Shape Up: Fun fitness options around New Orleans


Daisy Rymer | Associate Artist

Whether it’s in anticipation of Spring Break or simply in an effort to live healthier overall, a fitness journey can be a powerful movement. Thankfully, New Orleans offers many options to get fit while having fun.

Chances are you’ve noticed the sudden influx of new gym-goers at Reily Student Recreation Center or the hordes of running groups circling Audubon Park on Saturday mornings. Or maybe you’ve found yourself in the predicament of choosing between a salad and Bruff pizza for lunch.

You’re not alone, and these observations aren’t coincidental. It’s no secret that health and wellness have become a priority for young people, and with spring break just around the corner, the importance of eating well and exercising regularly has been magnified.

Finding the motivation to exercise regularly, however, can be challenging, especially without a friend or community for support. Luckily, New Orleans offers exercise classes for athletes of all levels that provide a good workout and facilitate a strong sense of community. These classes vary in price and type, ranging from free to boutique, and from yoga to 6 a.m. boot camp-style workouts.

A nearby option that provides an upscale experience is Romney Studios on Magazine Street. The facility offers a generous number of pilates, cycling, boxing and barre classes each day, appealing to gym-goers of every interest. If you’re looking to get off campus while maintaining a sense of Tulane community, catch Director of Admission Jeff Schiffman leading his cycling class at 6 a.m. on Wednesdays and 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

Another close option is Yes, Yoga on Oak Street. Yes, Yoga specializes in Bikram yoga — yoga in a room around 100 degrees — and offers 60-90 minute classes that are challenging yet doable. In addition to Bikram yoga, Yes, Yoga offers traditional yoga for all levels and Tai Chi classes daily.

In true New Orleans fashion, there are also a number of boozy spins on fitness classes available for those who are over the age of 21 and willing to overlook the fact that drinking may be at odds with the aims of working out.

Big Easy CrossFit hosts Squats for Shots every other week on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. After the Boot Camp class, attendees can head over to Tchoup Yard to reward their efforts and bond with fellow fitness aficionados.

If you have commitment issues, have no fear — ClassPass has finally made it to New Orleans. You can pay a monthly fee for a set number of workout classes from any participating studio or gym, starting with up to four classes for $20 and up to 12 classes for $70. CycleBar, New Orleans Boxing Club, HourBlast locations from Uptown to the Bywater and dozens of other options are all accessible through ClassPass.

A free yet efficient workout is the November Project, a nationwide fitness initiative that offers free boot camp-style workouts. The only requirement is showing up. The November Project caters to athletes of all levels, ranging from Olympic medalists to the average Joe, and encourages anyone looking to make a healthy change to join. The workouts occur at 5:15 and 6 a.m.Wednesdays starting at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 6 a.m. Fridays at Shelter 1, Lakeshore, and 6 a.m. Mondays rotating between the two locations.

If you really can’t or won’t leave campus, Tulane offers free workout opportunities as well. Any class with Joe, the infamous instructor of abs classes and abs, butts and thighs classes at Reily, is sure to exhaust every working muscle in your body from the chest down. A personal favorite is Total Body Conditioning with Adja on Tuesdays at 12 p.m., a challenging workout fueled by late 2000’s hits.

Who says fitness journeys have to end Jan. 31, when the obligatory period of New Year’s Resolutions runs out? With classes for every skill level and interest, New Orleans offers plenty of options to help you meet your fitness goals.

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