Staying fit in Miami

Spring break is only six weeks away and with the pants feeling a little snug after winter break feasting, it’s time to snap out the winter rut and get back into shape – and what better place is there to do so besides Miami?

“In Miami, fitness is year-round,” exercise and sport science lecturer Lisa Dorfman M.S., R.D., LMHC said. “What sums up Miami fitness is that you can get everything you could possibly want in one place and it doesn’t have to come with a high price; if you get out of bed in the morning, Miami is waiting for you.”

That’s one of the differences between staying fit in Miami versus other large cities, the weather is conducive for outdoor activities year-round which will save you the big bucks you would have to shell out for joining a gym in the winter.

Running is a great way to stay in shape, and the average female can burn up to about 600 calories per hour running at a six mph pace. Miami offers great places to train outdoors such as the Venetian and Rickenbacker Causeway along with various trails and parks around the Gables. It is also a great place for competitive runs; this weekend alone, Miami is hosting the Tropical 5K and the Miami Marathon and half marathon. But for a closer and less-competitive option, there is always the loop around campus which runs about three miles long.

“My friend and I sometimes walk around the loop during our lunch break. It’s a great way to catch up with your friends and stay fit throughout the day,” senior Ashley Koven said.

Prefer surf over turf? Take advantage of Miami’s beaches and go sailing or snorkeling for the day. The University offers scuba certification through a semester course or by joining the on-campus club. Or try kayaking; it can burn around 300 calories an hour and is a great way to tone up the arms. Key Biscayne offers some great programs including Crandon Park’s kayak and snorkeling excursion which usually last three to four hours.

“Miami people are more motivated to go beyond training, they want to build relationships,” Dorfman said. “Fitness is about enjoying the activity and connecting with others.”

Another thing that makes Miami fitness different is the strong influence of culture. Miami is diverse city; it is diverse in its people and diverse in its cultures which leads to diversity in its fitness. Dancing can be an expression of one’s culture and it is also a great way to stay fit; depending on the style, you can burn around 250-350 calories per hour. Offering a wide variety of classes ranging from salsa to tango to hip-hop and zumba, Miami seems to have no restraints, especially since it is one of the select cities Crunch Fitness decided to features its striptease cardio class in. Now not only will you be toning your body, but you’ll be learning a little something you can take back home to share.

“Different cultures bring different perspectives; fitness isn’t all about skinniness,” Dorfman said.

Shakira’s hips definitely don’t lie and that’s in part thanks to her belly dancing routines. Maybe you won’t be able to shake it like her, but it’s a fun workout regardless and really focuses on toning the hips, waist and legs. The Wellness Centers offers instructional programs and there are also specialized studios such as Belly Motions, which is right off of US-1 by the Grove.

If you’re looking for another fun and easy way to stay fit, try salsa dancing; there’s no reason not to. According to BBCSport, regular practice of salsa can not only help you stay in shape, but also lead to lower blood pressure and a reduced heart rate. Not only is there a salsa club on campus, but classes are taught at the Wellness Center and at studios and specialty clubs all over Miami – if you want to learn salsa, this is the city to do it.

When people think of Miami they think of the sun, the beaches, South Beach and bikinis. Whether it’s your personal goal to get more fit this spring or you just want to have a little fun while staying healthy, try taking advantage of everything Miami has to offer.

All caloric information was gathered from NutriStrategy at For more information about upcoming fitness events in Miami, check out

Bari Lieberman is the EDGE Editor and can be contacted at