Silent Disco Yoga class at Beacon Park in Detroit. Via City Glow Yoga
Summer is when Detroit comes alive — but in between the concerts, festivals, patio drinks and backyard BBQs, a little exercise does the body good. Here are some ways to stay fit while still soaking up every second of the sweet city summer, with free outdoor yoga classes every day of the week and plenty more.
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Free outdoor yoga classes in Detroit parks
A quick yoga class can be refreshing for mind and body — even more so with the scenery of the Detroit River, downtown skyline or a tree-filled park. At these free weekly classes, you’ll want to bring water and a mat. Keep in mind that many sessions require registration.
Hatha yoga at Eliza Howell Park: Start off your week with a free, all-levels Hatha yoga class outside at Eliza Howell Park (in partnership with Sidewalk Detroit). Mondays through Aug. 30, 6-7 p.m.
Silent Disco Yoga: Bring your best yoga outfit and get ready to boogie down while staying fit. City Glow Yoga hosts a class at Beacon Park every other Monday with headphones to block out the daily grind. This one costs $5 a class. July 5 and every other Monday through Sept. 13, 7:30-9 p.m.
Baby and me yoga at Beacon Park: You and your little ones can enjoy some one on one giggles and quality time at Beacon Park with a yoga class put on by Detroit Mama Hub, designed for parents/caregivers with non-walking infants/toddlers (0-18 months). No experience necessary. Tuesdays through Aug. 31, 10-11 a.m.
Hatha yoga at Eastern Market: Take a Tuesday lunch break with your yoga mat (and do a little local food shopping while you’re at it) with Eastern Market Corporation’s classes guided by Guided by Yoganic Flow instructor Charlotte. Registration is required and only 30 people max for the session due to the pandemic. Tuesdays through Aug. 31, 11 a.m.-noon.
Yoga at Capitol Park: Celebrate making it through hump day and burn some calories with a socially-distanced yoga class from Citizen Yoga in the grass at the downtown park. Wednesdays through Sept. 1, 6-7 p.m.
Yoga on the Riverfront: Urban Solace studio kicks off some low-key moves with a Gentle Flow Yoga class at Milliken State Park. Registration required. Thursdays through Aug. 26, 6 p.m.
Yoga on the Riverfront: Urban Solace studio also leads a yoga class with the Detroit River Conservancy on Friday mornings to get yourself relaxed for the weekend. Fridays through Aug. 27, 10 a.m.
Hatha yoga at Palmer Park: Carve out some calm Saturday morning time with a weekly yoga class guided by Yoganic Flow Instructor Lydia, presented by the People for Palmer Park. Free to participate but registration is required; bring your own mat. Saturdays through Sept. 4, 9-10 a.m.
Yoga in Scripps Park: Caitlin Brown of Mindful Detroit teaches a beginner-friendly yoga class every Saturday morning in Woodbridge. Saturdays through Aug. 28, 10-11 a.m.
Yoga at Grand Circus Park: Grand Circus Park hosts a weekly class with Citizen Yoga 200 HR TT Grads. Have some social distancing fun! Sundays through Sept. 5, 6-7 p.m.
Free fitness classes
Need something a little more kickbutt than yoga? Get boxing, dancing and more.
Seniors & Sneakers on the Riverfront: Individuals ages 55 and older can head down to the Riverfront for Seniors and Sneakers walking program. The program is free and encourages healthy living and meeting others. Giveaways are first come, first serve and pre registration and masks are recommended. Tuesdays through Aug. 24, 8-10 a.m.
Night vibe workouts: Join Coach Kiwi at Beacon Park for the Fitness after Dark kickabs class Yes, there’s plenty of sweating, as well as a pre-party warm up, strobing lights and live music from DJ Steel. Thursdays June 24, July 22 and Aug. 26, 8-10 p.m.
Happy hour burn: Head down to Beacon Park to burn some calories with the help of a DJ. Registration is required and social distancing rules will be enforced. June 25 and every other Friday through Aug. 20, 5:30-7 p.m.
Dance classes: Drop into an evening dance class at Beacon Park with instructor Maurice Adams of Mr. Smooth Ballroom and learn the basics of non-partner dance styles like hustle, line dancing and ballroom. Presented by N’Namdi Movement Center. Saturdays through Aug. 28, 3:30-5 p.m.
Cardio boxing: Pulse Fitness hosts this Beacon Park class for beginners and athletes alike, combining boxing techniques and martial arts to build stamina and flexibility while sculpting lean muscles. Bring your energy, no gloves needed and registration required. Sundays through Aug. 29, 9-10 a.m.
Free Tai Chi classes
Get moving and get calmer at one of these free Tai Chi classes.
Tai Chi on the Riverfront: Join Urban Solace studio for a weekly class at Milliken State Park. Wednesdays through Aug. 25, 10 a.m.
Tai Chi at Palmer Park: Peter Guenther will teach the T’ai Chi 24 form every Wednesday evening in one of Detroit’s loveliest parks. All levels welcome, no equipment necessary. Wednesdays through Sept. 8, 7-8 p.m.
Tai Chi at Scripps Park: Instructor Marcia Lee of Taproot Sanctuary and Healing by Choice! in Detroit leads a Saturday morning class in a gentle fitness art embracing the mind, body and spirit. Saturdays through Aug. 28, 11 a.m.-noon.
Tai Chi at Detroit Abloom: Try a taste of Tai Chi as instructor Ginseng leads a 30-minute run through warmups, basic movements and and Qi Gong. Sundays through Oct. 3, 3-3:30 p.m.
Running and biking
If you are more into using those leg muscles this summer, join the club! A run club, that is, where you can pace yourself or test your endurance.
Atwater Running Club: Join a group of runners for a regular 4- or 6-mile run along the river and into downtown. Members also receive $1 off pints at the brewery location. Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.
Downtown Runners and Walkers: This group meets weekly at different locations in Detroit for walking and running activities. Tuesdays, 6-8:30 p.m.
We Run 313: For new joggers and serious runners alike, this running club offers three weekly runs: Two Mile Tuesday at 6 p.m. starting from Yum Village; 5k/10k Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on the Dequindre Cut; and Sunday Long Runs at 9 a.m. with various routes up to 18 miles.
Rosedale Park Community Bike Ride: Spend the morning on a relaxed, 5-mile ride through Rosedale, starting at Stoeppel Park and finishing at Flintstone Park with the commemoration of a new COVID-19 memorial. July 17, 8:30 a.m.
Tour d’Eastside: Take a DIY biking tour of the east side at your leisure with a route provided by Tour de Troit. $35, includes a shirt, through June 30.
Tour De Troit: Mark your calendar for the 20th anniversary of the 20-mile ride through the city. $60-$65 to participate. Sept. 18, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Find your own fit
Maybe you’re not a fan of fitness classes, or aren’t great at planning out your workouts. Maybe you exercise to the beat of your own drummer. Here are a few suggestions for a fulfilling, spur-of-the-moment workout if the urge to get active strikes you on a weekend afternoon.
Detour’s Katie Vogel swears by “power walking the Riverwalk and then running up the sledding hill. Rinse. Repeat.”
Detour member Maggie Sisco has plenty of suggestions: “Run the beautiful waterfront, do some stairs at the Ren Cen. Run on Belle Isle, ladders/lunges in the parking lots, pretty jogs or strolls.”
You can also take your gym routine outside. Get in some squat presses, pull ups and leg lifts at the Dequindre Cut’s Fit Park, by the Woodbridge entrance just off the Riverfront. Or visit Piety Hill, where Central Detroit Christian Development Corp has installed outdoor exercise machines on vacant lots.
And you’ll need to BYO equipment, but there’s courts all over town to practice your favorite activity alone or with a crew. Try handball in Palmer Park, baseball at Patton Park, tennis at Clark Park, roller skating at the new Monroe Street Midway downtown or play basketball anywhere you see a hoop. Get the lay of the land with a map of the city’s parks and list of their amenities.
This story updates Get active in Detroit’s great outdoors on the cheap, originally published in 2019.