A guide to feeling good in the Mile High City in 2016.
Everyone knows residents of Denver are an active bunch and fitness goals don't stop just because there's snow on the ground. For those of you who said goodbye to 2015 with a little too much fun, we've rounded up the best spots in town to cleanse the body, tone up, and indulge in food you won't regret later. It's time to start the year off right.
Sweat it Out
That New Year's resolution to lose a few pounds will be much more successful if you're having fun doing it. Luckily, Denver has a multitude of options beyond the boring treadmill. Head to Hot Mama's Exercise in West Washington Park for classes that combine dance, kickboxing, and barre for a seriously good sweat. The women-only studio has top-notch instructors, a bumpin' sound system, and a fun vibe. But be warned, workouts like "Sweatin' like a Mutha" aren't for the fainthearted.
Yogis should check out Core Power's new digs in Rino's hip Industry space. The yoga heavyweight may be a national chain, but the Denver-based company chose the Industry building for its corporate headquarters and a brand new studio (opening early January 2016) that's sure to help you master that handstand. Anyone sick of the same old flow should consider a membership at Cherry Creek's chic Pura Vida health club. Beyond its gorgeous facilities, there's a special 1,200-square-foot aerial yoga studio that uses silk hammocks to take your downward dog into the air.
Prefer to get outdoors? Red Rocks amphitheater may be known internationally for its perfect acoustics, but it also makes for a challenging stair workout. Even in winter locals flock there to climb the 380 steps from the lower parking lot to the upper concession level. Try it, and see how much you can improve your time over the year; at an altitude of 6,400 feet, you're sure to get your heart pumping.
Spa it Up
Detoxing doesn't have to be all about the sweat, so treat yourself to a little R&R at Denver's best spas. Fitness fanatics who also love a good massage or facial should head to the aforementioned Pura Vida, one of the only gyms in Denver with a full spa (the Spa Vital) open to the public. If complete bliss is the goal, pretend you're on vacation at the Four Seasons Hotel Spa downtown. Serene relaxation lounges and luxurious treatments (try the Evergreen Massage) will make you forget all about the excesses of 2015. While the normal rates are steep, check out the special "happy hour" offered Sunday through Thursday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 pm. The locals-friendly specials let you partake in two separate 25-minute treatments and a glass of bubbly, all for $99. If a sports massage is more your pace, Symmetry Massage offers expert services in three locations around town, and their rates won't break the bank, with 60 minute massages starting at $75.
Fuel Your Body
A new class of Denver restaurants is making healthy cool again, so there's no excuse for cheating on your New Year's goals. Ditch the overdone brunch menu and opt for the healthy and quick Prosperoats, a juice joint in Lower Highlands that also serves made-to-order bowls of oatmeal, quinoa, or yogurt. At lunch, don't miss chef Troy Guard's fast casual concept, Bubu, for Asian-fusion protein bowls packed with veggies. With two locations in Lowry and Larimer Square, Bubu lets you create custom orders filled with vegetables and high-quality proteins like raw salmon and grilled steak.
For dinner, chef Justin Cucci of Root Down in Lower Highlands does wonders with vegetables, and even the happy hour menu features plenty of vegan and gluten-free items. Try to catch a reservation at one of Cucci's popular raw food dinners on the first Tuesday of every month, where you'll join locals from all over the city noshing on organically sourced produce. Pro tip: there's also a Root Down restaurant at the Denver International Airport, and the healthy options are worth the trek out to the C concourse. Looking to really jump start your diet in the New Year? Try a cleanse from Pressed Juice Daily. A three- or five-day program could be just the thing to reduce inflammation and boost your energy.