10 ways to get fit in Boston before summer

The best spring workouts, gear, and food offerings around the city.

–The Boston Globe

It’s hard to believe given the fact that it keeps snowing, but it’s spring in Boston. This season provides plenty of opportunities to look and feel your best come (hopefully) beach-weather summertime. So, sweat it out in local sports leagues, tone up in classes designed to change your body, and pick up the gear you’ll need to go the extra mile—all right here in Boston.

Exercise early

Get to work on that summertime six-pack every Monday morning at 6:30 a.m. with the November Project’s DestinationDeck. Each Friday, the group posts where they will meet Monday—and, if you live within six miles of the destination, your job is to run there. (If you live farther away, you can T it or drive.) Then comes the fitness: a “Deck Of Cards” workout—each black card means push-ups; each red card means sit-ups. (Mondays at 6:30 a.m.; free; november-project.com/boston)

This morning @novemberprojectbos #DestinationDeck #NewsCh19

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Play tennis (without the expensive membership fee)


You don’t have to dole out hefty country club fees to take up tennis: Sign up for the USTA New England’s Jack’s Abby Social Tennis League, now in its second year. Form a team or enter on your own, and go head-to-head with players of all abilities (beginners welcome!) at designated parks around the city. Work up a sweat, then enjoy food and drink specials crafted exclusively for the league at nearby bars. (League days and times vary; $60, newengland.usta.com)

Run it out

Trade the treadmill for the pavement with Adidas’s Runbase Run Club. The Boylston Street runner’s hub hosts bi-weekly, three- to six-mile jogs around the city that are open to the public. The best part: lockers and showers post-run. (Tuesdays at 6 p.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.; free, bostonrunbase.com)

Strut in style

Spring cleaning might include tossing your sneaks—after all, you should replace them every 300 to 500 miles. This season, pick up one of New Balance’s two Boston-themed limited edition sneaks: the Fresh Foam 1080 ($164.95) and the Fresh Foam Zante v2 ($114.95). They pay homage to New Balance’s home city with crimson, gray, and navy colors. (Available at New Balance Boston, Marathon Sports, the New Balance booth at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, and newbalance.com)

Pick up a new sport


If variety is the spice of life, and changing things up is the best way to change your body, look no further than the Boston Ski and Sports Club. The group has been around since 1967 and offers tons of sports leagues every day of the week, year round. (Think: everything from lacrosse to floor hockey to golf.) Leave the gym behind once a week, take on a team sport, and start feeling those muscles you forgot you had. (Spring sports leagues are currently open for registration; prices vary; bssc.com)

Box to get cut

Boxers are some of the fittest athletes in the world, so a boxing gym is a good place to head to if you want toned arms and flat abs just in time for shirtless weather. Peter Welch’s Gym in South Boston is the real deal: rings, gloves, and real fighters. The doors are open to all levels, and you can try a free introductory class. (Class times vary, $30 a class, peterwelchsgym.com)

Hit your health goals

You might know TomTom for their car GPS units—but the company (whose U.S. headquarters is in Burlington) is emerging as a leader in fitness trackers. Pick up the TomTom Spark GPS Watch to track progress on your own. The watch holds about 500 songs; connects to Bluetooth headphones (buh-bye annoying wires); and stores steps, miles, calories burned, and heart rate. Don’t worry about where you sweat, either—the watch’s multi-sport mode allows you to track movements running (on a treadmill or the pavement), biking, skiing, and even swimming (yep, it’s waterproof). ($249; tomtom.com)

Eat more veggies—seriously


Sculpting a fit body is difficult if your kitchen isn’t fit, too. This year, spend your tax refund on something your body will thank you for: The Purple Carrot. The Boston-based company delivers boxes of fresh, pre-measured ingredients perfect for plant-based meals and includes recipes so good you might just consider going vegan. ($68 feeds two people three times a week, $74 feeds four people twice a week; thepurplecarrot.com)

Reach new heights

There are few activities that burn your quads and also reward you with panoramic views—hiking is one of them. But nothing can be more frustrating than hitting the mountain, not knowing where to go, and winding up back in the parking lot with no view to ‘gram. As the snow melts, get your grounding with an introductory hiking program with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Boston Chapter. Traverse New England mountains and learn all the basics, like the right attire, nutrition, and gear for backpacking. (Wednesday, April 20 and 27, and May 4, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; AMC Members: $40. Non AMC-members: $70; hbbostonamc.org)

Book a fit staycation

Can’t motivate yourself to get moving? Allow someone else to do the heavy lifting for you. Cambridge’s Hotel Marlowe recently partnered with Bikabout (from March to November), offering guests cultural bike maps with local eats and sights to see—all along two, six, or 15-mile routes. Their weekday “Running with the GM” program also includes a three-mile scenic jog with general manager Joe Capalbo along the Charles. More of a studio lover? In the Seaport, the Envoy Hotel’s new Wellness Concierge program will book curated fitness classes around town based on your goals and interests. (Complimentary with stay; hotelmarlowe.com/Complimentary with stay; theenvoyhotel.com)

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