We’ve just barely dug our heels into 2019. The year is so fresh, in fact, that your shiny health and wellness goals are likely still top of mind. Or perhaps you’re still figuring out exactly how to execute them. For those who already maintain a steady workout regimen, making commitments for the new year might mean tacking on another hour of cardio each week or going the extra mile in spin class. But for others, the prospect of a “new year, new you” can be daunting, especially if you’ve been out of the fitness game for some time. Lucky for you, the world of wellness has never been so diverse. These days, there is a full spectrum of practices in studios across the state to get your blood pumping — and you’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget you’re even working out.
Sweat It Out
What if we told you you could burn calories without even moving? Infrared saunas came in to the wellness world hot in 2018 (pun intended), and they seem here to stay. And why not, when the reported benefits of infrared saunas (which, unlike the external heat of regular saunas, use infrared rays to create internal heat) include detoxification, lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, skin rejuvenation, and pain reduction, all from a supine position? Some studies have even shown that infrared sauna sessions could help treat chronic diseases like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and more. Book a bed in a private room for thirty minutes at CYL Sauna Studio—the Sweat House, which opened last spring in Austin; in San Antonio, prepare for your flotation therapy session with a sweat in Transcend SA’s Canadian hemlock sauna; and fully purify with a sweat after yoga class at Balancing Energy in Dallas.
We might not have the adrenaline-inducing altitude of, say, Colorado, but there are still a number of great rock-climbing spots found across Texas— and plenty of indoor climbing gyms to get you ready. Bouldering has really exploded in the past year, with new gyms popping up everywhere, most featuring climbing walls as well as gym equipment and fitness classes, as seen at Austin’s Crux Climbing Center and the Austin Bouldering Project; Armadillo Boulders, in San Antonio; and Summit Climbing, which has locations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Members of Cave Climbing in El Paso can even sign up for half-day ropes climbing and bouldering outings to nearby Hueco Tanks State Park.
Not Your Pachamama’s Yoga
Maybe solemn, introspective asanas aren’t your cup of tea. You’ll be happy to know there are about as many types of yoga as there are types of people, and the list keeps growing. Make 2019 the year of the goat at Goat Yoga TX, in Cypress; Goat Yoga Houston; Deep Ellum Yoga, in Dallas; and GOGA, in Austin—these studios all offer yoga classes in the presence of playful baby goats. Would you rather work out with your dog? Book a private class for you and your furry friend at Austin Doga.
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If you want your yoga animal-free, you can fire up your practice with hip-hop yoga and piyolet (pilates, yoga and ballet) at Inner Me, in Houston, or follow Houston-based Award Girl Yoga to see when and where her next Trap Yoga & Tacos pop-up might land. Wanderlust, in Austin, offers flow classes accompanied by live acoustic music, and Half Moon Power Yoga, in San Antonio, features hot yoga powered by live DJs. Alternatively, stretch it out to the sound of doom metal with Dark Yoga Austin, held at Practice Yoga. Or for the ultimate in motivation, attend a yoga class at a brewery like Great Heights Brewing, in Houston; Freetail Brewing Co., in San Antonio; and Circle Brewing Co., in Austin. Simply sweat it out and namaste for a beer.
Run for Your Live(r)s
Speaking of beer, nothing tastes better than a bubbly liquid reward after a workout. Counterproductive to exercise, you say? No way—it’s just the carrot you need to get moving. East Side Beer Runners meet every Wednesday at Austin’s Hops and Grain for a group run followed by pints (and the occasional potluck) at the brewery. Dallas Sport and Social Club hosts a three-mile Pub Run on the third Thursday of each month, and all participants get their first hard-earned beer for free. Meanwhile, San Antonio’s Pub Run is the first Friday of each month through downtown; there’s a different theme each time. The Texas Brewery Running Series raises money for local charities by organizing 5k fun-run courses, which all start and end at Texas breweries. Sounds like the perfect way to train for Real Ale’s annual 5k Beer Run in December.
When was the last time you danced yourself out of breath? If you had to stop and think, it’s probably been too long. And while an impromptu living-room dance party is always a good idea, get your pulse really pumping with a Melody DanceFit session. Melody Afkami offers four high-octane dance classes a week at different Austin locations (including one 7 a.m .midweek class at the Parish), and donates proceeds from each one to nonprofit Dress for Success. Practice Beyoncé-approved video sequences in Studio Of MoveMINT‘s cardio hip-hop classes, in Fort Worth, or learn club-worthy Caribbean-inspired dance moves at Brooklyn-born Brukwine‘s Houston satellite location. Or break a sweat at Sugar Land’s Naach Dance Institute, where Bollywood moves meet contemporary Indian dance.
Trampolines may seem like child’s play, but when used in cardio class, they provide a high-intensity, low-impact way to burn calories and tone muscle. Each instructor-led class is set to a supercharged soundtrack that will have you springing from the inside out long after you’ve left the studio. San Antonio’s inBalance Bounce classes blend barre, pilates, ballet, yoga and plyometrics on a mini-trampoline. The Beyond Studios in Dallas offers Pilates + Tramp, an invigorating class that uses both a pilates reformer and a mini-trampoline. And weights are used with aerobic sequences to an amped-up soundtrack at Define Body & Mind, which has studios in Austin, Lubbock, Midland, Katy, Boerne, and Houston.
Get on Board
You don’t need a body of water to get a surfer-inspired body. City Surf Fitness offers high-intensity surf-inspired strength and conditioning classes, with locations in Austin, Dallas, and Plano. But there’s nothing quite like being out there on the water, especially with the comfort of a paddle. There are plenty of options for stand-up paddleboarding all over the state, including a glow-in-the-dark night tour with Paddle SMTX, in San Marcos, and sessions with your four-legged friend at SUP Dog in Austin. In Corpus Christi, you can take yoga on paddleboards at Water Dog by the marina.
Stay on Course
Were you one of those kids leaping over “lava” and “quick sand” at the playground after school every day? Then you would probably love the challenge of training at an obstacle-course gym filled with ladders, rope swings, rock walls, slacklines, monkey bars, precision steps, floating boards, and more. Obstacle Warriors, in Dallas, is an indoor gym with classes every Saturday, while others, like Mylo Obstacle Fitness, in Austin, or Ground Zero Gym, in Edinburgh, feature year-round outdoor obstacle courses. Join this fierce community and you’ll be signing up for a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder competition before you know it.
Head Over Heels
Years ago, when pole classes emerged in the fitness world, pole dancing finally earned the respect it deserves as both an art and a sport. No longer reserved for the dark confines of strip clubs, the pole is now accessible to anyone with the desire to learn. Soft Sensuous Moves has been serving the San Antonio area for fourteen years, offering levels 1-12 and master classes. Brass Ovaries, in Austin, offers both regular classes and special workshops with guest teachers from around the world. Skypole Fitness, in Fort Worth, offers a la carte classes as well as a four-week immersion called SkyPole Academy.
Get a New Perspective
Hot on the heels of pole dancing came the aerial arts, and these circus-inspired studios also show no signs of slowing down. Now there are more places than ever before to learn trapeze, aerial silks, lyra hoop, corde lisse, aerial hammock, and more. Sky Candy, in Austin, welcomes beginners with drop-in classes and private lessons and offers more advanced classes and workshops for the more seasoned. Fenyx Aerial Arts, in Houston, teaches classes with a focus on performance as well as teacher training and retreats. At Vertical Fitness, in Dallas, find everything from beginner handstand instruction to technical classes like partner rigging.