When you’re travelling, it’s easy for your fitness regime to slip up. All of a sudden you’re no longer hitting the gym – and all the eating out and afternoon drinks start to add up. Luckily for you, Ottawa has no shortage of fitness options, so we’ve rounded up three great ones with drop-in rates that will get you moving. By Erin Morawetz.
Soma Health and Fitness
A gym or a tourist destination? At Soma, it’s hard to tell. This beautiful fitness facility is located downtown at the corner of Sussex Drive and Rideau Street, beside the Château Laurier hotel and at the edge of the trendy ByWard Market. With plenty of natural light pouring in, it’s easy to spend a day here. We suggest taking advantage of your day pass by trying out a variety of equipment and classes and indulging in this luxe fitness experience. Work out on cardio machines that look out onto this bustling intersection (there’s plenty of people watching to be done!), use the weight machines, or attend some of the yoga, Pilates, spin, and other fitness classes offered. After you feel sufficiently worked out, take advantage of the towel service included in your day pass and get ready in the chic change rooms. You may even want to shell out extra for a massage. $15 drop-in. 700 Sussex Dr., 613-244-0490. www.somahealthandfitness.com
If you find large gyms intimidating, Elgin Fitness is the perfect place for you. The studio space may be small, but the layout and decor allow it to feel quite spacious. This gym is conveniently located just off busy Elgin Street, a couple blocks south of City Hall and the National Arts Centre, and surrounded by great restaurants. It’s the perfect stop for a quick workout during a full day of sightseeing. The gym provides elliptical machines, treadmills, bikes, and Stairmasters in full view of four large flat screen TVs, as well as a weight circuit, a free weight area, and a stretching room. If you’re looking for a quick and easy workout in a clean and comfortable environment, this is the gym to go. $12 drop-in; $25 weekly. 200 Cooper St. Suite 6, 613-233-5849. www.elginfitness.com
Moksha Yoga Ottawa
Love to really sweat during a workout, but need a class to motivate you? This specialized hot yoga studio is just the ticket. Located right in the heart of Little Italy, Moksha Yoga Ottawa offers five to eight hot yoga classes every day that range in length from 60 to 90 minutes. Most classes are in the “moksha” style, which involves poses to build strength, flexibility, balance, and abdominal strength. The “power flow” classes push you a little harder with some cardio, and if you want more of a stretching focus “stretch and unwind” or “yin” is the class for you. Each one takes place in a hot room, and you will leave feeling healthy, relaxed, and cleansed – even after just one class. $19 drop-in; $50 unlimited for a month. 300 Preston St., 613-234-9642. www.mokshayogaottawa.com
Of course, while all of these fitness options are excellent, sometimes you want to take your workout outside. The Rideau Canal, which weaves through the city, provides fitness options for all seasons. When the weather is nice, run, jog, walk, or bike along the paths on both sides of the canal (bikes are available to rent at Dows Lake Pavilion). When the canal is frozen, it turns into the world’s longest skating rink. You can rent skates at several locations along the route.
With all these options at your finger tips, we’re sure you’ll be sticking to your New Year’s resolutions long into 2012.