You slogged through the latest Western New York winter sitting around the house, binge-watching TV and using your treadmill as a clothes hanger. Or you did use that treadmill – almost daily – during the mostly indoor months, or tackled the same fitness class or circuit training session routinely, wishing you could expand your exercise horizons and enjoy more time with friends and loved ones who don’t belong to your gym.
Excuses don’t wash in a Western New York summer. Nor does the need for the same old, same old indoor workout. There are more than 500 fitness classes and special events on tap across the region in the next several weeks, opportunities for residents and visitors to tamp down stress, burn calories and drink in special surroundings.
What about the kids? Organizers have that covered.
Seniors, including those with limited mobility? Covered, too.
The expense? In exchange for spending your time and energy, almost all these outdoor fitness opportunities are free or low-cost.
“We want members of our community to rally around these classes so, step by step, they can get healthier,” said Amber Ciesiulka, a public relations specialist for BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.
The region’s largest health insurer will sponsor more than 20 free classes at Canalside this in coming weeks, as well as other health, fitness and wellness events in Olmsted parks. Those classes include a new Zumbini cardio routine for kids and a gentle yoga class, as well as favorites that include Zumba, Jada Blitz Boot Camp and SilverSneakers.
Fellow regional insurer Independent Health has chipped in to provide free 60-minute classes by YMCA-certified instructors at 23 parks across the region, including five new sites. The insurer also is the wellness partner for kayaking and paddleboarding at Buffalo RiverWorks and the Outer Harbor, the latter of which also will play host to fitness classes and offer a 2-mile wellness trail.
Below is a listing of many of the outdoor fitness events this summer.
* Fitness in the Parks events run through Aug. 31 and are free. For more info, visit independenthealth.com/fitpark.
** Canalside group fitness classes, which are free, run through Sept. 2, unless otherwise noted, at 44 Prime St. on the downtown waterfront. For more info, visit canalsidebuffalo.com/things-to-do.
All classes are weather dependent and subject to change. It’s a good idea to check websites, bring a mat or blanket for yoga and similar classes, and bottled water for all classes.
BIKE, RUN, WALK
Blue Bikes: Nearly 50 bikes are available to rent from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Sept. 2 at Canalside as part of this BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York program. Bikes of all sizes, including a trike and, new this year, six-seat Surrey bicycle. Rent for $10 for the first hour, $5 each extra hour or $25 per day. BCBS members get $5 off any rental by presenting their insurance card.
Reddy Bikeshare: More than 200 GPS-enabled bicycles are available for shared, short-term use in spots across the city. Independent Health members get discounts. For rates and more info, visit reddybikeshare.com.
GObike Buffalo: Hosts Slow Roll, workshops and special events throughout the summer. See a schedule of events at gobikebuffalo.org.
Niagara Frontier Bike Club: Daily rides for members spanning Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Orleans, Wyoming and Genesee counties. Each ride varies in length from 15 to 100 miles with varying degrees of difficulty to challenge cyclists of all abilities and skill levels. Annual membership costs $20; $30 for a family. For more info, visit nfbc.com.
Slow Roll Buffalo: Riders can start to gather at 5:30 p.m. Monday for a 10-mile guided excursion that starts at 6:30 in several spots. Next week, it starts and ends in Masten Park on Best Street. There’s also an Eden Pedal Party starting at 7 p.m. Friday at the American Legion Post at 2912 Legion Drive, Eden. Rides are suitable for all ages and abilities. First-time riders should register at slowrollbuffalo.org. Helmets mandatory.
Running Race listings: Weekly Refresh calendars will list many of the region’s 5Ks and other races this summer in the days before they are run. For a complete listing, visit buffalorunners.com.
Checkers Running Club track sessions: 6 p.m. Tuesdays through October, Williamsville South High School track, 5950 Main St., Williamsville. Sessions on July 3 and July 10 will take place at Williamsville North. Includes Children’s Track, Zero to 5K program and training by a top University at Buffalo coach. The club also organizes group fun runs and cross-country meets at various locations. Members get discounts on race entry fees and enjoy social gatherings including an annual picnic. For membership and program info, visit checkersac.org.
Niagara Square walks: The City of Buffalo Wellness Committee hosts free walks starting from the front steps at City Hall starting at noon Tuesdays, through September.
Goat Island waterfall walks: 7:30 p.m. Fridays in July and August, Niagara Falls State Park. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.
Let’s Go Walk: Launch of free, family friendly, bimonthly guided walks through downtown Niagara Falls, 10 a.m. Saturday, July 14 and 28, Aug. 11 and 25, Power City Eatery, 444 Third St. Includes games, giveaways for children and adults, nutritional information, healthy smoothie samples, and blood pressure readings. Presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County and Population Health Collaborative.
Wildflower walk: Noon July 1, Artpark State Park, Lewiston. To register and for info, call 282-5154. Free.
Reflective First Sunday walks: 10:45 a.m. July 8, Aug. 5, Sept. 2, Oct. 7 and Nov. 4, starting and ending at Hoyt Lake, Delaware Park. Free.
Goat Island Mother Nature walk: 10 a.m. July 11, Niagara Falls State Park. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.
Butterfly Beauties: 2:30 p.m. July 15 wildflower walk through Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.
Evening waterfall walk: 7 p.m. July 15 walk through Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.
Sky’s the Limit Kite Festival: 1 to 4 p.m. July 20, Buffalo Harbor State Park on the Outer Harbor.
Gorge Hiking Series: 10 a.m. July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 26 and Sept. 24 at various state parks in Niagara County. To register and for info, call 282-5154. Free.
Nature’s Supermarket: 6:30 p.m. hike along the wetland habitats of Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island. To register and for info, call 282-5154. Free.
Sensory walk: 1 p.m. hike Aug. 11 through Evangola State Park, Irving. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.
Under a Perseid Sky: 9 p.m. Aug. 12 hike thorugh Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.
Beach sunset photography walk: 7 p.m. Sept. 1, Evangola State Park, Irving. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.
Forest forensics: 10 a.m. Sept. 2 hike through Evangola State Park, Irving. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.
• Boot camp: 10 a.m. Saturdays, YMCA Eggert Road Program Center, 3636 Eggert Road, Orchard Park.
*Boot camp: 6 p.m. Mondays on New Era Field, Abbott Road at Southwestern Boulevard, Orchard Park. No classes July 2 and Aug. 13 and 20. Parking in Lot 2, enter at Gate 2, Sections 133/134.
**Jada Blitz Body Boot Camp: 7 p.m. Mondays, Canalside. Fast paced workout for maximum results.
*HIIT: 12:15 p.m. Tuesdays, Allen Park Bandshell, 31 Hughes St., Jamestown.
*Boot Camp: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Garrison Park, Garrison Road, Amherst.
*Boot Camp: 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Goehle Marina, 767 Market St., Lockport.
*Boot Camp: 6 p.m. Friday, Bassett Park, Amherst.
DANCE AND ZUMBA
Summer City Fitness: LaLa from La’Movement will lead a dance fitness class at 10 a.m. Saturdays from June 30 to Sept. 1 at the foot of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in MLK Park, Fillmore and North Parade avenues. Free fresh fruit and water provided. For more info, visit facebook.com/LaMovement. Sponsored by Mayor Byron Brown and BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. Free.
*BollyX: 5:30 p.m. Mondays, Larkin Square, 745 Seneca St.
*Zumba: 6 p.m. Monday, Bassett Park, 359 359 Klein Road, Amherst.
**Barre Centric: 7 p.m. Monday, Canalside. Body sculpting with ballet, yoga and Pilates fitness exercises.
Salsa in the Park: Sarah Haykel, director of Salsa for the Soul, and Jerome Williams lead this class from 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays through July 30, Rose Garden at Marcy Casino, Delaware Park. $5 includes lesson and dance social. Beginners and singles welcomed and encouraged. For more info, visit sarahhaykel.com/dance.
Zumba at the Beach: 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Fridays, Sunset Bay Beach Club patio, 1028 South Shore Drive, Hanover. If it’s chilly or raining, class will be held inside the Beach Club. $5 per class, five classes for $20. For more info, visit sunsetbayusa.com.
*Zumba: 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wilkeson Pointe, Outer Harbor; also 8 a.m. July 7.
*Zumba: 6 p.m. Tuesdays July 17 to Aug. 21, Chestnut Ridge Park, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park.
*Zumba: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Krull Park, East Lake Road, Olcott.
*Freestyle Barre: 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Buffalo Riverworks, 359 Ganson St.
**Zumba: 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Canalside.
*Zumba: 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Westwood Park, 175 Pavement Road, Lancaster.
**La’Movement Fitness: 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Canalside. Dance fitness.
*BollyX: 10 a.m. Thursdays, Stiglmeier Park, 810 Losson Road, Cheektowaga.
* Zumba: 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, except 4:15 p.m. July 12, 19, 26, Aug. 2, 9, Lakewood Beach, Hartley Park, 531 E. Terrace Ave., Lakewood.
** Everyone can dance: 10 a.m. Fridays, Canalside. For children and adults. No classes Aug. 3 and 17.
*Zumba: 5:30 p.m. Fridays, Allen Park Bandshell, 31 Hughes St., Jamestown.
*Cardio dance: 5:15 p.m. Fridays, William-Emslie Family YMCA, 585 Williams St.
*BollyX: 6:30 p.m. Fridays, DeVeaux Woods State Park, 3180 DeVeaux Woods Drive East, Niagara Falls.
*Zumba Kids: 10 a.m. Saturdays through July 28, Westwood Park, 175 Pavement Road, Lancaster.
**Kids Get Moving: 6 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, Canalside. Sow Fit Health & Fitness program to build strength and endurance. No classes Aug. 3 and 17.
Splish Splash Summer Bash: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Martin Luther King Jr. Park splash pad, Fillmore and North Parade avenues. BlueCross BlueShield Healthy Zone Cruiser, free face-painting, balloon art, arts and crafts with Buffalo Book Bike and healthy snacks. Free. The splash pad is designated a BlueCross Blue Shield of Western New York Healthy Zone. The splash pad opens officially today and will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Labor Day, depending on weather conditions.
**Niyama yoga: 5:15 p.m. Wednesdays through July 25, Canalside.
**Cardio Kids Drive Fitness: 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Canalside. Strength class for ages 8 to 13.
*Kids fitness: 12:15 p.m. Thursdays, Allen Park Bandshell, 31 Hughes St., Jamestown.
**Zumbini with Jody: 11 a.m. Sunday, July 30 and Aug. 26, Canalside. Zumba and BabyFirst classes for newborns to age 4.
Artpark Family Fun Days: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays in July, Artpark State Park, Lewiston. Free.
Kayaking with Tina and Kelly: Smartstart Paddling Orientation classes, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in July and August, beginner classes with Tina at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. July 7 and 14, Aug. 18 and Sept. 1, Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island; beginner classes at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. July 21 and Aug. 25, Wilson Tuscarora State Park. Free. A kayak, paddle and life jacket will be provided. Space is limited, so sign up early. Call 282-5154 to register.
Kayaking with Matt: Beginners class 9 and 11 a.m. July 7 and Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23, Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora. Free. A kayak, paddle and life jacket will be provided. Space is limited, so sign up early. Call 549-1050 to register.
Paddle Bike Run: Paddle, bike and running race to benefit Buffalo Wellness, July 29, Silo City. For more info, visit bflopaddlebikerun.com.
Wear It on the Water Paddle Fest: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 4, Wilson Tuscarora State Park. Free classes, demonstrations and boating safety info. Free T-shirt to first 100 participants wearing a life jacket to the Life Jacket Flash Mob at 1 p.m.
Paddles Up Niagara: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 28, Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island. For more info, visit bnwaterkeeper.org.
Kayak safety courses: Throughout the summer at various rates through Seabirds International. For more info, visit seabirds.co or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PILATES, TAI CHI, YOGA
HEAL Bflo yoga: 10 a.m. Saturdays, Bidwell Park, Elmwood Avenue at Bidwell Parkway.
*Yoga: 10 a.m. Sundays, Delaware Park near the Rose Garden.
*Pilates: 11 a.m. Monday, Lakewood Beach, Hartley Park, 531 E. Terrace Ave., Lakewood.
**Gentle yoga: Noon Monday, Canalside. No classes July 30, Aug. 6.
*Yoga: 6 p.m. Mondays, Day Road Park, 5014-5098 Day Road, Lockport.
*Yoga: 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Westwood Park, 175 Pavement Road, Lancaster.
Tai chi: 6 p.m., Tuesday, Lakewood Beach, Hartley Park, 531 E. Terrace Ave., Lakewood.
*Yoga: 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Stiglmeier Park, 810 Losson Road, Cheektowaga.
*Yoga: 6 p.m. Tuesdays through July 10, Chestnut Ridge Park, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park.
*Yoga: 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Krull Park, East Lake Road, Olcott. Power Pilates. 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Wilkeson Pointe, Buffalo Outer Harbor, 225 Fuhrmann Blvd.
Yoga at Letchworth State Park: 8 a.m. Wednesdays, July 11 to Aug. 29, events tent outside the Glen Iris Inn at Letchworth State Park, Castile. Letchworth Yoga Collective will host these mixed-level Hatha yoga classes. $12 or pay what you can. For more info, visit fb.com/letchworthyoga.
*Pilates: 9 a.m. Wednesdays, Goehle Marina, 767 Market St., Lockport.
*Tai chi: 11 a.m. Wednesdays, Lakewood Beach, Hartley Park, 531 E. Terrace Ave., Lakewood.
**IMPACT yoga: 5:15 p.m. Wednesdays through July 25, Canalside.
*Yoga: 7:15 p.m. Wednesdays, Garrison Park, Garrison Road, Amherst.
*PiYo: 6 p.m. Thursdays (except July 12), 8 a.m. July 27, Wilkeson Pointe, Outer Harbor.
*Yoga: 6 p.m. Thursdays, Ellicott Creek Park, 1 Ellicott Creek Drive, Town of Tonawanda.
*Yoga: 7 p.m. Thursdays, Day Road Park, 5014-5098 Day Road, Lockport.
*Yoga: 9:30 a.m. Fridays, Main Street Park, 10405 Main St., Clarence.
**Soma Cura yoga: 6 p.m. Fridays, Canalside. No classes Aug. 3 and 27
Family Fun Thursday: Yoga Parkside will offer a free class during Family Fun Thursday, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 12, Canalside.
Budding Tree Yoga Festival: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 15, Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St. Free yoga classes with many of the top yoga instructors in the region, as well as workshops and a vendor market. For more info, visit buddingtreeyoga.com.
**Peak Performance – Fitness 19: 10 a.m. Saturdays, Canalside. High-intensity interval and resistance training.
** Crunch Fitness. 11:30 p.m. Sundays, High-intensity interval training. No classes July 1, Aug. 5, 12 and 26.
** Hoop There it is: 2 p.m. Sundays, Canalside. Introduction to hoop dance fitness. No classes July 1, Aug. 5, 12 and 26.
**Core de Force Uncensored Fitness: 5 p.m. Monday, Canalside. MMA-inspired program.
*Pound: 5:15 Mondays, Lakewood Beach, Hartley Park, 531 E. Terrace Ave., Lakewood.
**RevFit: 6 p.m. Monday, Canalside. Total body circuit workout.
*Bodyweight Strength Training: 9 a.m. Tuesdays, Frewsburg Town Park, 19 Parkway Drive.
**SilverSneakers: 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays, Canalside. All-inclusive adaptive fitness.
November project: Local chapter of national group devoted to a morning workout meets at 6 a.m. Wednesdays year-round, back steps at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Lincoln Parkway at Iroquois Drive, for a mix of cardio and strength exercise. Free for all.
**Josh & Friends: 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Canalside. “Circuit training” exercise programs by Sow it Now Health & Fitness to music for ambulatory teens and adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
*Cardio Kickboxing: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Larkin Square, 745 Seneca St.
**Hive Lifespan Hit & Run: 5 p.m. Fridays, Canalside. Strength and cardio interval class. No classes Aug. 3 and 17.
*Cardio Kickboxing: 6 p.m. Friday, Bassett Park, 359 Klein Road, Amherst.
**Parkour: 7 p.m. Fridays, Canalside. Learn how to navigate obstacles in your environment as effectively and efficiently as possible. Get very good at getting over, under, around and through just about anything.
**Fit Like a Gladiator: 9 a.m. July 14 and 21, and Aug. 19, Canalside. Lower-body exercises using body weight.
**RevFit – Boardwalk Cycle: 9 and 10 a.m. July 15, Canalside. Outdoor cycling class. Each class limited to 40 riders, register at canalsidebuffalo.com.
Twitter: @BNrefresh, @ScottBScanlon