News & Blog

21 Ways to Get Active in Metro Detroit

Every community offers unique parks, events, and programs to help its members get active. If you’re new to the area or new to working out, it may not be easy to find these parks, decide which events are worth your money, or know if the programs are still occurring. So to help you find current classes, events, and places in the area that get you excited to work out, here is a list of 21 unique ways to get active in metro Detroit.

Find a running club near you.

What makes working out better? Doing it with a group! If you’re looking to build a community while getting fit, RUNdetroit meets on Saturday at 8 a.m. for a three, six, or 10-mile loop around Midtown. Another group, WeRun313, also has a variety of distances throughout the week, including two-mile Tuesdays or 5k/10k runs on Thursdays. If you are south of Detroit, Downriver Runners meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Get an intense arm workout at Dyno Detroit.

I used to consider myself a fit person… that is until I tried rock climbing. Between the technical moves and finger strength required, it’s a different ball game even for someone comfortable in the gym. While it may take some consistency to progress, rock climbing is an impressive feat, and the team at Dyno Detroit is ready to help you get started.

Take a stroll along the Dequindre Cut and Riverfront.

If you haven’t seen the progress on Detroit’s riverfront, you are missing out! It is more than 80% complete, with a three-and-a-half-mile path from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park. Connected to this is the Dequindre Cut, a two-mile greenway with murals, workout equipment, and Eastern Market along its path.

Try CrossFit!

One of my favorites, CrossFit, is HIIT training meets powerlifting meets community. While it can be expensive, it’s worth having full-body workouts with coaches instructing you during your workouts. Some places in Southeast Michigan are Mighty Warrior CrossFit and Core City Fitness.

Cruise around the city on a Tour de Troit ride.

Tour de Troit not only coordinates several group rides throughout the year, but it also uses these events to promote health and wellness, as well as the need for cycling infrastructure in Detroit. The Tour de Troit’s main event is a leisurely 25.6-mile cruise along Grand Boulevard and Belle Isle. It’s also the largest group ride in Michigan.

Become a jiu-jitsu master.

If you’re looking to master self-defense techniques and get a good workout simultaneously,  look no further than jiu-jitsu. An exercise of strength, coordination, and problem-solving, it is never too late to start this niche exercise. Looking for places to start? Check out Renzo Gracie and Detroit Jiu-Jitsu.

 Struggle through a Lex Artis Ruck Run.

So you think you’re fit? The Lex Artis Grit and Grind disagrees. In this grueling ruck run, participants run over eight miles while periodically completing movement challenges that consist of rowing, devil presses, sandbag cleans, and more. If the Grit and Grind sounds like a bit much, but you still want to test your fitness, it also offers ruck runs without additional obstacles. Just be careful when following the route; my team, unfortunately, added a few extra miles and landed ourselves in ankle-deep mud when we missed a turn!

Grab some friends and compete in a round of disc golf.

Disc golf is an increasingly popular activity that follows many rules of regular golf —except it’s played with a disc! Like traditional golf, there are nine to 18 holes (or baskets), and participants try to complete each hole in as few shots (or throws) as possible. This is great if you’re looking to try something new with friends or spend some time alone in the great outdoors.

To find disc golf courses near you, enter your zip code at the following link:

Find a team sport offered near you.

If you played high school or collegiate sports, it can be difficult to give that up when you graduate. However, it’s never too late to get back into your beloved game or even try a new one by joining an adult league near you.

A quick call to your local rec centers should give you an idea of the local teams offered and how to sign up for them.

Dance it out at a Zumba class.

Do you have impressive dance skills and want to show them off? Then Zumba is the exercise for you. With booming beats and killer choreography, it’s easy to get a great workout and have fun while you’re doing it.

To find a Zumba class near you, visit

Practice your tree pose with free yoga in the park.

Yoga is great for your strength, flexibility, and mental health. Unfortunately, most of the free outdoor yoga classes this year have ended, but below are a few to keep your eye on for next year.

Grab a MoGo bike and explore!

If you’ve spent any time in downtown Detroit, you’ve probably seen MoGo’s bright red bikes roaming the city. With bikes throughout downtown and Northwest Detroit, Ferndale, Oak Park, Huntington Woods, Berkley, and Royal Oak, you can easily run errands or visit a friend, all while getting some exercise. Bonus: if you’re a Wayne State student, you get a free annual pass!

Join a full-body workout class.

If CrossFit seems a little intense, but you still want a good full-body workout, there are many other options in the Detroit area. Programs like Orangetheory or Red Effect Infrared Fitness are instructor-led and use technology like heart rate monitors or infrared lighting to make the workout more effective for you.

Jog, walk, ride, or skate through Hines Drive.

On Saturday mornings, Hines Drive is the place to be for cyclists, walkers, runners, and skateboarders. From early May until late September, this scenic road is closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., providing a nice open path for pedestrians.

Go for a swim at your local pool.

Swimming is an awesome, low-impact exercise with strength and endurance benefits. Many YMCA’s and municipal recreation centers in Metro Detroit have pools, as well as some college campuses.

Fun fact: a YMCA membership is awesome because it gives you access to all YMCAs in the Detroit Metropolitan area, no matter what gym you signed up at.

Take a spin class!

Spin classes are a great way to stay in shape year-round, especially when that Michigan winter weather prevents other outdoor activities. These classes are also perfect for beginners, as workouts are easily modified by decreasing pedal speed or resistance. Check out Cycle Trip and Cyclebar for upcoming spin classes.

Spend the day on a hike.

The metro Detroit area is just a short drive away from some of Michigan’s most scenic parks. Whether you want a paved path or a rigorous trail, the Great Lakes state has a hike for you. Download the All Trails app to find some trails near you. Some of my favorites? Paint Creek Trail and Potawatomi trails.

 Go golfing.

The peaceful scenery of a golf course at sunrise is enough to make me want to golf every day. But then I remember I can’t hit a ball straight to save my life. However, with practice and patience, golf is a great sport that can be both calming and calorie-burning at the same time. Bonus points if you walk instead of taking a cart!

Check out what cities near you have golf courses at the following link:

Volunteer at a community garden.

This one is probably not something you would think of as exercise, but lugging around water spickets, pulling weeds, and pushing wheelbarrows can be a workout! You could always plant your own garden, but if you don’t want the financial and time commitments, consider helping out at a community garden near you.

To find a community garden near you, visit

Purchase a pair of roller skates.

Roller skating is the perfect way to enjoy a Michigan summer evening. Roller skates average anywhere from $30 to $70, and once you have those, paved trails at your local parks are free! There are plenty of skating rinks around as well, like the Monroe Street Midway or United Skates of America, with admission fees ranging from $2 to $13.

Paddle your way through a Michigan river.

Did you know you don’t have to travel to the Upper Peninsula for kayaking? You can do it right here in metro Detroit! Motor City Canoe Rental has kayaks, canoes, and tubes to rent and enjoy along the Huron River and Rouge River. If you want to do a group tour, Detroit River Sports and Detroit Outpost provide guides to take you through the Detroit River.

Written by Nikki Hartley, Fall 2022 Let’s Detroit Campus Ambassador

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Read our privacy policy to learn more, and if you’re cool with it, press accept to hide this message.
Read More