EVERY once in a while, we all need a break from the confines of the gym to experience the outdoors. Nothing beats wide open spaces, the wind blowing against your body, and lots of fresh air—the last one depends, of course, on the time you decide to work out.
Here are suggestions on where you can sweat it out and have a great time on weekends.
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Recently launched was the Tutubi bike rental. Just register for a card online or at one of its customer service centers, pick up your card, swipe it at your choice of bicycle, and you’re good to go.
The place has also become such a favorite hub for cyclists that BGC has installed parking spaces just for bikes.
Every Sunday is race day. That means some roads will be closed to motorists, giving you more space to run or walk around without worrying about getting sideswiped.
Over at Track 30th (30th cor. 7th Ave.) are jogging paths of varying elevations, an exercise loop, and a strength-training stop. At Terra 28th (28th St. cor. 9th Ave.), there are also jogging paths plus an interesting spot for traditional Filipino street games like patintero and piko.
The Turf at BGC, an artificial football turf, is also frequented by pros and casual players. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the Philippine national football team, the Azkals, training here.
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati
You don’t need to wait for the weekend to run around its loop (about 1.2 km). This 20,000-sq m oasis is one of the favorite running spots in Makati. Don’t be surprised to find joggers running with their dogs here. It’s a pet-friendly place.
Weekends are more colorful with people doing one-on-one sessions with their personal trainers, whether it’s arnis, hula hoop, or tai chi. You will also see people rehearsing dances, doing stretches, or learning new exercise routines.
Legaspi Park, Makati
Recreational runners love this little patch of green in the middle of a residential area in Makati. Located on Rada cor. Gamboa St. Legaspi Village, the park has jogging paths, ponds and monkey bars.
Quezon Memorial Circle
This 15-ha green space on Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City, has been the venue of many workouts and light exercises for years.
You can bike, take up ballroom dancing lessons or calisthenics, join Zumba, kickboxing and other cardio workouts. There are also basketball and volleyball courts.
La Mesa Eco Park
This massive, 23-ha forest in Quezon City has exercise stations and a 1.2 km mountain bike uphill trail. Don’t like uphill? Not to worry. The park is huge enough to accommodate mountain bikers of different levels. You can also go hiking, boating and swimming in the saltwater pool. There are picnic grounds for the entire family to enjoy.
Every weekend, the University of the Philippines is transformed into a car-free zone to make way for recreational activities. On Saturdays, one lane is devoted to joggers and cyclists, while Sundays are completely car-free.
There are tai chi lessons and a few skateboarders. If you run late at nights you’ll find people making out, although that’s an activity that burns only a few calories.
Pasig Rainforest Park
You can play tennis or badminton on this patch of green located on F. Legaspi St., Brgy. Maybunga, Pasig. There are tennis and badminton courts, a swimming pool and a gym and fitness center.
It can’t get any more old-school than choosing to exercise at Rizal Park on Roxas Boulevard. Go kite-flying, or learn karate, arnis, tai chi, hip-hop dances and other cardio workouts.
Another old favorite of joggers, the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex is great for quick or long runs, brisk walking and cycling. The parking lot is also converted into badminton courts on weekends.
SM Mall of Asia by the Bay
Running races are normally held here, but there are also Zumba classes, jogging tracks and fun runs. On some weekends you can even watch volleyball games.