As the air warms and daylight lasts longer, heading into a gym or studio to sweat feels so … stuffy. Rebel against roofs and walls this spring and exercise outside instead. We found five workouts for every type of fitness nerd, from hardcore strength training to low-impact stand-up paddleboarding and more. Whether you’re starting or reaching your workout goals, this list will inspire you to get out.
Wake Up Street
Snooze and repeat: It’s not a bad way to start your day. The only problem, aside from overdoing it and having to get ready for work in a blind panic, is that you miss out on Wake Up Street. This free exercise movement meets every Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. (Is the sun even up at that time? Asking for a friend.) But if you make it, you’ll be grateful you did. Every week, the group chooses a different route and location to kick-start the morning — think the National Gardens, Plaka, Filopappou, Thisseio and more. At that time, the city is quiet and you’ll quite literally see it in a different light. The workout is split into two parts: running and strength training using your own body weight. Don’t worry about your current fitness level; as long as you show up you can go at your own pace.
Where: Locations change; follow on Facebook
When: Weds., 6:30 a.m.
More info: Facebook
Street Workout Athens
If you need extra oomph in your fitness routine, Street Workout Athens is for you. As the first outdoor gym in the heart of the city, SWA is equipped with weightlifting racks, TRX handles, push-up bars and more in the lush Fokianos Sports Park opposite Panathenaic Stadium. Combined, founders Aggeliki Gerolymou (an Olympian in water polo) and Tonia Gounitsioti have more than 30 years of experience in the fitness world. They created Elements, the training philosophy used at SWA, which is based on flexible fitness protocols in the categories of endurance, fat loss, strength, and body and mind. The result is a varied regimen consisting of circuit training, strength training, yoga, Pilates and boot camp classes.
Bike Riding at SNFCC
The best way to keep fit is to move more. You know it, your heart knows it, even your cat knows it. It’s just that some of us aren’t built for organized exercise. Why do squats when you have a whole world to explore? At the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, you can move and explore on bicycles. The bikes are now available for both adults and kids to rent, and you can ride them across the park (see instructions, in Greek). The adult bicycles come with three gears and a basket and you can use them for as much or as little time as you want. At just €1 per hour, it’s an affordable way to move your muscles and get your heart pumping.
Where: Syngrou Ave. 364, Kallithea
When: Daily, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
More info: snfcc.easybike.gr
Hula Hoop Dance Workshop
While we’re riding around the SNFCC, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that on Sunday, March 19, Sunny Diz of Hoop Dance will be at the Labyrinth of the park teaching her 60-minute fitness and dance class. If you haven’t already tried hula-hooping in her usual perch at Romantso, then this free class is the perfect opportunity to get reacquainted with the childhood pastime. The combination of play, aerobic exercise and dance on the grass will make you feel like a kid again. Hula hoops will be provided and the class is limited to 20 participants, so show up early to secure your spot.
Where: Labyrinth, SNFCC, Syngrou Ave. 364, Kallithea
When: Mar. 19, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
More info: snfcc.org
You’ve probably seen them and envied them: those lazy dots on the sea’s horizon. Arguably last summer’s most popular water sport was stand-up paddleboarding. This year, start early by getting the hang of things at the Kyma Surf School. Don’t let the view from the shore fool you — this is both a great workout (hello, abs!) and a meditative experience, requiring concentration, balance, proper breathing and a sense of humor. Kyma offers 90-minute lessons for one, two or groups. Standing up on a longboard is easier than you think, and once you get the rhythm of the paddle you’ll be one of those lazy dots on the horizon, envied by everyone on the shore.
Where: Kyma Surf School, Glyfada
When: Daily, by appt.
More info: 21 0898 2666; kymasurfschool.gr
By Eleni Zoe
Original article is available here.