We’re coming up on the annual daylight saving time switch. Unlike the dreaded springtime change, in November we get to “fall back” and essentially gain an hour. If you’ve always wished to become a morning person, rejoice—this is the time you can use to jumpstart […]
Although the last few weeks have doused Charm City with rain, we’re headed into the last full month of summer. Despite the humid temperatures, August is the perfect time to experience our city through fitness. We rounded up some of our favorite ways to get […]
Global Running Day is Wednesday, June 6, and now that the weather is finally turning, it’s time to lace up your running kicks and get outside! Between waterfront walkways and treelined parks, Baltimore has its pick of beautiful running routes. We have some incredible routes for seasoned runners, casual joggers, and those just hoping to get a few steps around town. Some of our favorite Baltimore runners helped us compile a list of their go-to routes.
Not only is Fort McHenry an important historic site, it’s also a beautiful location to run and walk. Once around the Fort’s paved track is approximately one mile, so you have the opportunity to make the run as short or as long as you want. Bonus points for the Visitor’s Center being open regularly with public restrooms. There is parking at the Fort, outside of the complex in Locust Point and just a mile down the road from McHenry Row.
Herring Run Park
This urban oasis is located in Northeast Baltimore and has a paved four-mile loop trail, including two new bridges that go over Herring Run river. There are opportunities to walk, run or bike along the stream bed and “the trail is almost all shaded for summer runs,” says occasional Baltimore contributor Ryan Detter. If you’d also like to visit Lake Montebello, it is approximately 1.35 miles around—so you can add on to your run or use it as a beautiful cool down.
It’s easy to appreciate the stunning views around the Inner Harbor and waterfront neighborhoods. No matter how far you’d like to go, the promenade, running from Canton to Federal Hill, offers an opportunity to be close to the water at (almost) every turn. “My main running route is running along the Inner Harbor,” says Lauren Seserko. “If you hug the water, you can run all the way from Canton through Fells Point to Locust Point and even make it to Fort McHenry and run that loop.”
Jones Falls Trail
Escape the city (without ever leaving) on the paved Jones Falls Trail. Starting in Mt. Vernon, follow the trail by the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. “You can either take it all the way to Union/Woodberry or go up into Homewood campus,” says Detter. You can even take this trail all the way through Druid Hill Park (past the Maryland Zoo). Detter says this is “where you’re doing switchbacks in the woods and you won’t even feel like you’re in the city.”
Druid Hill Park
Speaking of, if you’ve visited our amazing Maryland Zoo, then you’ve seen the lovely tree-lined streets within Druid Hill Park. There are so many picturesque areas to walk/run through the park (and picnic after) and most are paved, providing an even run surface. The 1.5-mile loop around Druid Lake is a scenic, light track. If you’d like a longer, more challenging run, try out the course for the Dreaded Druid Hill 10K—this 6-mile trek will take you through and around the park with more than a few bumps in elevation. (This route is going to be affected by current park construction.)
Loch Raven Reservoir
While located just north of Towson, this area is a beautiful place to escape the city streets. With a variety of paved and off-road trails, you can easily walk or run for two miles, five miles, or even 10. “Part of it is closed to cars on the weekends,” says Seserko, “so it’s a great place to get a long training run in on paved and off-road trails.” While this area has beautiful nature views all year, early summer is ideal since all the plants are blooming.
Located downtown in between Fells Point, Canton, and Highlandtown, Patterson Park is a massive, wonderful city park. A full loop is approximately two miles, with the opportunity to add more as you wind through the sidewalks inside the park. Don’t miss the beautiful Patterson Park Pagoda and ducks in the boat lake.
Located near Loyola University’s campus, this wooded trail is made for a soft walk/jog alongside stream valleys, lovely parks, and beautiful Baltimore neighborhoods. For nearly three miles, you’ll travel through approximately 15 residential areas—including Roland Park, Hampden, Remington, and Tuscany-Canterbury. Recently, the trail was updated with a new footbridge, connecting several miles of the trail. It’s a lovely escape from the bustle of downtown and, as Detter says, “you don’t even feel like you’re in the city.”
Prepping for the Chuck 12? Start and end on this race’s namesake. If you’re hoping to enjoy the street’s downhill benefits, start at the top closer to Towson University. You’ll run approximately six miles if you start at Lake Avenue and end at the Inner Harbor. Of, if you’d like an uphill challenge, you can also run up Charles Street to the JHU campus and back down St. Paul/Light Streets for approximately six miles.
Like many of our local universities and colleges, Goucher generously allows the public to use their grounds for running and fitness. Runners can park in their main Dorsey parking lot and use the trails around campus. BONUS: Baltimore Road Runners club meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings here throughout the year!
Looking for run buddies? Join one of these run crews to build up your endurance and support system.
Monday Charm City Run Rise & Run: Every Monday morning, CCR Fells Point hits the promenade early for a sunrise four-mile run.
Thursday Charm City Run Pub Run: Our local CCR store has a regular group that runs from their store down to and around the Inner Harbor every Thursday night. All levels are welcome for the 2-5 mile group run.
Faster Bastards: Every Saturday at 8 a.m., the Faster Bastards team runs about 10 miles from Canton Waterfront Park, through the trail by Sandlot, around to Rusty Scupper and back. On Wednesdays, they also run through Druid Hill Park at 6:30 p.m.
Monthly Tuesday Shake Shack Run: Every month, the CCR crews from Locust Point and Fells Poin get together to hit the bricks then end at Shake Shack. First round of beers is on the team once you arrive.
In today’s world, we’re pulled in multiple directions every minute of the day, leaving little time for self care. Even when we make ourselves a priority, there’s often little time left after projects are complete, families are cared for, and we have a moment to […]
It’s that time of year. The omnipresent “new year, new you” slogan seems to follow you everywhere. Gyms are having membership sales. Healthy recipes are flooding your inbox. Everything is reminding you that it’s time to get back into shape. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
A new calendar year is in fact a perfect time to reset and focus on new goals. You can use this time as an opportunity—here are some easy tips to get going.
One of the most frustrating hurdles in approaching goals is their sheer enormity. You want to be active, so you’ll have to get new workout clothes, decide on what workout you like best, find a gym that works for you, find classes that fit your schedule, find an instructor you like, actually go to said gym, if it doesn’t work you start all over again . . . just thinking about it makes you tired. So, don’t start big. Start small. Work on two squats today. And two tomorrow. Aim to do two active moves every day for a week. Once you pass your first week, you’re on to your second. Then your third. Soon enough, you’ve been active for a month! Remember, small goals add up to big goals!
Schedule walking meetings
If you’re business is like most, much of your day is filled up with meetings. Appointments after appointments, taking up your schedule and keeping you from most activity. So why not combine the two? This, of course, probably isn’t wise for a 20-person, two-hour meeting but what about your team catch up? The three of you can easily walk and talk around the office or around the neighborhood.
Walk more in general
Baltimore City, and even many of the surrounding counties, are incredibly walkable. Right outside of your door there are beautiful neighborhoods, parks and even trails. Get outside and explore! “If you live within a reasonable walking distance of a grocery store, initiate a new rule: no driving to the store,” says KG Spencer, instructor at BeachFit Baltimore. “This one change has a multiple benefit effect—the walk itself adds steps, carrying the groceries home is an upper body and core ‘strength’ training opportunity and, because you have to carry your haul, you’re less likely to make impulse food decisions.”
Use a refillable water bottle
Refilling your cup or bottle will automatically force you to get up from your desk—more steps without even thinking about it. Plus, this habit can check off other boxes. Not only is drinking more water a healthy practice, but reusing bottles, cups and mugs is also much more eco-friendly (and cheaper!) than buying a new one every day.
Bring a set of weights to work
Most of us claim lack of time as a reason we’re not active and work is usually the biggest culprit. Like walking meetings, remember that being active doesn’t always involve getting drenched in sweat. Having a light set of two to five pound weights at your desk can help inspire you! You can easily get in a few bicep curls while you’re muted on that conference call or a few shoulder presses after lunch.
“If you work somewhere with steps, set an alarm for every 90 minutes at which time you’ll get up from your desk, grab those weights and hit the stairwell,” says Spencer. “Walk the stairs once or twice before returning to your seat. Doing this a few times a day can have dramatic effect on your cardiovascular health—not to mention your thighs—over time.”
Research workouts before you hit the gym
Ok, you made it to a gym . . . now what? If you’re newer to the fitness scene, or just getting back to it, it’s hard to find a natural rhythm right off the bat. So, prepare yourself! The internet is chock full of resources for you! Find a few workouts that seem fun and print them out or save them to your phone. This will save you time and frustration when you ultimately arrive at your fitness location.
Find an activity buddy
One of the easiest ways to stay accountable is to have someone else help keep you on track. We’re all in this new-year boat together, so find someone who has the same goal as you and check in with each other regularly. You’ll be shocked at how much more you want to stay involved when another person is depending on you.
Join a social sports league
Baltimore is full of fun organizations to help you get more involved and more active with friends. Volleyball, basketball, shuffleboard, Skee-Ball, bocce, softball, yoga—you name it, there’s probably a group doing it. Want more than one person keeping you accountable? Try a whole team.
Work on active chores
Another resolution is often cleaning up around the house—use it to your advantage. Sweeping, mopping, and washing windows are all easy ways to work on your house and your body.
Add activity to your calendar
Literally. Open your phone calendar or planner and add some sort of activity appointment. Make it reoccurring set for every day. You’re making an important meeting with yourself. And don’t skip it. You wouldn’t skip a meeting with your boss, would you? You’re the boss of your body—make sure you make it a priority.
“As you lay out your calendar, write a few sentences how you feel and your intention for the day—It might be how you’re excited to work out or maybe not. Either way, set that purpose for the day,” says Jami Gobao Crist, spin instructor at REV Cycle. “Post workout, go back and reflect on how you feel. Save those thoughts and go back to them when you’re unmotivated.”