Life in a big crazy South American city like Quito can be hectic and, at times, stressful so it’s important to take care of your body and keep fit. The key to a healthy mind is a healthy body and you need that healthy mind to be able to learn Spanish like a pro. There are plenty of different exercise options in Quito both indoors and out. Here’s our guide to where to work out in Quito.
Gimnasios are aplenty in Quito but they range in equipment and style, from basic, cheap and, at times, outdated to fully equipped and expensive. Do your research and visit a few different places before you sign up, taking into account opening hours and proximity to where you’re staying, as traveling far to exercise can take all the fun and motivation out of it. Many gyms also offer fitness classes, which are a good alternative to the monotony of the treadmill such as CrossFit, kickboxing, spinning or Pilates. Check out Lift Gym, Pacific Gym and Janine’s Gym that are all pretty modern and well equipped. Serious gym bunnies should also sign up for this special Spanish and Gym package at another centrally located gym that’s a 15-minute walk from the Ailola Spanish School and includes free entry for one hour.
Dancing is a fun, sociable way to get some exercise that doesn’t feel like punishment in the same way as some other forms of exercise do. Some gyms offer salsa classes or you can even combine Spanish classes with some energetic salsa moves and kill two birds with one stone in this Spanish and dancing package. Alternatively you can do like the locals and get all your exercise nocturnally by hitting up one or more of the city’s famous salsa clubs. Read about some of the best salsa clubs in Quito here.
Parque la Carolina
Photo credits: Agencia de Noticias ANDES, Flickr
This is Quito’s answer to New York’s Central Park and its huge expanses of grassy open space make it a great spot for you to go work out outdoors, either solo or en masse by joining one of the many exercise groups that can be seen all over the park. There is a running track at your disposal and, on a clear day, you can enjoy unique views of Cotopaxi volcano as you run, which is a pleasant alternative to the four walls of a gym. If you run the entire way around the park, you’ll have run around 2.5 miles, which is a respectable distance especially given the high altitude in the city, which, by the way, gets a bit of getting used to when you’re exercising (you’ll find yourself getting out of breath a lot quicker to begin with). There are also soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts for you to run around on a work up a sweat as well as an outdoor gym complete with sit-up and pull-up stations. Many of the locals organize times to meet and exercise together so it’s a good place to go and make some new work out friends. Parque Metropolitano in the north of the city is also another popular park for some outdoor activity.
Photo credits: Cancillería del Ecuador, Flickr
Quito is a very bike-friendly city and a great way to get some exercise while getting from A to B. To help promote the use of two wheels over four and encourage people to use their bicicletas, the city organization Ciclopolis closes a 30-km stretch of road north to south from 8am to 2pm every Sunday and hundreds of cyclists come out and pedal through the streets and parks along the network of bike lanes. If you don’t have your own bike, you can easily rent bikes from the numerous vendors stationed along the cycling tracks for a small fee or hit up Cicleadas El Rey which offers bike rentals and repair services and organizes various biking activities.
Photo credits: Athena Lao, Flickr
Ecuador is a hiker’s paradise. Even if you’ve never been a hiker in the past, with such a stunning range of hiking trails to be done so close to Quito, it’s worth giving it another go. Getting a lungful of fresh mountain air is a great way to clear your head of a hangover and give your calves and quads a good workout. This Spanish and Hiking a good introduction to the local trails and is a great way to practice your Spanish with a local guide.
While yoga hasn’t taken off in quite the same way in Quito as in other cities around the world, budding yogis can still indulge in some stretching time at Dharma Yoga studio that lies on the edge of Parque La Carolina and offers classes in Hatha Yoga.
Come across any other good places to work out in Quito? Please let us know about them in the comments section below.