5 methods to exercise within the open air this summer season in Iowa


Iowa can get hot and muggy in the summer, but that doesn’t mean exercising should stop. Iowans can travel the state and still find great ways to work up a sweat. Tour across the state from west to east on RAGBRAI, the Register’s annual bike ride through Iowa. Play 21 holes of disc golf at a state park. Climb the tallest observation tower in the Midwest. Attend a major sporting event in Des Moines or Ames. Or just grab a yoga mat and head to a free outdoor session at a park near you.

Here are five ways to work up a sweat in Iowa this summer.


See the beauty of Iowa from your bike during the 49th RABRAI. This year’s route starts on July 24th in Sergeant Bluff and ends on July 30th in Lansing. This year’s route is 462 miles long. Pocahontas, Mason City and West Union are just a few of the overnight towns along the way.

Learn more: ragbrai.com

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Wildcat Bluff Disc Golf Course, Urbana

Featuring more than 300 disc golf courses in Iowa. It’s easy to find a course wherever you live. For a challenge, play a round at the 21-hole Wildcat Bluff in eastern Iowa. In 2021, it was voted the 16th best disc golf course in the world by UDisc.

Find it: 3139 57th St Trail, Midpoint

Learn more: mycountyparks.com/County/Benton/Park/Wildcat-Bluff-Recreation-Area.aspx

State Games of America

The State Games of America, in association with the Iowa Games, is an Olympic-style event with an expected 16,000 participants from 30 states competing in 40 different events ranging from archery and billiards to ice skating and martial arts.

Ames and Des Moines will host the events throughout July, with the main competition weekend taking place on July 27-31.

Learn more: stategamesofamerica.com

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Cordova Park Lookout Tower, Otley

Get a workout by climbing the 170 steps of the Cordova Tower in Otley. You’ll be rewarded with views of Lake Red Rock and the Des Moines River Valley. It is the tallest observation tower in the Midwest at 106 feet tall. Admission is 50 cents (bring quarters) and the tower is open daily from 7am to 8pm

Learn more: mycountyparks.com

outdoor yoga

Start your day this summer with an energizing yoga workout. In central Iowa, you’ll find outdoor classes in Ankeny, Clive, Des Moines, and West Des Moines. Most courses are free and some still require registration. Check with your local parks and recreation department to see if outdoor yoga is available in your city.

Learn more:desmoinesparent.com/free-outdoor-yoga-in-des-moines/

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