Places to Exercise in Omaha

The trouble with staying fit is finding things to do that are entertaining and still get your heart pumping. This is even more difficult if you have to find a place for the whole family to exercise. Luckily, Omaha has plenty of great places to exercise indoors and outside. The city is littered with great ways to stay active from kayaking to horseshoes that can be an escape from your daily stress, offer a chance to push your limits or a bonding experience for the whole family. Some great places to exercise in Omaha are the city’s parks, trails and gyms.

Each one of Omaha’s six regional parks offers a vast number of activities to choose from that will keep the family so entertained it doesn’t seem like exercise. At Zorinsky Lake Park, on 156th and ‘F’ Street, boating, fishing and kayaking are options for those who enjoy water sports. This can also be an excellent way to get away from the world and relax. Few sites in Omaha are as beautiful as the placid waters of Lake Zorinsky at sunrise, viewed from a kayak in the center of the lake. Baseball fields, football fields and basketball courts can be found at Zorinsky as well. This park also features trails, paths and playgrounds for those interested in walking, running and biking or parents trying to exercise with children.

Although Omaha’s parks generally have many common features exercisers can take advantage of, such as open space and playgrounds, each park has its own, individual draw. Tranquility Park’s indoor ice rink and 24 tennis courts are well worth the trip to 12222 West Maple Road. At Tranquility public ice-skating is available year round, skating lessons are offered and the rink hosts youth hockey leagues. Horseshoe pits can be found in N.P. Dodge Park, at 11001 John J. Pershing Drive, where water skiing is allowed. Standing Bear Lake, on 6404 North 132nd Street, has a remote airplane flying field that may be the perfect way to get children away from the couch and out in the sun. To find your nearest park visit the Omaha Parks and Recreation website (www.ci.omaha.ne.us/Parks/defa u lt.htm).

Nebraska’s naturally flat terrain lends itself perfectly to a relaxing bike ride, walk or jog. Omaha’s trails are a perfect way to melt away the stress and pounds while enjoying beautiful scenic views of the city’s lakes, parks and prairies. The trail system runs through most of the city and surrounding suburbs. Trails travel around lakes, through prairies or through more developed areas. If you are looking for a short outing try the three mile Walnut Creek trail, or for a longer workout the Keystone trail just may provide the challenge more competitive runners are looking for. A complete list of Omaha’s trails can be found at omahatrails.com.

Those in favor of indoor exercise will be more than satisfied with a workout in any of Omaha’s gyms. Each of Omaha’s YMCAs offers a great opportunity to get a workout in rain or shine. When exercising with the whole family you can’t go wrong at the Amburst YMCA on 168th and ‘Q’ Street. The Amburst YMCA has a weight room with free weights and running equipment, a pool, basketball courts, daycare service and fitness classes. For adults laps in the pool, lifting or running in the fitness area, or a game of pick-up basketball could be a great way to get or stay in shape. Gyms like the Amburst YMCA are ideal locations for family friendly exercise especially if your family has diverse interests. Admission to the metro’s YMCAs comes with an entrance or member fee, which varies across the city. For the location and opening hours of the metro area YMCA’s visit metroymca.org.

Omaha is full of great places to exercise for anyone interested in breaking a sweat and having a good time. Remember that exercise shouldn’t be unpleasant and can be a great time alone, with family or friends. Walking or taking a bike ride around your neighborhood with the family can be a perfect way to mix exercise and family bonding. If you like sports try asking around at work or church. In many places lunch breaks are used for a quick pick-upbasketball game. Whether you decide to fly remote controlled airplanes at Standing Bear Lake, enjoy a scenic walk on Walnut Creek trail, take a yoga class at your local YMCA or anything in between you will find that Omaha is full of excellent exercise facilities. Now all you have to do is turn off the computer and lace up your running shoes.