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Heart-Pumping NOLA Itineraries for Gym Rats and Gym Bunnies

Get your heart rate up with these fast-paced Gym Rat and Gym Bunny ideas.

Kayaking in the bayous
Kayaks and paddle boards offer a scenic way to exercise in New Orleans. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

For all you Gym Rats and Gym Bunnies who love hitting the gym or pavement, there’s no place better to do just that than in New Orleans. After all, New Orleans is as close to perfection as you can get. And if you ask me, there’s nothing like running down St. Charles Avenue just as the sun starts peeking through the live oaks.

Yet, going for a run isn’t the only type of workout you can get while visiting. In fact, New Orleans has a ton to offer those looking to keep their physique tight and toned.

So in order to make your trip as heart pounding as a bass drum played by Johnny Vidacovich, I’ve put together this fun itinerary just for you.

Gym Rat and Gym bunny itineraries

Kick off your trip right by finding one of many workout locations in the city. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WAKE UP CALL FOR YOUR LUNGS. 

If you’re in the French Quarter: 

Grab your running shoes, and hit the street for a quick jog to Iron Tribe Fitness. Once there, try out one of their group classes or one-on-one training. Located at 733 Saint Joseph St., Iron Tribe has great energy and is filled with folks that will cheer you on as you accomplish every rep and butt-lifting lunge.

If you’re in the Marigny: 

Hit up Wild Lotus Yoga in the Healing Center located in the Marigny at 2372 St. Claude Ave. It’s been voted New Orleans’ best yoga for the last 14 years.

If you’re in the Garden District: 

From Kung Fu and kettle bells to group classes and Tai Chi, Cypress Fitness offers a 3-day pass, perfect for that long weekend away. Not to mention, the trainers at Cypress really look out for each person, ensuring that your form is perfect so you don’t tweak a muscle you may need later.

12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
ARMED AND DANGEROUS IN THE AFTERNOON. 

Climbing the walls for a workout: 

New Orleans Boulder League features 8 different level climbs. (photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

This is your vacation, so take a break from climbing the corporate ladder and climb the walls at NOBL, New Orleans Boulder Lounge. With different paths and walls to climb, your gluteus will definitely become maximus. No joke, after I left the gym my butt felt at least 3/4 of an inch higher, and so did my feeling of accomplishment.

Get bayou beautiful: 

To workout your arms and shoulders, head to the bayou. At Massey’s on Carrolton, you can rent different types of kayaks and paddle boats. A standard, two-person kayak is only $40! Not bad, my Gym Rat friends. Not bad at all. Plus, it’s a great way to experience nature and unwind, too.

Park it over here, baby: 

City Park is incredible for not only photography but also for getting your sweat on. With more than 1,300 acres to explore, it’s the perfect place to go for a run, do push-ups, crunches, and even booty-defining squats. Plus, there’s an amusement park. Fun fact: some of the horses on the carousel date back to 1885.

4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF. 

Going out dancing later:

After all that activity your muscles may need a little pampering before you hit the club and break out “the sprinkler”. So if you’re staying in the French Quarter or in the Warehouse District, I recommend getting a massage at Spa Atlantis.

Hit up the All Ways Lounge for a little Burlesque show:

Another favorite of mine is to see a show at the All Ways Lounge. The choreography is fun and the atmosphere really sets the stage for a fun night. Close by is the vegan restaurant the Sneaky Pickle, a great place to grab a healthy bite before. If this is what you’re planning later, consider going for a run along the riverfront leading from the Riverwalk to the French Market.

Walk, jog or bike long the Lafitte Greenway that connects the French Quarter to City Park (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Pedal your way to happy hour: 

Rent a bike and go for a ride to Mid-City on the Greenway, and then grab a bite at Katie’s. When you’re there, try the Crawfish Beignets and their Over-The-Top Onion Rings — and always remember to drink responsibly. If you need a ride back to your hotel, call a cab and tell them you have a bike; they’ll be more than happy to take the both of you back to your pad safe and sound.

Happy heartbeat, my friends! And don’t forget to pack your workout gear because with an itinerary like this, you’re gonna need it.

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