We Can Work It Out: 5 Places to Kickstart Your Exercise Regimen in 2018

Sunshine may be in short supply during January, but it’s still one of our favorite months of the year. January is a time of bright beginnings and endless possibilities, the month where we all set aside time to decide what exactly we want from the next 365 days. And, on your list of resolutions (somewhere between reading more books and traveling the world), you’ve probably written “exercise regularly.” If so, why not take advantage of DFW’s mild winters and many public green spaces?

If you’re looking to take your new exercise regimen Downtown, then keep your eye on Klyde Warren Park. Not only is it a great place to take a stroll on your lunch break (those steps add up!), but the park also offers free fitness classes on Saturdays, including tai chi, jiu-jitsu and yoga. Just be sure to consult the weather report before your workout — and don’t forget to bring your mat.

The Katy Trail is a popular Downtown-adjacent option for walkers, joggers, bikers and even skaters and bladers (roller, not ice). Constructed on top of one of the city’s most historic railroad lines, the wide, paved expanse of the Katy Trail spans 3.5 miles. In so doing, it connects several of Dallas’ most iconic neighborhoods as well as Dean ParkOak Lawn Park and Reverchon Park and their amenities, which include everything from basketball courts to baseball fields. After hitting the trail, refuel at the Katy Trail Ice House and opt for the portabella veggie burger to keep your personal health train rolling.

Prefer scenery that includes a spectacular water feature? Go for a run around “Dallas’ Central Park” — White Rock Lake. Thanks to the tranquil nature of the landscape surrounding this former reservoir, you’ll find it hard to believe you’re just five miles northeast of Downtown Dallas. And with a looped trail that circles the lake for 9.3 miles, you’ll have great views of sailboats, waterfowl and beautiful domestic architecture the entire way around. If Fido is looking to a drop a few pounds, too, make sure to visit the Dog Park, where your pups can even take a dip if they’re feeling up to it.

Meanwhile, serious nature-lovers can get their great outdoors fix and burn calories by exploring the Trinity River Audubon Center. The Center is the gateway to the 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest, also known as the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States. Explore five miles of trails through three different ecosystems — wetland, forest and prairie — and try to spot the native wildlife, among them bobcats and several species of owl. You’ll be so busy you’ll probably forget you’re exercising.

Lastly, make sure to check out the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, a hidden gem tucked into the quaint confines of a neighborhood just south of Downtown Dallas. Managed by the non-profit Texas Land Conservancy (TLC), the Preserve features 121 acres of woodlands and meadows and is especially popular with mountain bikers. But these trails aren’t reserved exclusively for those on two wheels. They’re also used by hikers, joggers and anyone willing to lace them up.

No matter where you choose to get moving, Dallas has ample free outdoor options where you can make your health dreams a reality. Share your goals with us on Facebook and Twitter, and let’s conquer 2018 together.