As the great Snoop Dogg, or rather Snoop Lion, once said: “It’s so easy for a kid to join a gang, to do drugs. We should make it that easy to be involved in football and academics.”
In Halifax, and specifically at Dalhousie, being active is just as easy as opening a book. While some people seem to forget the brain is a muscle, others forget to stay active when they’re busy studying.
If you’re interested in staying fit (and you should be), here is the lowdown on where to go, from campus to downtown and beyond.
The Dalplex is undeniably a main hub for activity, but its many options are not the only ones on campus:
Dalplex (6260 South St.)
The primary fitness facility at Dal has a swimming pool, weight rooms, exercise machines, an indoor track for year-round usage and more. They also offer classes, from yoga to self-defense to CPR. Every student pays for an eight-month membership with their student fees, so if you’re a full-time student, you can just go down with your student ID to discover what awaits.
You can find a host of options outside the Dalplex, several of which are open to the elements. These include but are not limited to the school’s main outdoor facility, Wickwire Field, open lawns for whatever you want (frisbee, yoga, tight rope walking, etc.), tennis courts and miscellaneous basketball nets.
We can’t forget our engineering friends to the east. The Sexton Memorial Gym (1360 Barrington Street) may not get the same love as the Dalplex, but, in the end, aren’t we all just going to a gym to get all sweaty?
Downtown Halifax is made up largely of shops, restaurants and government buildings. However, if you look closely, you’ll find a host of options for keeping active without going far past your bus route;
From inside a gym or a sauna to outside on a lawn, Halifax has you covered if yoga is your game. There are lots of options, three of my favourites being Moksha Yoga (1512 Dresden Row), Ashtanga Yoga (1489 Birmingham St.), and Bikram Yoga (1567, Grafton St.), all offering hot yoga. Other much-loved downtown studios include Therapeutic Approach Yoga (6156 Quinpool Rd.) and 108 Yoga (1496 Lower Water St.). As well, Lululemon (5486 Spring Garden Rd.), a popular yoga outfitting store, holds classes, too. For a more local option, you could also check out Bhavana Yoga Boutique (6252 Quinpool Rd.) for yoga merch and whatnot.
Have a membership from the summer? Maybe one from work or with your family? No reason to quit going because you changed cities. A lot of gyms, from GoodLife (multiple locations) to YMCA (1565 South Park St.), accept memberships across the country. All you have to do is go in, have your information transferred and you should be good to go. Both gyms, as well as many others, are all a quick bus ride from campus in downtown.
If you want more direction in your workouts, a free boot camp may be exactly what you’re looking for. Located at Saint Andrew’s United Church, just across the street from Subway and Starbucks on Coburg Road, the Maritime Heart Centre (6036 Coburg Rd.) promises that 100 per cent of proceeds from its boot camp go to charity. So not only are you doing something good for your body, but for your soul, too. Visit maritimeheartcenter.ca for more details.
Something a bit more wild
Want to burn calories in an unorthodox way? Here are some out-there suggestions.
Belly dancing is becoming popular so getting on that train before everyone else catches up. Try Serpentine Studios (1668 Barrington St.). Or, if you want something you could make more money off of, there’s pole dancing. Essence Studios (1717 Barrington St.), has great reviews and good rates.
Willing to explore?
If you’re a local looking for some original ideas or you’re new and want to get out of your comfort zone, get some friends together and gives these options a try.
Never surfed before? Maybe look into some lessons at ecsurfschool.com before hitting the beach. Camps are held at the Lawrence or Martinique beaches, located 30-40 minutes from Halifax.
The paintballrepublic.com website has a lot of information for novices to experts on where to play, where to buy and how to get involved. Don’t be intimidated to try the sport on your own, though; half the fun of trying something new is meeting new people.
The Halifax Curling Club ( 948 South Bland St.) is the oldest active curling club, not just in Canada but also in North America. If you have been curling for a while, they have leagues you may want to join. Brand new to the sport? Where better to learn?
You would think climbing options would be few on an island like Nova Scotia but you would be surprised. The Climb Nova Scotia group has everything, from “bouldering, trad, sport, ice, indoor climbing and much more.” Learn more at climbnovascotia.ca.
Alphastrike (202 Brownlow Ave.) over in Dartmouth is one of the largest laser tag venues with an arcade in the area. For their individual rates, visit alphastrike.ca/rates/individuals.
Last, but not least, you can always get a bike, some rollerblades, a skateboard, or just a good pair of sneakers and get out there. I can suggest a hundred venues for you to check out but the best way to learn the city is to run into it, head first. If I may though, Citadel Hill, the Public Gardens, the Commons and Point Pleasant Park are solid bets. Good luck and play safe!