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4 Great Ways to Get a Winter Workout in Knoxville

1/5/17 by Clay Duda

Scrounging up motivation to hit the gym is tough in the best of times. Add in the blanket of winter, holiday seasons, and the occasional snow, and it can be next to impossible to get up and move during the frostbitten months. But it doesn’t have to be: There are tons of activities to take on in Knoxville, both indoor and outdoor, throughout the year to keep you active and healthy, from volunteering at any number of nonprofits to good, old-fashioned exercise. Here, some great ways to get a winter workout in Knoxville, sure bets for the cold months ahead.

Onsight Rock Gym

Some of the massive walls at Onsight.
Some of the massive walls at Onsight. Yolanda Chen

Build your strength and take to the boulders without losing the feeling in your fingers this winter at an indoor rock climbing gym. Located on Western Ave. in Knoxville, Onsight Rock Gym includes more than 12,000 square feet of climbing space towering 50 feet high. The abstract course was designed by Walltopia, an internationally known designer in rock climbing walls. The gym offers personal training and coaching, rock climbing-specific training equipment and free weights, and hosts regular yoga classes and fitness clinics. Monthly memberships range from $59-$69 for adults, or $15 for a one-time pass. It rents climbing and safety equipment.

Market Square Ice Rink

This annual downtown staple hallmarks the arrival of the holiday season each year. Knoxville’s Holiday On Ice celebration, as the rink and roster of winter events is officially known, is an open-air ice rink on Market Square welcoming kids and adults of all ages. Now in its 10th year, the oval has been upgraded with see-through plexiglass siding. There are also alternating daily events, details of which are available on the city’s website. Prices range from $7-$10 for a single-day ticket, or $30-$45 for a season pass.

Lindsay Young Downtown YMCA

Housed in a historic building on Clinch Ave., Lindsay Young Downtown YMCA is the third oldest YMCA facility in the country. 
    Bob Cummings
Housed in a historic building on Clinch Ave., Lindsay Young Downtown YMCA is the third oldest YMCA facility in the country. Bob Cummings

Take advantage of the host of workout offerings at the historic Lindsay Young Downtown YMCA in downtown Knoxville, the third -YMCA facility in the entire country. The nearly 90-year-old building was designed by Knoxville architects Barber & McMurry is on the National Register of Historic Places, though despite it still has state-of-the-art workout equipment and facilities. The gym includes an indoor running track; basketball, racquetball, and handball courts; exercise studios and assorted equipment; plus saunas and steam rooms. It’s one of five YMCA locations in Knoxville, and a membership to the Y gets you access to any and all of them.

Snowshoeing Clingman’s Dome

Snowshoeing at Clingman's Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Snowshoeing at Clingman's Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Doug Kerr

Embrace the winter wonderland that is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Snowshoeing opportunities abound in the park during the colder months where snow is common, depending on conditions. Just like during the peak summer months, one of the most popular routes is the roughly 15-mile round trip to the top of Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak in the national park at 6,643 feet. There are no guided tours, so you’ll have to take the initiative on your own. The trail gradually gains more than 1,500 feet before reaching the overlook, which may or may not have stunning vistas depending on the weather.

Be sure to check conditions before you head out: Temperatures at highest elevations can range 10-20 degrees cooler than the surrounding valleys, so come prepared. The road to the Dome’s parking area may close between December and March depending on snowfall, but the trail is technically still open.

Originally written by RootsRated.