Let’s face it. One of the biggest deterrents to maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle is time. With hectic work schedules and activity-packed weekends, it can be daunting to think about adding exercise to the mix. As they say, getting to the gym is the hardest part.
But what if it wasn’t? When you’re not using the local gym, you can still find ways to incorporate fitness into your day - and the good news is that you can do it for free. Get started with these four Louisville spots. See you out there!
Cyclocross at Eva Bandman Park
Ok, we’ll admit it: this one intimidated us at first. The Eva Bandman Park underwent a major transformation in 2009 before becoming what we now know as the Eva Bandman Park & Cyclocross Venue, one of the best venues of its kind in the U.S.
So what is cyclocross? Think of your standard mountain biking and add to it some extreme trails, wooded terrain and plenty of obstacles along the way. It also offers a pretty incredible sense of community and plenty of support from veterans and novices alike. Grab your bike and hit the trail for a whole new cycling experience.
Hike to the top of Iroquois Park
Whoo, buddy. The hill that leads to the overlook at Iroquois Park is what we like to refer to as the “jelly-leg maker.” You’ll definitely be feeling the burn as you make your way up the path, but once you spot the view from the top, you’ll forget about the (good) hurt that got you there.
Feeling extra ambitious? Try adding some lunges on your way up for more of a challenge. Bring a water bottle with you, too. You’ll be glad to have some refreshment while you take in the panoramic view.
Run the stairs at the Muhammad Ali Center
While you’re feeling the leg burn, let’s throw some steps in the mix, shall we? The Muhammad Ali Center in Downtown Louisville is incredible and inspirational and definitely all the things you think it will be. When you’re done walking through the museum and learning more about The Greatest, head outside to the plaza where you’ll find a fountain and built-in seating and steps.
As it turns out, when you run (or walk) up stairs, you’re essentially doing a long series of plyometrics. It’s like doing squats and lunges, while working your cardiovascular system at the same time. It’s like paying for one thing and getting two things in return. And since you aren’t paying for this at all, it’s basically all reward. Try taking them two at a time for bonus points.
Run to Indiana and back via the Big Four Bridge at Waterfront Park
If you’re not familiar with Louisville and its proximity to Indiana, this could seem a bit extreme. We’re all for fitness and wellness, but running across state lines might be a little over the top. Don’t fret - it’s not as far as it sounds, averaging about two miles round trip.
Originally built as a railroad bridge in 1895, the city restored the Big Four Bridge and officially opened to pedestrians in 2013. If running isn’t really your thing but you’re still looking to get your cardio in for the day, take your bike down and ride across. It’s a great spot for cyclists, and numerous vendors offer rentals at the entrance to the walkway for those without bikes of their own. If you can manage it, bring your phone for some stunning photo opps of the Ohio River and city skyline.