

2305 Cornwall St, Vancouver, BC V6K 1B6

Open for public swimming throughout July and August, this beloved saltwater pool is perhaps one of the most scenic spots to channel your inner Michael Phelps during the summer months. The waterfront swimming pool offers designated lanes for fast, medium and slow swimmers – so you can practice breaststroke, front crawl and the always-challenging butterfly stroke at a pace that you’re comfortable with. Remember to brush up on your lane-swimming etiquette before you go (use the middle lane to pass; give those in front of you plenty of space) and bring your own goggles and swim cap.

Eastside Boxing Club

238 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X5

Watching Olympic athletes compete in the ring at the Summer Olympics can be intimidating…and inspiring! If you’re a boxing newbie looking to strap on a pair of gloves and learn how to throw a few one-two punches, pay a visit to Eastside Boxing Club. Hard-core heavyweights and beginner boxers share the ring at this community-oriented non-profit studio on the border of Chinatown and Strathcona. The inclusive boxing gym caters to men and women with a schedule that offers beginner and intermediate group lessons, as well as advanced fighter training and sparring sessions.

LaSalle Fencing Club and Studio

2155 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4B3

Fancy yourself a swashbuckling swordsman? If you’re feeling inspired after watching the fencing competition at this year’s Olympic Games, La Salle Fencing Club can help turn that curiosity into a new passion. Private and group beginner classes are offered throughout the year covering scoring and footwork, as well as offensive and defensive manoeuvres. Once you’ve mastered the essential skills, move on to drills and competitive bouting with intermediate classes and club programs.

Extreme Air Park

14380 Triangle Rd, Richmond, BC V6W 1B1

Not just for kids’ birthday parties, high-flying trampoline skills are a serious sport at the Summer Olympics. If it’s been a while since you’ve done a bouncy backflip, sign up for a class at this large-scale indoor trampoline park in Richmond. Participants can expect to burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour-long, low-impact, high-energy workout that’ll have you bouncing across 42,000 square feet of wall-to-wall interlocking trampoline space. The signature AIRobics workout blends heart-racing cardio moves with calisthenics and other core-strengthening exercises. The flexible trampoline surface is especially forgiving for those who suffer from bad joints.

Vancouver Table Tennis

3925 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC V5V 4E5

Haven’t played table tennis since you were living in your Mom’s basement? Why not learn to ping pong like the pros at the Vancouver Table Tennis Club. Pick up a paddle and challenge a pal to a friendly back-and-forth at this East Van sports club – just check the schedule for drop-in hours. If you want to improve your backspin and go from recreational to professional, sign up for group or individual training lessons. You’ll be competing in your first tournament in no time.

Kee's Tae Kwon Do

1760 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5N 2S6

Taekwondo might be a centuries-old Korean martial art, but it’s a relatively new addition to the Summer Olympic programme. The sport made its official debut at the 2000 Sydney Games, offering spectators awe-inspiring combinations and powerful high kicks. In Vancouver, Kee’s Tae Kwon Do offers a wide range of taekwondo training programs for would-be martial artists of all ages. With a focus on discipline, confidence and fitness, these expert instructors lead dynamic workouts in a safe and supportive environment.

Vancouver Rowing Club

450 Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2

Watching Olympic oarsmen gracefully glide through the water makes this challenging watersport look easy, but if you’re new to rowing you might want to start out with a few lessons. The Vancouver Rowing Club has been teaching locals how to row for decades, and offers a variety of inclusive class options, including Paralympic classes for people living with physical disabilities. Progressive programs help you learn effective strokes, sweeping and sculling – with a coach and a coxswain aboard to help guide your crew.

Eastwood Cycle Sanctuary

154 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8

You might not be an Olympic cyclist, but it’s easy to pretend when you’re clipped in during Eastwood’s signature spin class: The Athlete. Aptly named, this challenging, cyclist-inspired ride takes participants on a demanding journey designed to emulate the real road – albeit surrounded by candlelight and loud music. Motivating instructors will challenge you to dig dip and find your inner strength as you endure gruelling hill climbs and fast-paced sprints. And while you won’t earn any medals after this sweaty stationary bike session, the post-ride cold eucalyptus towel service feels like a pretty nice reward.

Boorman Archery Ltd

A-422 Columbia St E, New Westminster, BC V3L 3W9

Practiced by Egyptian pharaohs, Robin Hood and Olympic medalists, archery is one of the oldest sports at the Summer Olympics after first appearing on the program in 1900. Boorman Archery in New West is a go-to spot for modern day marksmen looking to develop their skills and purchase top-of-the-line equipment. Set your sights on the bullseye and sign up for archery classes led by certified professional instructors. Even if you’ve never picked up a bow and arrow before, you’ll soon be at ease after you learn correct shooting form, targeting techniques and safety practices.

’Tis the season for colourful foliage, cozy sweaters and pumpkin-spiced lattes. The best way to take advantage of the fall harvest period is to head out of town to a local farm to enjoy wagon rides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and apple picking. If you’re planning an afternoon of autumnal family fun, check out these country farms near Vancouver.
Beards might be having a moment but you can’t beat the timeless appeal of a classic clean-cut look. Gents looking to tame their facial hair have plenty of options in Vancouver: take a DIY approach with luxurious at-home shaving supplies, or book a professional straight razor shave at a nostalgic barbershop or an upscale, modern salon. Whatever route you take, these local grooming spots can help you put your best face forward.
The royals have landed in Vancouver! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka: William and Kate) and their brood touched down in British Columbia this month to take in the unique sites and cultural attractions of the region. From English-inspired gardens to afternoon tea to a private helicopter ride, here’s how to tour Vancouver just like a (future) king and queen. [Photo credit: iStock.com/JPLDesigns]
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