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Fitness Fanatics

In Calgary you’ll find a multitude of fitness clubs, sport centres and studios catering to every preference, whether you like heart-racing cardio, meditative yoga or height-defying diving. We’ve scoured the city and found eight world-class facilities where admission can be gained with a day pass or drop-in fee.

A gargantuan sport centre just south of downtown, the Talisman Centre is the second-most visited sports complex in North America. The facilities are unparalleled, and include five gyms, four pools, three platform diving boards, two running tracks, one physiotherapy centre and more than 2,000 sq m of cardio and weight training. The structure was built for the 1983 Western Canada Summer Games, and is run by a non-profit society affiliated with the City of Calgary. Single day admission $12.50, 10 card flex pass $109, one month membership $109.

Fifth Avenue Club is a friendly downtown club offering all the standard facilities, including a weight room, cardio area, squash courts, sauna and steam room. There are massage therapists, personal trainers and squash instructors on hand for a more personalized experience, and a studio offering classes in yoga, pilates, back fitness, core training and cycling. $90 for a book of 10 day passes.

With four Calgary locations, The Yoga Studio is a trans-city centre for Iyengar yoga, named after Indian guru Yogacharya Sri B.K.S. Iyengar. This kind of yoga utilizes props such as wooden blocks, belts and ropes, and emphasizes alignment of the body and the sequence in which poses (or asanas) are executed. Classes are divided into intro, intermediate, advanced, prenatal, postnatal, family, children, restorative and yoga for a better back. Single class $17, monthly drop-in pass $95.

A stone’s throw from the airport, the Calgary Climbing Centre’s north location boasts 34 ropes, more than 70 routes, 2 lead walls, a bouldering area and automatic belay machines. For warm-ups, cool-downs or simple training, there’s also a fitness area with free weights, stationary bikes and floor mats. The Calgary Climbing Centre, together with its south location, is the city’s most extensive climbing facility, and a good place to train before taking on the Canadian Rockies. Day pass $14.29, ten day passes $125, month pass $70.

The Eau Claire branch of the YMCA is located next the Bow River and is a short stroll from Prince’s Island Park. Facilities include a gym, two pools, weight floor with free and machine weights, circuit training area with elliptical machines, treadmills and a cycling station, two racquet ball courts, two squash courts, two studios and steam rooms. The class schedules put private gyms to shame, including all the standard choices plus extras like tai chi, belly dancing and boxing workouts. Drop in fee $10.90.

Core is a sleek studio offering yoga and pilates, as well as therapeutic, deep tissue, sport and myofascial massage. The yoga classes mix a range of styles and emphasize the active, physical aspects, made possible by smaller numbers and spacious studios. Classes include beginner yoga, Ashtanga yoga, themed yoga, pilates, yoga for kids, meditation and pre- and post-natal yoga. $14 for an hour class, $16 for a 75 min class, $29 for a trial week of unlimited classes.

Riverside Club is one of Calgary’s most scenic, located next to the Bow River just east of Edworthy Park. Two indoor tennis courts, 39-ft salt water swimming pool, hot tub, steam rooms and all the standard gym equipment, divided into cardio, circuit and weights. For female patrons Riverside offers a women’s only area, which includes a circuit centre and free weights. Also offer classes on fitness, aqua-fit, cardio, core training, yoga and pilates. Day pass $20.

A smaller cousin of the Talisman Centre, Southland Leisure Centre is an ideal venue for children and families. The centre boasts a water park with wave pool and three waterslides, rock climbing, weight room, studio, skating rink and squash and racquetball courts. Southland is one of the city’s many sports/leisure complexes, in addition to Village Square Leisure Centre and Family Leisure Centre. Admission $8.90 adults, youth/sen $4.60, child $2.30, family pass $19.—Sally MacKinnon

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