By Angela Caraway-Carlton
Calling all fitness buffs and health-conscious eaters. Whether you live here or you’re simply visiting, staying fit in Greater Fort Lauderdale is easy.
Vacation doesn’t have to mean giving up your healthy, at-home routine; and if you live here, Greater Fort Lauderdale has so many options for staying fit and eating right. From the traditional ways to exercise to the unconventional that fuses fun in the sun and our beautiful waterways, we’ve rounded up all the ways you can work in a workout. Plus, all the healthy spots to shop and feast like fitness kings and queens.
Let’s start with easy, free, and fun. Follow the curvy wave wall that winds along Fort Lauderdale Beach to find a wide path that serves as a scenic path for walking, jogging, or running along famous A1A and the ocean. The most popular section to take in those epic vistas is between Las Olas Boulevard and north to Sunrise Boulevard. You can also break a sweat by shooting some hoops or playing volleyball at the outdoor gym on Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. Of course, going for a heart-pumping swim in our sparkling ocean also counts as a calorie-buster. If you want to catch the beauty of our marine life while getting some exercise, try snorkeling or diving at the stunning reef in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea which is accessible from the beach.
Hollywood Beach is home to the iconic Broadwalk, a 2.2-mile pedestrian promenade that follows the ocean and makes the perfect spot for a vigorous walk, and also boasts designated jogging and bike paths. You’ll join many of the locals who lace up their tennis shoes to walk that path every day, and there’s nothing like those ocean views to inspire a workout!
If you’re really into hard-core training and running, make plans to join the annual Fort Lauderdale Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K that takes place January, or the Broadwalk Half Marathon & 5K in Hollywood every January.
Hit the Water!
With water everywhere in Greater Fort Lauderdale, your options are endless for combining exercise and fun—and who doesn’t want that? Hop on a stand-up paddleboard or kayak at the beautiful Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, a sprawling state park full of trails that’s nestled between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, for a picturesque paddle in a kayak or canoe; or head to popular Sunrise Paddleboards which offers bendy yoga classes on a paddleboard and even nighttime paddles. Another workout option can be found at Riverwalk Activities, where you can rent bikes to race along the beautiful Riverwalk then make the long trek to the beach, or rent kayaks and paddleboards to cruise down the low-key New River. Don’t blame us if your legs and arms are sore the next day.
If you’re more of a class junkie, then break a sweat at popular fitness studios like Orange Theory, which has locations sprinkled throughout Broward County, and encourages calorie-torching with running and rowing drills. At 9Round in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach, you can zip through a 30-minute kickboxing class. Find your flow at the popular Yoga Joint, which has numerous studios all over Broward County, including The Dalmar Hotel in downtown and even in Davie; or hit the mat in the infrared heated studios of Sol Yoga, longtime The Barkan Method (which is conveniently located near Whole Foods for that after-class refuel), and Red Pearl Yoga in the Mass District, known for their small classes. If it’s the lengthening and strengthening of Pilates that you desire, head to Zoeli Fitness on Las Olas Boulevard; or get a toned ballet-body at Pure Barre.
Of course, you’ll also find traditional gyms like Crunch, LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, and Powerhouse Gym at The Galleria, where you can become a member or simply drop-in. Many of the hotels in Greater Fort Lauderdale also offer fitness centers so guests can sneak in a workout during their free time, and some hotels like W Fort Lauderdale even host sunrise beach yoga and other special fitness events and classes.
Keep It Clean
Don’t want to veer off track when it comes to eating clean? Vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free? Greater Fort Lauderdale has been a leader in healthy, plant-based eating, with numerous healthy restaurants like Myapapaya, Greenbar & Kitchen, JB&C Juice Bar & Cafe, Fresh First, SpaJuiceBar, and even a grocery store dedicated to vegan foods, Vegan Fine Foods. At these hot spots, you’ll find everything from smoothies and juices to acai bowls and other vegan and veggie-forward dishes. And, don’t miss a trip to South Florida’s largest farmers market, Yellow Green Farmers Market, which has more than 300 booths selling locally grown produce, fresh-off-the-boat fish, soups, smoothies, and other delicious (but not-always) healthy items.
While we can’t promise you’ll lose weight—that’s up to you—we can promise you’ll enjoy the process of staying healthy in sunny Greater Fort Lauderdale.