Fitness District: Marda Loop

Fitness District is a place where we explore some of Calgary’s most notable neighbourhoods and share some of the best they have to offer in fitness and health.

Just south of Calgary’s inner city lies Marda Loop, a business district that serves Bankview, South Calgary, and Altadore. A popular SW destination for brunch and coffee (thanks to beloved local duo Phil & Sebastian), Marda Loop has a lot to offer YPs in the way of fitness and health

The natural environment
Anybody who tells you that Calgary is a flat city has not visited Marda Loop and its neighbouring communities. 14th Street SW is one of two major north/south access road into Marda Loop and, coming from downtown, it is one steep and climbing hill. Head west through Bankview and South Calgary and you will be greeted with rolling hills in every direction. Perfect for hill training on foot or by bike, your glutes will thank you (once they stop aching!)

The gym
Walk down the heart of Marda Loop (33 Avenue SW) and you will find a number of great yoga studios within a few blocks of each other, including Yoga MandalaYoga & Meditation Centre Calgary, and Bikram Yoga Marda Loop. Each studio has a distinct style of teaching and practice philosophy, but all offer drop-in rates so you can try out a few classes and see which you prefer.

The gear
Strides Running Store specializes in running shoes and also carries apparel that will help you stay dry and comfortable. Strides also hosts Saturday morning group runs and coaches running clinics, whether you are training for a marathon or just looking to improve your personal best.

The fuel
Although diners and pubs are popular (must be the laid-back atmosphere of Marda Loop), give El’s Japanese Fusion a try. Their menu includes the usual suspects (sushi/sashimi, maki, noodles, tempura), but there are a ton of fresh and lean menu items to choose from that feature seafood, tofu, and salad. If you’re looking to stay in, Red Tree Catering has an extensive take-out menu that includes appetizers, dips, crackers, sides and salads, and entrees to choose from.

The relaxation
Although all that yoga will likely leave you feeling pretty relaxed, you might want to head to Vanity for a “fassage,” a unique 90-minute massage that is designed to revitalize every inch of your body. Sounds pretty good to us!

Photo courtesy Vanity