Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Besides aiding with weight loss, exercise can help increase your mood, improve your sleep, and strengthen your bones and muscles. You don’t have to be a member of some fancy, expensive gym to get active. Now is the perfect time to get out and explore all the activities the Birmingham area has to offer.
Explore Red Mountain Park
Red Mountain Park has wonderful free and paid options for exercise. Whether you explore a trail or zip and climb your way through the Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest, you’re in for an exhilarating adventure. Feeling adventurous? Try the Mega Zip, a 1,000-foot zip line reaching speeds up to 30 mph from 80 feet in the air. If that isn’t enough for you, there’s the Karl Adventure Tower, a 75-foot tall rock climbing wall.
Visit the Birmingham Botanical Gardens
For some light exercise, spend an afternoon walking around the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. With 67.5 acres located in the Mountain Brook area just across Cahaba Road from Birmingham Zoo, there are more than 30 thematic gardens to visit. This is the perfect activity for a spring day. Get your steps in while enjoying a beautiful glimpse of nature.
Rent a Zyp Bike
You’ve probably seen the green Zyp bikes throughout Birmingham, but have you ever taken one for a spin? With a Go Pass you can pay as you ride. Enjoy a day spent seeing all the sights downtown Birmingham has to offer. Ride past historic Sloss Furnaces, bustling Five Points South, and more all while getting your blood flowing! Rides are $3 for each ride up to 45 minutes. Sign up is free. The best part? You can drop your bike off at any of the Zyp stations when you’re done.
Ice Skate at the Pelham Civic Center
The Pelham Civic Center is a fun way to sneak in some exercise. With the quick foot movements, ice skating is a great way to tone your legs and build muscle. Admission is just $7 dollars and skate rental is $2. The Pelham Civic Center is located just off Highway 31 near the Oak Mountain Amphitheater.
Stroll around Pepper Place Market
The Pepper Place Market is a wonderful way to pick up fresh, local produce while getting in some light exercise. The outdoor farmers market opens mid-April and will take place each Saturday through mid-December. The outdoor market has three different areas. One for farmers, one for vendors, and one for live music. The market is located in Downtown Birmingham in the Martin Biscuit Building parking lot. The market is open from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm.
Mountain Bike at Oak Mountain State Park
If you’re seeking a more adventurous form of exercise, head over to Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham. The Double Oak Trail at Oak Mountain State Park has something for mountain bikers of any skill level from children to beginners to experts. The trail is approximately 22 miles long and continuing to grow. The trail has about 1600 feet of combined climbing if you ride the whole loop. If mountain biking isn’t what you’re looking for, you can enjoy a nice hike at Oak Mountain State Park as well. Oak Mountain State Park is bordered to the north by Hwy 119, to the south by Hwy 11, to the west by Hwy 31, and to the east by Hwy 280. The main entrance to the park is at the west end of the park.
Shopping at The Summit
Take a stroll around The Summit. Enjoy some nice weather and get some shopping done while sneaking in some exercise. Instead of driving from store to store, just park your car and walk your way around the shopping center. What better excuse do you have to go shopping now? You’ll probably forget you’re even exercising! The Summit is located at the intersection of Highway 280 and Interstate 459.
Take a Free Exercise Class at Railroad Park
Did you know Railroad Park offers free exercise classes? The outdoor classes run weekdays from March to October and all begin at 6:00 pm. All classes are free, but you do need to arrive 15 minutes early to register. The different class styles are Hip Hop Cardio, Boot Camp, Zumba, and Yoga. Fridays are for the whole family, making it a great way to get your entire family on track to better health. There will also be team activities like kickball, soccer or whiffle ball. Railroad Park sits adjacent to the railroad tracks along First Avenue South and right across from Regions Field.
Try Indoor Rock Climbing
Rainy day? No more excuses! Head on over to First Avenue Rocks for some indoor rock climbing, located in the heart of Birmingham on the Rotary Trail. First Avenue Rocks has over 200 different climbs that change regularly, so you are always up for a challenge. There is also plenty of training equipment available including free weights, hang boards, MOON Board, and campus rungs.
If you’re located closer to Highway 280, check out High Point Climbing and Fitness. High Point Climbing is located in the renovated Next Fitness facility on Highway 280. There is over 25,000 square feet of indoor climbing services up to 52 feet tall. They also have a Kid Zone, Bouldering Room, Weight and Aerobic Rooms, and yoga classes. Get stronger while having a good time!
Get Your Heart Racing with a Ghost Tour
If you like learning about the spookier side of things, take a ghost tour through Birmingham’s Historic District. The Birmingham Historic Touring Company hosts nightly guided tours exploring the haunted past of the city. Most of the tours begin in Historic Downtown Birmingham near the Civic Center. You can enjoy the benefit of a 2 to 3 mile walk while also learning about the ghosts of Birmingham’s past. For a more intense experience, take one of the exploration tours . Exploration tours cover the Greater Birmingham Area and even involve a spooky trek through the woods.
Dance Your Butt Off with Sol Dance Experience
Put on something cute – or don’t, because you’ll be in the dark for this one. Villager Yoga hosts a dance party every Monday night… in the dark. The Sol Sisters as they’ve dubbed themselves turn off all the lights, crank up the music, and embrace an hour of judgement free dancing. Fun and suitable for all fitness levels, you’ll be able to get your heart rate up for a great cardio workout. Hosted at Villager Yoga, located near Publix Super Market On Overton Road in the Mountain Brook & Cahaba Heights area.
Take a Swing at TopGolf
Whether you’re an avid golf lover or you’ve never picked up a club, you’ll have a blast (and blast some calories) at TopGolf. Open late and conveniently located on 24th street north in Birmingham, TopGolf is a great exercise alternative any day of the week. You can bring a group of friends and challenge them in a game of Quick 9. If you’re interested in honing a new skill, take a few lessons from one of the certified coaches. They even have a kids zone, so it’s fun for the whole family.
Channel Your Inner LumberJack at Civil Axe Throwing
Axe throwing is very similar to throwing darts… only with axes. You’ll give your arms a good workout and have a great time doing it. Civil Axe Throwing offers group and individual sessions of 2-2 ½ hours as well as 8 week league games. Professional instructors will show the ropes and how to play safe then let you release your inner LumberJack. According to them, “Once you land your first throw, you’ll be hooked!” Civil Axe Throwing is located on 4th Avenue South near Avondale park.
Take a Hike Through Moss Rock Preserve
If you’re an outdoor type you can take a hike through Moss Rock Preserve, located smack dab in the middle of Hoover. Moss Rock Preserve has over 340 acres of beautiful streams, waterfalls, rock outcropping, and nearly 12 miles of trails. You can opt for a leisurely nature walk or, for a more challenging exercise, climb at the preserve’s popular Boulder Field. The preserve has three main entrances. The Boulder Field trail head is the most popular entrance, and is located at 617 Preserve Parkway. The second most popular entrance is near Simmons Middle School on Patton Chapel road, and the third is on Sulphur Spring Rd, near Prince of Peace Catholic Church. You can download a map of the park and plan your adventure here.