Last week, I packed my bags and escaped the city for a long weekend in Cincinnati. I don’t get home nearly as much as I should thanks to travel time and cost, but after many months away from the midwest, I was well overdue for a trip.
Cincinnati is a funny place. It has grown and changed so much over the past few years I hardly recognize it as the sleepy city I left after high school. All of a sudden, as if awakening from a serious power nap, it has exploded into this vibrant and buzzing metropolis with a red hot restaurant scene, amazing urban spaces, and a seriously solid fitness community. There are creative and successful boutique gyms all over the place. Park bootcamps and road races. Running trails and newly paved bike paths. Vegan food joints and veggie juice spots. And lots (and lots) of smoothies.
In other words, this hometown Fit Crasher is seriously smitten.
Here are just a few of the healthy highlights from my recent trip. I can’t wait to return over the holidays to continue exploring, because my list of places to crash just keeps growing.
Workout: CORE // I popped into this sleek and colorful pilates studio early one morning for a group equipment class with Cydney. What a find! The space is gorgeous and full of light. Class sizes are small. And there are pieces of pilates equipment artfully placed throughout the length of the studio – I think I even spotted a few TRX hanging from the wall, too.
The class I attended incorporated the reformer, stability ball, resistance bands, and mat work. Even better? There were only four students, so the entire experience felt like a semi-private session. Luxury!
Each move thoughtfully flowed into the next, and not one muscle group was left untouched. I had plenty of hands-on attention as I tried to work through the moves on the reformer. Which is awesome, because I was a bit rusty and that thing is tough. Each exercise looked so graceful and easy when demonstrated by an instructor, but let me tell you, they are actually torturously hard when attempted in real life. Especially when you add a resistance band to the mix. Phew!
I walked out of there feeling taller, leaner, and a bit shaky thanks to tired muscles. In addition to pilates, CORE offers a number of group fitness classes – I’m adding Booty Barre to my list for the next visit. Thanks for inviting me to come take a class, CORE!
Workout: Park Powerwalk // Two days in a row I laced up my running shoes and went for a long power walk with mom (aka The Original Fit Crasher) along the Ohio River.
There are a number of new parks and outdoor community spaces along the route and I was blown away by how creative, fun, and beautiful they were. Talk about a total makeover. In addition to sweeping patches of green grass to play in and wide bike paths to run or roll along, the riverfront area now has benches and swings, splash areas, imagination playgrounds for kids, memorials, beautiful artwork, food and produce vendors, and more. I mean…can it get any better?
This may have been my favorite workout of the trip because it was just so amazing to see this once underused area bursting with life. I also almost won the playground functional fitness challenge. Almost. Two thumbs WAY up, Cincinnati.
Eats: Off The Vine // Off The Vine is just a few blocks away from CORE on Vine Street, and owned by the same people, too! It’s a lovely little spot to grab a healthy treat as you’re exploring downtown. They offer green, root, or citrus juices, nut milks, chia pudding, acai bowls, and more. I even spotted an active charcoal drink on the menu if you’re after a serious internal detox.
The juices come pre-bottled (but made in store) in beautiful glass containers. I took home a Hulk, which was a concoction of spinach, cucumber, lemon, and apple. The big bottle was enough for 2 1/2 glasses, and cost $8. A steal! And delicious too.
Eats: Rooted Juicery // Rooted just opened right next door to the barre and spin studio Define in Oakley – the perfect sip + sweat combo! This place is utterly gorgeous. One step into the store and you quickly notice they take their aesthetics very seriously. No detail was missed. I felt like I had walked into a Well + Good article, or a slice of Instagram heaven. White, bright, natural light. Marble countertops. Brass wire baskets. Succulents. Chalkboard menus. Linear branding. And brightly colored juices neatly positioned as pops of color in the refrigerator. To. Die. For. I could have stayed for hours finding new things to photograph. In fact, I wanted to move in.
But how were the juices? Good! They had a few out to sample and my impressions were positive. I also tried the Cocowhip, which is a froyo alternative made of coconut water and coconut sugar. It tasted like delicious whipped air. Not a ton of flavor, but very few calories and it would be enough to satisfy my sweet tooth in a pinch.
I decided to go big and order an acai bowl with banana and goji berries. Not amazingly creative, but certainly not bad – and, no surprises here, beautifully prepared. Even when it was “to go.” Yum!