Places to Workout in Wichita That Aren't The Gym
Even if you have a gym membership, sometimes it’s nice to get outside for a little fresh air while you exercise. With a little planning and creativity, you can find lots of places in Wichita to work out. Here are some of my favorite alternative workout spots:
Parks and Playgrounds
As a mom, heading to the park is one of my favorite ways to multitask, because I can get in an effective strength workout while the kids play. Try using the monkey bars for chin ups and pull ups. (My 9-year-old son loves to challenge me to chin-up competitions. One day I’ll even win.) Park benches are perfect for push-ups, tricep-dips, single-leg squats, step-ups and more. Pinterest has lots of park workouts that are already planned out for you.
Whether you have kids or not, the sledding hill at Sedgwick County Park is one of the best places for us flatlanders to train for hills. The park in Kechi, on Oliver just north of 61st Street East, now has wooden workout stations made for a variety of exercises.
Whatever your goals, parks and playgrounds are a versatile option for getting in an outdoor workout, plus there are usually drinking fountains and bathrooms nearby.
Stairs are another go-to option for training for hills. Cessna Stadium at Wichita State University is one of the most popular places for stair running. During the summer, it’s open to the public all day during the week. Hours are more limited during the school year, when there may be high school football games in the fall, and during WSU’s track and field season in the spring.
Another option for running stairs that I discovered recently is the steps next to the Lewis Street bridge, on the east side of the Arkansas River across from the Wichita Boathouse. It’s usually not crowded, and there’s parking right across the street.
Some schools in the area may have open tracks with bleachers, such as Maize High, Valley Center Intermediate, and Andover Middle schools.
In addition to running on your own on the track at an area school, join one of Wichita’s local running stores for a free track workout. After all, speedwork is more fun when you’re not suffering alone. From spring through fall, First Gear Running Company hosts a track workout with Shocker Fitness Wednesday nights at 6:30 at Cessna Stadium, on the WSU campus. Fleet Feet Sports hosts a track workout at 7 pm Tuesdays and the Friends University track.
Tip: Running stores are also a great resource for local races and running groups, if you’re looking for a little motivation.
You can often find free or low-cost outdoor yoga classes around Wichita during the spring, summer, and fall. The last Sunday of the month, Satya Moon Yoga offers a 90-minute donation-based yoga class for all levels in conjunction with Food Trucks at the Fountain, near the Wichita Waterwalk. Proceeds go to a local charity, and you can enjoy lunch and live music afterward.
The Wichita Lululemon store at 13th & Webb offers complimentary yoga classes either inside or in front of the store several times a month. Past events have also included bootcamps, pilates, barre, and even dance classes.
Limitless Yoga Studio offers themed all-levels outdoor yoga classes for a nominal fee, in locations such as the Wichita Art Museum lawn, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, and the Wichita Boathouse.
Whether you like to walk, run, or bike, Wichita has several scenic trails that are perfect for exploring by foot or mountain bike. There are even a few that can be traveled on horseback.
Paved Bike Baths
If you prefer a leisurely bike ride, or you’d rather stick to pavement for running and walking, Wichita’s bike path system is accessible in nearly every part of the city. The signage has been updated recently with mileage and landmarks, and there are several basic bike service stations available for public use.
In May 2017, Wichita launched a bike sharing program that allows anyone over 18 with a credit or debit card to rent a bike anytime. There are nearly 20 stations throughout the downtown and Old Town area where you can rent and return a bike, making it convenient option for getting in a bike ride.
If you like cycling, whether on roads, gravel, trails or bike paths, Bike Walk Wichita has a helpful page of local group rides and favorite Wichita-area bike routes.
What’s your favorite place to workout in Wichita, besides the gym?