9 Activities in Winona to Get Your Heart Pumping for National Health & Fitness Day

September 30 marks this year’s National Health and Fitness Day! As an aspiring P.E. teacher, this couldn’t be a better topic for me to write on. Considering the fact that the general population of Winona is students, I came up with a list of things to help you and your friends be active—especially before our famous Minnesota winter comes.


1.  Walk around Lake Winona. 

Stop by the Winona letters, too, to take a cool pic for your Insta feed!


2.  Head over to the Lake Lodge and get movin’ with seasonal rental options. 

During the warmer months, you can bust a move with the help of:

  • Kayaks
  • Canoes
  • Paddle-boards and paddle-boats
  • Rollerblades
  • Bikes and trikes
  • Longboards
  • Frisbees
  • Ping pong (located inside)

You can also rent ice skates and snowshoes once the snow has hit the ground.

The best part: all of this is offered with the purchase of a yearly pass for $20—talk about affordable!


3.  Play a couple rounds of frisbee-golf at Lake Winona. 

There are tons of frisbee-golf goals around both lakes. Rent a frisbee from the Lake Lodge or bring your own to chuck into the chains alongside your pals.


4.  Shut Down Third Street: An Arts & Culture Block Party. 

Mark your calendars for September 22 from 12-8 pm because this event is scheduled only once a year in Winona. Shut Down Third Street is a great way to stay active without even knowing it—walk around and sniff the wafting warmth from food trucks, purchase goodies and trinkets from local businesses, and dance your heart out to the voices of a local band (I heard Yam Haus will be there this year).


5.  Take up yoga with a class or two.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yogi, check out a variety of yoga and meditation classes offered at the Manitou Center and Muddy Waters Yoga Studio. Make sure to breathe and have fun!



6.  Get your heart pumping at the YMCA.

Take advantage of fitness classes, weight and cardio rooms and even childcare. The Y in Winona offers clubs, programs and camps for all ages year-round. It’s always a good time to get fit at the Winona Family YMCA.


7.  Test your sense of adventure at the OERC Rock Wall

On Belay! The Outdoor Education Recreation Center is a new building a part of the Education Village. The 6,000-square-foot indoor rock-climbing wall is free and open to the public—say what?! They have climbing shoes to rent out and even chalk for the go-getters. Bonus: The staff lead free climbing trips to Sugar Loaf on Tuesdays from 4 pm until sundown during September.


8.  Take a hike up Garvin Heights or Sugar Loaf Bluff. 

Both of these trails take about 15-20 minutes to hike, leaving you with just the right amount of time to simply sit and enjoy the view once you get to the top.


9.  Walk along the Holzinger Lodge Trails. 

This place is my right-hand go-to when it comes to the fall and winter months. Step away from the icy blacktop paths and welcome the crunch of autumn leaves or crisp snow at Holzinger Lodge. There are numerous routes to venture as you make your way through the bluffs. Hike narrow inclines or travel the wide and windy ways. These trails are your oyster!


Whether or not you’re into exercise, there are lots of things that involve getting up and getting out. Walk around a museum, visit an apple orchard or go hammocking. Simply being outside lowers levels of cortisone, which is a harmful stress hormone, and adds physical movement to reduce stress. 


Meet up with some friends or have your family stay a weekend to tackle this list in honor of National Health and Fitness Day—who knows, this could very well become your new tradition! 


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