Getting fit and healthy can transform your life in many positive ways — and it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming to get there. We consulted with the doctors and staff at ORTHOCAROLINA’S Concord Office at 354 Copperfield Blvd. as our February experts on Locals Living the Healthy Life, The Concord Edition. Here we bring you the best workout and wellness options in the Concord NC area to help you jumpstart or keep up with your fitness journey.

Best Places to Walk/Bike/Run in Concord

For a lengthy walk or run consider a trip along the Hector H. Henry II Greenway, which is currently Concord’s longest greenway. There are plans in the works to expand the greenway even further over the next year, which will lengthen it to 14 miles upon completion. Those plans also include adding a scenic riverwalk to the already pretty trail.

Both runners and walkers love the 238-acre Frank Liske Park, which has several options when it comes to working out. The park features a popular jogging trail that’s almost two miles long, along with several footpaths, a fitness trail, and picturesque nature trails waiting to be explored.

Mountain bikers are going to want to check out the 90-acre Vietnam Veterans Park, which boasts a mountain biking trail that’s a part of the renowned Carolina Thread Trail and links Concord and Kannapolis. The park is also home to a 1.2-mile walking trail for those who would rather walk or run.

For a lengthier bike ride consider tackling one of the three biking routes Cabarrus County has mapped out with the shortest route being 45 miles and the longest spanning a whopping 74 miles.

Best Places to Walk Your Dog in Concord

Your favorite four-legged friend can go off-leash at the gated Weddington Road Bark Park, which was designed to give pets a safe place to roam freely without worry. There, you’ll find off-leash areas for both small (20 lbs. and under) and large dogs, as well as doggie water fountains and some agility equipment to help keep your pup in tiptop shape.

The Downtown Greenway Loop offers four miles of paved walking paths that will take you through both McGee and Les Myers parks. It’s extremely dog-friendly with pet drinking fountains and Dogi-Pot Stations spread throughout the loop. For a shorter option you can walk the .52-mile McEachern Greenway Downtown Connector. (Dogs must be kept on leashes at all times.)

Most Underrated or Unknown Exercise Options in Concord

Not only does the West Cabarrus YMCA provide a well-stocked fitness center and countless workout classes each week, but there are also several wellness assessments and educational programs that are complimentary for members, which are designed to help you stay on the right track.

Concord Parks & Recreation runs several different adult athletic leagues throughout the year that range from co-ed softball and basketball teams to flag football and volleyball. Each sport’s season consists of 10 games and a single elimination tournament. Along with getting out and staying active, joining a team is also a great way to meet new people in the community.

Best Free or Almost Free Fitness in the Area

Concord’s Academy Recreation Center is an incredible option for anyone looking to get in shape without spending a ton of money. The center offers free open gym times for adults and teenagers, and has weight and cardio rooms that have dumbbells, a chest press, leg extension/curl machine, several treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals. The space is open Mondays through Saturdays and it’s free to visit, all you have to do is get an ID card made to use each time you workout.

The Lotus Living Art Studio located in downtown Concord offers $5 community yoga classes almost daily. The affordable classes are categorized as easy to moderate — perfect for all types of fitness levels. There’s also a variety of other yoga classes available ranging from slow flow to Tai Chi that guests can take for a $10 drop-in fee.

Best Nearby Outdoor Activities for Families

This year during those dog days of summer gather the family, slather on some sunscreen, and head over to the John F. McInnis Aquatic Center to cool off with a day full of swimming fun. The pool is open each year from Memorial Day to Labor Day and offers public swim. The facility also offers swim lessons for adults and children as well as water aerobics classes.

Join Concord Parks & Recreation for one of their Greenway Adventures — a program that was designed to give kids ages three and up the opportunity to explore Concord’s greenways through a series of interesting activities. These outdoor adventures will teach participants all about the greenways and the different animal habitats in the area. Parents are encouraged to join the one-hour class.

Best Nearby Outdoor Activities for Dates

Earlier we mentioned Frank Liske Park for its walking and running trails, but its amenities don’t stop there. The park is also a great place to enjoy a fun date with your significant other by renting paddle boats and taking a few laps around the lake or playing a round of miniature golf on the park’s 18-hole mini golf course.

Best Neighborhood Studios in Concord

Burn Boot Camp’s fitness classes are designed to help you get your daily workout done in 45 minutes. Each class is different with high-intensity moves that are aimed to burn an average of 700 calories in just a short amount of time. And, with classes starting as early as 5 a.m. there’s sure to be a class that can fit into your schedule. As an added perk, Burn Boot Camp offers complimentary child care during certain classes at the Concord location. There’s also free 14-day trial period you can try before committing to anything financially.

Best Vegetarian/Vegan/Juice Restaurant in Concord

Next time you’re craving a refreshing juice or smoothie swing by Clean Juice’s Concord location. The Charlotte-based company features an impressive list of 100 percent organic, cold-pressed juices and protein smoothies, with a wide range of flavors that include everything from mangos and cream to a cashew milk latte. They also serve acai bowls and avocado toast for those times when you need more than a juice or smoothie.

Sabaidee Thai & Sushi is a go-to for vegetarian options that are full of flavor in Concord. The restaurant has a variety of meatless dishes to choose from on their menu, including several traditional Thai soups, salads, curries, noodles, and fried rice.

Best Place to Eat After Your Workout

Not only does 2 Gals Kitchen have a wide variety of hearty salads to choose from, but their menu also features an entire section dedicated to clean eating that includes several paleo-friendly options, so you don’t have to feel any guilt for refueling after a workout.

Best Neighborhood Outdoor/Athletic Store to Buy Your Gear in Concord

Academy Sports + Outdoors Concord has a vast selection of fitness gear. From footwear and clothing to camping and hiking gear, you’ll find just about anything you’ll need for every sport imaginable. They also have a large selection of fan gear for your favorite Charlotte teams.

Now that you’ve seen our list of bests, we want to hear about your favorite places to stay fit and eat well in Concord. Let us know in the comments.

A special thank you to certified physicians assistant, Scot Rheinecker and McKenzie Seippel for their input on ways to live a healthy life in Concord.

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