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How to Get Active in 2022 in Philly - and Things to Keep in Mind

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

These past couple of years have been A LOT. But as we get back to "normal," how are you going to become (or continue being) physically active?


That's OK! We can all agree that these past two years made us change our lifestyles in more ways than one, possibly leaving us confused on how to get back to normalcy before. Our routine of getting up early, putting on a podcast for your commute to work, and hitting the gym on the way home is a thing of the past.

Our active lifestyles were one of the many things that were sacrificed these past years and we have all been working towards getting those lifestyles back.

With some sense of normalcy slowly returning, we can look forward open gyms and new ways to get back to our old activity levels.

Keep in mind - your workout routine may look very different from what it looked like in 2019 - and that's ok! We've all changed as individuals and that means so should our active lifestyles.

How to get off the couch and create a new active lifestyle

As human beings, we've grown from this pandemic socially, emotionally, and globally – so why would our exercise regimen stay the same? Since our communities have opened up, there has been countless opportunities to find what works for you as you get back to your workout routine. So heading into this new year, let's start nailing down your new and improved lifestyle.

Here are some tips to get started.

Find a workout buddy and commit in a new way

Reach out to some friends and find a workout buddy that has a similar schedule to you and, more importantly, has the desire to reach their fitness goals. Working out with a buddy will keep you accountable and motivate you to show up.

It's also been scientifically proven that signing a commitment contract will help you stay focused. We can make promises to ourselves all day long, but research shows we’re more likely to follow through with pledges when we make them in front of friends.

Promise you'll pay each other $20 every time you miss a yoga class. “It’s a simple notion of changing the cost,” explains Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University who studies health decision science.

“I say I’m going to make a commitment to do something for a certain amount of time, such as exercising 30 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks. If I don’t do that, I’m going to pay some kind of penalty, whether it’s monetary or the embarrassment of having friends know I didn’t live up to my word.”

Commit to a workout that doesn't feel like a workout

Find a new, and exciting way to exercise that is something you've never done before. Realize that this may take you out of your comfort zone in the beginning, but finding something new might allow you to fall in love with exercise again.

Maybe search for an activity within the martial arts. At these gyms, you can work on your conditioning, coordination, and your self-defense. Try out Krav Maga or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Or you can turn back the clock to high school Phys Ed class and join a local intramural team. Kickball or volleyball, anyone?

Lower your expectations

Lighten up on your goals and track them. If you start working out with the expectation you're going to run a marathon in 3 months, you're going to burn yourself out (or worse, hurt yourself!) Start with modest goals and track them through your Apple Watch or Fitbit!

If you have an old injury, start slow and give yourself grace. Alter your goals according to what your injury can tolerate. Or even better? Click below to contact us so we can find the source of your injury so you can get back to your activity with less pain.

Our favorite workouts in Philly

Our top suggestion for rebuilding your healthy lifestyle in Philly this summer and fall is to try new things! Philadelphia offers countless (sometimes free) ways to move your body. Below are some of our favorites.

Join a running group

Find a local running group to join! From South Philly to the Main Line, there are dozens of groups that match any interest and level. Most running groups in our area offer varying mileage and embrace all running paces.

Check out our list of top Philly running groups below!

Free Yoga and Pilates

Yeah - we said free!

Practice your downward-facing dog along the waterfront of Race Street Pier with Wellness at the Waterfront. With the Ben Franklin Bridge as a gorgeous backdrop, we couldn't think of a better place to practice yoga and pilates. They accept all levels from experienced yogi to namaste novice. Check out their schedule HERE.

Indego Bike Rentals

Explore our beautiful city like never before through biking. Pick up a bike from one of Indego's 100+ stations, ride it for as long as you'd like, then drop it off at any one of its stations when you're finished! There's a station at Race Street Pier so after your yoga class, grab a bike to head to brunch. You can pay per ride or a monthly pass.

Body Rock Bootcamp

As featured in Netflix's Queer Eye, this outdoor gym offers near-daily exercise opportunities for all levels. There's an outdoor boot camp on weekdays at the Schuylkill Banks under the Walnut Street Bridge and at West Philly's Saunders Park, they hold a high-intensity funk bag (or sandbag) workout on Thursdays and Saturdays. Check out their full schedule here!

KG Strong

This South Philly gym brought its yoga classes back to the breezy rooftop at Bok. Classes are on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, May through October. Check out KG Strong's website here for details!

November Project Philadelphia

This volunteer-run morning workout consists of running-based circuit training and bodyweight exercises. Classes are free and start at 6:25 am on Wednesdays at the Art Museum steps and a rotating outdoor location on Fridays. Follow on Instagram for their latest updates.

Have a Plan for Returning to Physical Activity

So, how do you get back to your healthy lifestyle safely?

Physical activity and the opportunities to exercise have been impacted by the pandemic. And as many of you know, if you get out of your routine, it's challenging to get back to it.

Before you get back to your physical activity, you want to make sure to ease your body and mind back into activity and not jump in right where you left off. If you used to be a long-distance runner but haven't been on the trail in a while, start off by walking or jogging short distances. Or if you were on the competitive work softball team, maybe start slow by doing rotational exercises to get your body prepped and reduce the risk of injury.

Our top exercise recommendation, though? Your core!

Your core is the core focus for training

One of the main reasons we recommend our patients train their core is to help with injury prevention. the core consists of a stabilization unit and a mobilization unit – two very important elements to protect. Simply, the stabilization unit of the core is responsible for two things – posture and timing – which are not mutually exclusive. When the stabilizers are "weak," poor posture happens as a result. And when our timing is off, poor posture happens during activity which can increase risk of injury.

Individuals may have strong muscles but can simultaneously be weak during functional activities like exercise. If the core isn't working properly, it can cause poor timing and affect efficiency and performance. The core must work in the right place and at the right time to provide the stability needed to decrease the risk of injury.

Check out our very own Dr. Allen Harris's webinar on returning to running after a long break. He dives deep into important elements to keep you safe and healthy.

As always, individuals should practice behaviors that reduce transmission, such as maintaining social distancing, washing their hands frequently, staying home if they have any symptoms, and remaining flexible with changing guidelines.

There are a dozen ways to get back to your pre-COVID health and drop the Quarantine-15. It's important to know which physical opportunities are available, try something new, and follow guidelines when it comes to group physical activity so our community can stay safe!

Do you need support getting back to the activity you love? Contact us!

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