9 Ways to Get Moving and Elevate Your Mood in Austin

1. Reserve Time at the Botanical Garden

Roam the grounds of the “jewel in the heart of Austin”. The Zilker Botanical Garden’s 26 acres feature a variety of themed gardens – a Japanese garden, prehistoric garden and a fabulous rose garden. Reservations required at this time. Adult admission is $6, children age 3-17 are $3, seniors over 62 years old are $5. Here are some other beautiful places to see this fall.

Camp Gladiator YouTube Screenshot2. Slay with a Virtual Boot Camp

Camp Gladiator is live streaming free classes daily on its Facebook page. They’re all about dynamic, fun and challenging workouts. Austin’s own Dane’s Body Shop also posts free workouts on their YouTube channel every Tuesday.

3. Try Yoga

Studies suggest that yoga promotes stress management, healthy sleep and an overall mental health boost. Here are several free, short, online yoga sessions with Austin’s Adriene Mishler – tailored to your specific mood.

4. Break a Sweat at the Virtual Y

Your local Y is offering free live, interactive, instructor-led classes for members of YMCA Austin. Classes are on-demand for Silver Sneakers (a completely free to use fitness program for Medicare beneficiaries). The Y website also has 12 Bursts, a program of fun challenges to get those kiddos moving, in this printable worksheet.

man practicing ballet in living room5. Pirouette Across the Living Room

Ever thought of trying out ballet? You don’t need a studio to give it a shot. Ballet, pilates and a variety of classes to promote “active aging” and ward off osteoporosis are available virtually and live through Ballet Austin. The Osteo-Strong class is free thanks to a grant from St. David’s Foundation. All other classes are $12.50 per class.

6. Explore Fortlandia

This year the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center continues its seasonal tradition of erecting custom-built forts by local architects, designers and artists. Your kids will have a ball climbing and playing. Adult admission is $12, children age 5-17 are $6, seniors 65+ are $10. Reserve your spot!

7. Camp

Camping lends itself to bonding with others, and it gets you out in nature. A double dose of dopamine. And, of course, s’mores! A wide variety of great camping spots just a short distance from Austin offer backpacking and mountain biking trails, fishing and more.

8. Stretch Your Legs on a Hike

No, Austin isn’t exactly Colorado when it comes to a hiking challenge. But we do have our share of beautiful trails. Research shows a link between exposure to nature and stress reduction. It can significantly reduce your cortisol (a stress hormone) and boost endorphin levels and dopamine production, which promotes happiness.

9. Take a Walk Through History

Did you know there’s living history park tucked away in north Austin? Let a costumed tour guide walk you through Texas history from 1841 to 1899. Tours take place Saturdays and Sundays 10:30am and 1:30pm. Celebrate all things cowboy at their Chisholm Trail Day, November 15th, 10am-3pm. Tour a portion of the original trail with a storytelling guide, see trick roping and beer brewing, with music by noted cowboy balladeer Jesse White. Adults $8, Youth (3-17) $6, seniors (65 and over) $6.

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