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The New, Healthier New Orleans

If you need a break from all the king cake and red beans you’ve been consuming during the harsh winter hibernation, we’ve got just the ticket for you.  Thankfully, a host of new healthy activities have popped up in recent years for New Orleanians and visitors alike.  From joining an intramural sports team through Play NOLA, or a quick visit to Slidell Rocks, the indoor climbing gym in Slidell, LA – you can certainly find a way to burn off some Abita Amber and feel great about yourself afterwards.

New Orleans is well known for food, music, and culture oozing out our ears, but what is commonly overlooked are the many groups and individuals that are involved in making our fine city a better place to live, through healthy living.

New gyms have opened in lots of new neighborhoods, making access to equipment and facilities for your everyday workout that much easier, like NOLA Fit 24/7 on Magazine Street and Anytime Fitness on Freret. For the runners in town, there is often a race of some kind with people from all over the world involved. Coming up in February is the Rock n’ Roll Marathon, shortly after Mardi Gras.

Members of The National Guard await the start of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Marathon (Photo from Flickr by The National Guard)

After you’ve put in your hour at the gym, or played a grueling game of kickball through Play NOLA, remember to take care of your body afterwards with healthy fare from restaurants like Café Carmo which serves a host of vegetarian foods, or smoothie shops/health food retailers like Superfood on Magazine Street.

For less competitive, more therapeutic activities, there are also a multitude of yoga studios that are also fairly new and now open in all parts of New Orleans, with many offering community classes and affordable drop-in rates for people who are visiting the studio for the first time.  For yoga classes that are one of a kind, be sure to read about the four funky yoga classes available in the area.  If you’d like something a bit more traditional, there are studios in nearly every neighborhood city-wide.  St. Claude, Magazine Street, Uptown, Downtown – they’ve all got something nearby where you can go do your downward facing dog.

Another huge asset to the community is the New Orleans Healing Center, one of New Orleans’ best resources to relax and rejuvenate.  The Healing Center boasts the New Orleans Food Coop, a yoga studio, and many styles of dance class through The Movement Room.

After you’ve had a gorgeous afternoon of being active and eating well, you may want to put your feet up and take a break as a spectator for one of the big sporting events happening all the time in this fine city, covered in full in our NOLA Sports podcast episode.

If you decide to take any of these suggestions in the near future, you’ll be in a good place. And after all of that hard work is over and the calories have been burned, you can have that piece of king cake you’ve been eyeing from across the room. Enjoy…you deserve it.

Thomas Rush is an entrepreneur in New Orleans who currently serves in several capacities, most recently as the founder of Few and Far, an online retailer for adventurous gentlemen and COO of Yvelise Limoncello.