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Fit to be tried: Colorado Springs' fitness communities 

Where all you should stress about is a stress fracture

At the Independent, IKEA-hacked standing desks are currently the hip way to get staffers out of their chairs, extend life expectancies and burn a few calories. But even if your co-worker paces when he talks on the phone, we all know this isn't enough to help him de-stress.

From hiking to biking, yoga to capoeira, the Springs offers up a multitude of fitness options, indoors and outdoors.

Fun on foot

If you prefer your activity to be on two feet, under the sun and fairly cheap, you'll be set here in the Springs. Both hiking and running are quite popular.

In the case of running, it's so popular that it's hard to keep up with all the clubs in town. The largest and oldest of them all is the year-round Tuesday night Jack Quinn's Running Club (21 S. Tejon St., jackquinnsrunners.com). On the nicest evenings of the year, more than 1,500 people (and, in many cases, their pups) make the 5K trek through downtown and Monument Valley Park. Many of these folks, too, will hang out in their "I've done this run at least 10 times" T-shirts after the fact, chugging a discounted pint at Indy readers' favorite Irish pub.

You can pretty much find a group similar to Quinn's, though smaller, in any part of town, every day of the week. Ask around, especially at your favorite restaurants, or check out Pikes Peak Road Runners (pprrun.org) for up-to-date information.

While you're at the PPRR website, you'll also find a calendar for many of the races that happen in the area — from club-sponsored events like the June 9 Garden of the Gods 10 Mile (gardentenmile.com) to local fundraisers such as Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's May 18 Run to the Shrine (cmzoo.org), to national mud obstacle races like the Reebok Spartan Race: Military Sprint (spartanrace.com) on May 4 and 5. To prep for that Spartan, you might try SouthSide Johnny's Running Club (southsidejohnnys.net), a group that incorporates CrossFit into a Wednesday night event that starts and ends at the Tejon Street bar. That, and find a mud pit to jump in and out of.

When it comes to hiking, the Outdoor Club (meetup.com/OUTDOOR-CLUB-CS) is one of the largest local hiking groups on Meetup, and probably the busiest, with as many as three hikes a week at varying degrees of difficulty. Popular hikes, especially the full-moon hikes, fill up almost as soon as they're posted. The group's leaders know area trails such as Section 16 (see here) or Paint Mines Interpretive Park (see here), but also lead exploratory hikes to find new favorites. Hikers range in age and ability, creating a diverse mix.

It's worth mentioning here, too, that one of the area's most popular hikes, the Manitou Incline (see here), has recently become legal. And, because why wouldn't there be, there's now an app for that. The local CoPilot Creative team has developed the free "InclineApp" (inclineapp.com) to motivate climbers of all skill levels to connect with others making the trek up the former railway route, track their times, and unlock cool prizes.

Helmet-hair rocks

OK with adding some gear to your activities? Biking, both mountain and road, and rock climbing might just fit the bill.

The Colorado Springs Cycling Club (bikesprings.org) is one of the best resources in town for those who like to recreate on two wheels. It holds rides four days a week at varying levels, from beginner and social rides on up to advanced fitness rides, mostly on road bikes but sometimes mountain bikes. The club even has a mobile app for keeping track of its calendar.

The Colorado Springs Mountain Biking Club (meetup.com/Colorado-Springs-Mountain-Biking-Club) and Women's Mountain Biking Association of Colorado Springs (wmbacos.org) are two other local options specifically for those who like to hurl themselves down the area's singletrack.

If you'd prefer to climb your rock by hand and foot and ropes, the city features two indoor climbing gyms, CityRock (21 N. Nevada Ave., climbcityrock.com) and Sport Climbing Center (4650 Northpark Drive, sportclimbcs.com). CityRock's offerings run well beyond technical classes and the like — it offers a number of yoga classes and even movie nights on topics of interest to its climbers. SCC is more of a traditional venue, with a student-heavy population boosting itself up.

Even with those hubs, the Rock Climbers of Colorado Springs (meetup.com/Rock-Climbers-of-Colorado-Springs) remains an active Meetup group, with climbs for all levels. The group also has clinics and learning opportunities for those wanting to improve their technique or tackle more difficult routes.

On the mat

Obviously, breathing is important to all of the above activities, but if you'd like to spend some time practicing that breath, for conditioning, detoxifying or simply focusing, yoga might be your go-to. Many of the big fitness centers, such as the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region (ppymca.org) and 24 Hour Fitness (24hourfitness.com), offer classes, but you'll also find smaller studios all across town.

Starting with perennial Indy Best Of honorees: CorePower Yoga (623 N. Nevada Ave. and 1025 Garden of the Gods Road, corepoweryoga.com) offers about a dozen classes a day, most of the "heated, power" type. Options at the donation-based (and oddly punctuated) cambio. Yoga (3326 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., cambioyoga.com) range from vinyasa flow to yin to candlelight hot. And Mike Matsumura offers the only (as far as we know) Dharma classes in town at his and his wife Charlotte's studio, Pranava Yoga Center (802 N. Weber St., pranavayogacenter.com).

A good spot to check out a bunch of different local teachers and styles through regular classes and every-now-and-again workshops is Marmalade at Smokebrush (219 W. Colorado Ave., #210, smokebrush.org). For a few more very specific options, try Marie-Louise See at Westside Yoga Studio (617 N. 17th St., westsideyogastudiocos.com), who focuses specifically on prenatal and postpartum yoga; the Movement Arts Community Studio (525 E. Fountain Blvd. #150, movementartscs.com) for men's "organic" (read: naked) yoga; and PlaYoga (1763 S. Eighth St., #2, playogastudio.com) for the weekly Sunday afternoon "Kick Asana," a 2½-hour marathon of a way to, well, kick your booty, breath and brain around a bit.

Breathing's important to Pilates, too — have you really gotten into your core lately? The leader (and Best Of winner) in town has been ReVibe Pilates and Bodywork (115 N. Tejon St., #117B, revibepilates.com). Pick your style here; ReVibe offers mat, Reformer and barre classes.

The beat goes on

Finally, we'll bring up music-inspired movement, the kind focused on an exercise component. (Check out our "Night spot" sections for info on where you can get your groove on with a bottle of Laughing Lab in your hand.)

Zumba has the nation sweating to a salsa beat. The region has multiple places to try it, led by Springs Salsa & Dance Fitness (1220 Valley St. and 427 E. Colorado Ave., #132, springssalsa.com), which offers morning and evening classes most days of the week. And if you like that and want to learn real salsa steps, it offers those more traditional classes as well, at locations on the east and west sides of town.

Maybe you'd like to focus on something Brazilian? Alongside ballet, belly-dancing and hip-hop, Colorado Academy of Music and Dance (capsprings.com) hosts capoeira classes, a Brazilian practice combining martial arts, dance, music and acrobatics as a multi-tasking workout. In addition to learning self-defense, students learn to play instruments and sing songs in Portuguese, while others play the game that is capoeira.

On Monday and Wednesday evenings, you can get old-school in a ghettoblaster kind of way with local B-Boy crew Soul Mechanics. They host a free public dance jam at Ormao Dance Company (10 S. Spruce St., ormaodance.org), a local nonprofit dance studio/company, where I may sit on the board of directors but where I promise I'll never try to compete with your best chair freeze.

Music also rocks during the fitness pole-dancing classes at Fit Body & Pole (5531 Powers Center Point, fitbodyandpole.com), where the studio features a dozen poles for sessions that range from never-touched-a-pole beginner to flip-upside-down performance level. Ladies, you'll sweat more than you ever thought possible, and walk away with a new attitude.

  • Where all you should stress about is a stress fracture

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