8 Playful Exercise Ideas in and around Minneapolis

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We’ve been pondering the importance of playful exercise routines. We figure that daily playfulness not only makes you happier, it makes you more likely to stick with your fitness program. To foster playfulness, we’ve curated a list of 8 playful exercise ideas. Enjoy!

1) Join a sports team

Many of us didn’t have to worry about maintaining a healthy, active body in high school because we played sports. Fitness (and community, and playfulness) were just built into our daily schedules. So, why not pickup the old hockey stick, or cleats? Better yet, why not try a completely new sport like footy, roller derby (last bout of the season April 6th, 2013 and tryouts coming up on May 18th, 2013 at the RiverCentre in St. Paul!), or underwater hockey?

2) Barre Classes

The styles used in barre workouts might be familiar to you (yoga, pilates, perhaps ballet), but the workouts themselves are a whole new world. I’ve always found classes a bit intimidating, but, as Jenn from Fit Bottomed Girls points out, it’s important to challenge yourself sometimes. These are real “feel the burn” workouts that still manage to be a laugh riot. You can try it out at Align Pilates or Barre Bliss.

3) Silk Dancing Classes and Aerial Yoga

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been amazed by silk dancing. Did you know you can take private lessons in Minneapolis? Or, if yoga is more your jive, you could try aerial yoga. In this practice, you use a silk hammock as an aid, much like you would use a strap or block.

4) Hoop dancing classes

Did you know that Hula hoops are a great exercise tool? Did you also know that there’s a weekly hoop dance class through Minneapolis Community Ed? You could also try hiring the ladies over at Twistin Vixens to teach a group class for your next event.

5) Get outdoors

The snow is going melt just any day now, and there are tons of great opportunities to get outside in this beautiful state of ours. Never been the outdoorsy type? Midwest Mountaineering and REI offer classes on everything from how to use a map and compass to hiking the Appalachian Trail.

6) Rock Climbing

Ever had that feeling of wanting to climb a rock just because it’s there?  Why not try indoor rock climbing through the Minnesota Climbing co-op (a really cool, inclusive environment) or Vertical Endeavors?. The staff at these places are friendly and helpful, and beginners are always welcome.  Plus, it might give you a great excuse for a vacation out west to test your skills on real rocks. Who knows, maybe the skills you gain will help you survive a zombie apocalypse one day!

7) Go folk dancing

If you want a way to get moving that will keep you laughing all night, folk dancing is a great activity to try. Minneapolis has a lot of opportunities for folk dancing, not least of which is Tapestry Folkdance Center. They offer Contra dance, English Country dance, and Bollywood dance, to name a few. Or, if you want to get really folky, you could try Morris dancing, a dance style that is not for the faint of leg nor lung. Unfortunately, none of the women’s Morris teams in the cities have a website, but for more information about men’s Morris dancing in the cities click here, here,here!

8) Fun with Treadmills

Or, if you don’t have the time to take on any new hobbies, here are some great ideas of fun new ways to use a treadmill from Charlotte over at The Great Fitness Experiment.

Amy Hillis is a recent graduate of Macalester College. She spends her time tutoring, bagpiping.

Your turn! Let us know in the comments below if you have any playful fitness ideas that we missed in this post.

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12 thoughts on “8 Playful Exercise Ideas in and around Minneapolis”

  1. Jesse C Walker

    Awesome post Hillis. I saw some Morris dancing happening at my local pub, Merlin’s Rest. I had no idea it could be so intense!

    1. Yeah, turns out folk dancing can be for manly men too! Keep an eye on neighborhood parks on May Day. A lot of the local teams “dance out” in celebration of the spring.

      1. Jesse C Walker

        Thanks for the link Matt!

        Don’t you guys have a couple of sessions coming up in April? We ate at Merlin’s last night and I think I saw you on the blackboard.

        We’d love to check it out.

  2. Guess what? Uptown on Calhoun is a mixed-gender morris side. Bring whatever genders you’ve got, and your sweeties are welcome too! School-aged kids are welcome with their parents.

    1. Jesse C Walker

      I can relate!

      If I run Odin (our boxer), and Amber runs Odin, and then we throw a toy for Odin, and then we let him run around outside and bark, then we can relax in the evening.

      But only if we let him snuggle with us on the couch.

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