Get Fit in Atlanta
By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog writing about obesity and its effects on our bodies, our state, and our nation. Whenever the topic comes up, my inevitable advice is that we all find ways to be active. The health and societal benefits are worth the effort. Azaleas are blooming in Atlanta – spring is finally here. Parks begin to fill up with runners, walks around the neighborhood become common, and the tantalizing smell of food cooking on the grill returns to the city.
If the warm weather (and the health benefits) inspire you to get active, here are a few organizations that encourage community, fitness, and a good time.
- Atlanta Track Club Our own ATC is the second-largest running organization in the United States. The iconic Peachtree Road Race is the club’s most well-known event, but the ATC puts on over 25 events throughout the year. Training programs keep seasoned runners in shape and help new runners get started. The club is dedicated to children’s fitness, hosting at Peachtree Jr. for seven to 12 year olds, as well as the Kilometer Kids program. Kilometer Kids run 26.2 miles (the length of a marathon!) over 11 weeks in a program that encourages health and fitness.
- Atlanta Rowing Club The non-profit ARC was founded in 1974. Members come together to enjoy the physical challenge of rowing together on the Chattahoochee. Rowing is an excellent way to exercise, as it works your arms, legs, and core. Though you’re sitting in the boat, be prepared to sweat and get a good cardio workout. The added bonus is time spent on the river and the thrill of the boat cutting swiftly through the water.
- YMCA The YMCA hosts an incredible number of programs for children, from soccer to tennis. Teamwork and the competitive spirit are fostered along with fitness. Adults can benefit from group exercise classes like yoga, cycling, and kickboxing. Some members may qualify for financial assistance to help with membership fees.
- Ready for a swim? You don’t have to be a member of a country club. Chastain Park’s pool is open to the public for a nominal fee, and membership is available for anyone. AccessAtlanta created a map with all the local swimming holes. Swimming, aside from being a summer tradition, is great exercise. Make the most of adult swim and do some laps!
- Meetups The online network Meetups provides a great way to get connected to Atlantans with similar interests. There are so many fitness meetups around our city – you’re sure to find one that interests you. Meetups are often free to join, but may charge a small fee to pay for upkeep on the site once you become a member of a group.
My list is by no means comprehensive. This is an active city! There are lots of groups dedicated to bringing people together to get fit and get to know one another. If you’re just getting started, joining an organization connects you with people who can help you and provide encouragement along the way. So enjoy our wonderful southern spring, and take a cue from nature: get outside, get active, and renew yourself!