The weather is warming up. The days are getting longer. It’s the perfect time to get outdoors and invest in your health.
Healthy Huntsville makes it easy with plenty of fun, free activities. Led by Mayor Tommy Battle and the City’s Parks & Recreation Department, the Healthy Huntsville initiative began as a response to Alabama’s obesity epidemic.
“Just as Huntsville is recognized as being the best place to live in the U.S., we also believe it can be the healthiest place,” Mayor Battle said. “We want to give our citizens the resources they need to make those positive changes.”
Mayor’s Bike Ride
The 14th annual Mayor’s Bike Ride is set for Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. Mayor Battle and the Huntsville Police Department’s Bike Unit will lead a family-friendly, 4-mile ride through downtown Huntsville. It will start and finish on Church Street between the Cozy Cow and Downtown YMCA.
All are welcome, from serious cyclists to toddlers on trikes. The goal is simply to enjoy the many benefits of bike riding, while taking in the scenery. Free parking is available at the Church Street garage.
The ride also celebrates National Bike Month. Recognized every May, there are several events taking place in the City, including group rides organized by the Bicycle Advisory and Safety Committee (BASC).
Fitness in the Park
Fitness in the Park just may be the best deal in town. Held every Saturday in May and June at Big Spring Park East, these free, hour-long workouts are led by a certified instructor. Each class features a different workout style. There’s dance fitness, CrossFit, Pure Barre, POUND, Zumba and yoga.
“For someone who may be reluctant to walk into a gym, Fitness in the Park is a wonderful opportunity to see what appeals to you,” said Kevin Ready, Wellness and Fitness Coordinator for Huntsville Parks & Recreation. “There’s no commitment, no cost, no judgment – just a supportive instructor and a beautiful backdrop. It’s also great for regular exercisers, looking to switch up their routines.”
Classes are held from 9-10 a.m., starting May 6. See the full schedule here.
National Fitness Court
Another no-pressure, outdoor workout can be found at John Hunt Park, home to the City’s first National Fitness Campaign (NFC) Fitness Court®. The circuit training center provides a full-body workout in just seven minutes. Each of the stations can be used in multiple ways, accommodating a range of physical abilities. A QR code on the side of the court takes users to a website with ideas for a variety of exercises.
A second Fitness Court® is coming to the new Legacy Park in North Huntsville, slated to open this summer.
Walk, bike, roll or stroll on a City greenway or trail. With 70+ miles of trails throughout the Huntsville area, there’s sure to be one near you. Enjoy the shade as you walk under a canopy of trees on the Aldridge Creek Greenway to Ditto Landing, let the water be your soundtrack along the Flint River Greenway or leave the pavement behind and take a hike using the Wade Mountain Greenway.
Recreation & Community Centers
When it’s time for some air conditioning, head indoors to one of the City’s community or recreation centers. Amenities include exercise classes, fitness rooms, walking groups, open court times and more. All of it at no charge to you. For a look at current programs, check out the latest Parks & Recreation program guide.
For those interested in a membership-based facility, Johnson Legacy Center offers access to indoor rock climbing, strength training and cardio equipment, group exercise classes, individual and small group training, locker rooms with sauna access, three regulation volleyball courts and two regulation futsal courts.