Staying Fit in Houston

Advice on workout routines and conditions from a certified trainer

As we all know, maintaining a regular workout routine is hard enough when life gets busy. Add to that the fact that Houston is home to a ton of wonderful eateries and outrageously bad-for-you foods, and the difficulty of sculpting a lean and trim frame increases exponentially.

Fortunately, Justin Williams, a certified trainer and former proprietor of the North Houston Adventure Boot Camp, has offered up some advice on staying trim. Here are his picks for a few stellar outdoor areas in the Houston metro to knock out your workout routine in.

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    Memorial Park - Houston, TX

    Memorial Park
    ••• Aaron Swift/Flickr

    In addition to the jogging trails, there are many miles of hike and bike trails located throughout the park. The 1.15 mile Picnic Loop at Memorial Park consists of two paved lanes winding through the shaded park on the south side of Memorial Drive, which allows for running, walking, bicycling or rollerblading. There are many miles of challenging off-road trails in Memorial Park. Outdoor exercise stations are located along the Seymour Lieberman Trail, alongside the Memorial Loop.

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    Middle Lake Trail - Magnolia, Texas

    Located in W. Goodrich Jones State Forest, the park includes 1.46 miles of nature trails, two small fishing ponds, picnic areas and parking for horse trailers. There are service roads and horse trails that run throughout the park, so stay on the marked trail so as not to get lost, and don’t take shortcuts, as these may cause erosion. The Middle Lake Trail, though short, is one of the few places in the Houston area where you might get a glimpse of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

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    Burroughs Park Trail - Oklahoma, Texas

    Burroughs Park is a 320-acre county park offering 8 miles of hiking trails, a stocked fishing pond, picnic facilities, a playground that is accessible to handicapped children, soccer and softball fields, and an elevated boardwalk. Most of the foot and bike traffic is on the paved walkways that wind through the playgrounds and picnic areas. The hiking trails have very little activity, making them ideal for a break from the city – just a short drive north of Houston.

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    Mercer Arboretum - Spring, TX

    This nationally recognized arboretum and botanic garden has been preserved since 1974. With over 250 acres, Mercer Arboretum boasts the region’s largest collection of native and cultivated plants. This hike is located on the west side of Aldine Westfield Road and includes many different trails and loops. 

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    The Woodlands Hike and Bike Trails - The Woodlands, TX

    Perhaps the most unique planned community in the Houston area, The Woodlands offers countless opportunities for outdoor exercise. With myriad parks and 1600 miles of hike, bike, and running trails, The Woodlands provides fitness challenges and outdoor exercise opportunities for outdoor fitness lovers of all ages. See this beautiful area, and make these trails a part of your regular workout routine, approximately 30 miles north of downtown Houston.