Sport and fitness in Amsterdam
The Dutch value a healthy lifestyle, especially in the nation's capital. Fitness in Amsterdam is closely intertwined with the simple act of living. For instance, most people ride their bike to work to start the day off with a boost of energy.
For expat fitness fanatics that need more, there are many options. Expats in Amsterdam can join a gym, take up a team sport, take dance, yoga or Pilates classes, or enjoy what nature has to offer in terms of outdoor sports.
No matter their preferences, expats will find more than enough to keep themselves in tip-top shape.
Gyms in Amsterdam
There are many gyms in Amsterdam which cater to different clientele at different price ranges.
High-end gyms offer group lessons, state-of-the-art equipment, swimming pools, saunas and even babysitting areas where members can drop the kids while they work out. They usually have several different membership options which give variable access to their facilities.
On the other end of the scale, there are numerous smaller, more affordable gyms that only give access to equipment like machines and weights.
Expats can find all the gyms in their area with a quick Google search.
Team sports in Amsterdam
The prospect of joining a team sport may be more appealing to expats who don't fancy joining a gym. Volleyball, handball, field hockey and rowing are all very popular in Amsterdam, but finding the right club may be difficult because information is generally in Dutch.
The official "I Amsterdam" website is a good point of reference, as it lists clubs that specifically cater to expats. Expats who join a team will likely have one or two training sessions each week, with games on the weekend except in summer. Team sports are fun and can also be a good way to meet new people.
Dance lessons in Amsterdam
Places like the Amsterdam Dance Center offer classes in various styles from classical ballet and jazz to hip hop and break dance. There are many levels to choose from, and lessons are open, meaning that expats won't need to sign up for an entire year. Salsa and Zumba lessons are also popular.
Pilates and yoga in Amsterdam
Pilates and yoga are great options for expats who would prefer a relaxed, full body toning and strengthening exercise method that develops muscular coordination and better posture. Pilates and yoga can be beneficial for treating injuries, although it’s best to get a physician's advice before starting a training program that's meant to help injury rehabilitation.
Expats can find Pilates and yoga lessons in most gyms that offer group lessons, but there are also numerous private yoga and Pilates schools.
There are many good instructors in Amsterdam, although expats should make sure they have proper certification. Certification isn’t required for teaching Pilates, which creates a very open market and produces teachers of very different standards. When choosing a Pilates teacher it’s important to go for a trial lesson. Instructors should ask questions and modify exercises to make sure their students reap the maximum benefits from each exercise.
Outdoors sports in Amsterdam
Amsterdam offers many options for outdoor sports, mainly in the warmer months of the year. The Vondelpark and Westerpark are great for jogging, power walking or even in-line skating.