The leaves are changing and the temperatures are dropping—meaning it’s officially fall in the city. Despite the cooler weather though, we’re still finding ways to get out and about to take advantage of the shortened daylight hours and to stock up on sunlight while we can. After all, mental and physical health are more important than ever as we head into the winter—and it doesn’t have to be all about getting to the gym.
Taking an afternoon to try something new that’s outdoors and wellness-related is a great way to take some time for self-care after the past two years we’ve had. Plus, it does wonders for boosting your mood, especially if you make a physical component like e-biking to or from the destination part of the day or afternoon out.
In fact, we’re even finding that we can embrace the cold while we cycle around town. There’s something about the cool edge of fall air that makes us feel more alert and awake when we’re navigating the city.
Living in urban surroundings, like here in our Berlin HQ, offers a ton of ways to make the most out of fall. There are unvisited pockets to check out and outdoor activities that have a little extra something magical in autumn’s crisp air. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to take in the city in the autumn—and do something good for our own wellness in the meantime.
Hop on an ebike
Yeah, we’re a little obsessed with cycling at Dance, but you can’t blame us. Taking a spin around town on two wheels is a great way to let yourself break away from tightly scheduled days to embrace the chances for spontaneity an afternoon exploring on bike can present. Bicycling is also a playful, joyful way to see the city—and on two self-powered wheels, what’s good for you is good for the environment, too.
Here in Berlin, we love cycling along the Mauerweg, the old path of the Berlin Wall, for a dose of history, or seeing the city change shape and size as we bike from Berlin’s gritty Friedrichshain to the classy western district of Charlottenburg. For a longer ride and some fresh air, head out to Grunewald’s wooded trails or take the paths that pick up from the city’s bustling southern neighborhood of Neukölln out to the surrounding stretches of green fields.
Enjoy a boat ride
Cycle out to waterways—be they rivers, canals, oceans, or lakes—to get some time on the water before it freezes over. Spending an afternoon on the water is deeply relaxing and a great way to let the mind go—and it’s ideal for exercise if you’re rowing or paddling too. While sometimes it can be a bit of a journey to get out to where the water is, taking transit to the end of the line and then biking (or, if you’re really hardcore, cycling all the way out), can be a great way to add more destinations to your list.
When we’re heading out for a day on the water, we like cycling out to Kopenick to rent a boat for an afternoon on the Müggelsee and its nearby waters—or, if we’re feeling a bit lazier, riding out to the Spreeside docks along Treptower Park to catch one of Stern und Kreis’ open-air boat tours of Berlin.
Embrace healthy cooking
The change in seasons also means a change in how (and what) we’re eating—and as we get into the depths of winter, it’s important to keep the vitamins coming. Keeping your diet topped up on nutrients like iron and Vitamin D will stave off some of winter’s depleting effects on the body and mood, but if you need inspiration, you can always pick up a cookbook full of veggie-packed recipes or take a cooking class. If you’re in Berlin, check out Ratatouille’s course schedule for cozy French cooking classes in English or auf Deutsch or look into Dr & Dr’s Middle Eastern cooking courses for another inspiring world of flavors.
Make the most of the parks
Heading to your city’s grassy, public spaces to catch the last of the fall-jacket weather before deeper chills set in are a great way to fill up your lungs with fresh air—and get kids and dogs out of the apartment, too. Surrounding yourself with nature in a park has proven to be beneficial for your mental health, too. Whether you’re catching up on a book you’ve been meaning to read, running through a new park, or you stumble across a yoga class in a meadow, parks offer all sorts of opportunities to do something for your personal wellness.
In Berlin, we have literally hundreds of parks, and using our e-bikes or bikes to access further-flung ones gives us a great opportunity to check out new neighborhoods and understand how the city’s laid out. It seems like there’s a green space around each corner here, no matter how far (or near!) you want to cycle: Körnerpark in Neukölln is a hidden gem, as is a pedal through Tiergarten’s expanse as the leaves change, but a sunny day at the Schloss Charlottenburg’s sprawling grounds is always a treat, too.
Take up a class
Keeping both your mind and your body active during the winter are key for staving off the winter blues—and shaking the gray days up a little bit. Plus, after a year of being virtually unable to meet new people outside of our existing circles, classes are a great way to expand your own community, through striking up a friendship (or more...) with people you might not normally meet.
If you’re vaccinated, consider checking out different exercise classes in your city as a way of changing up your daily run or stretch sesh. Aerial yoga, dance classes, bootcamps, and different types of yoga, like yin or kundalini, are all ways to challenge your body and get moving. Check out apps that offer a schedule of monthly classes for a set fee—here in Berlin, we have Classpass and Urban Sports Club, each with a ton of classes worth setting an alarm for (or not—for us late risers, there’s plenty in the evenings, too). Plus, a bike ride to and from class counts as bonus exercise.
Non-workout classes are just as fun—and can have huge benefits for you in other ways besides calories burned. We like checking out The Makery here in Berlin for local classes on everything from fragrance-blending to pottery. There’s something about getting our hands into clay, especially after a day of looking at our screens, that just feels so therapeutic.
If you’re looking for something next door or fancy an ebike ride on the way there, you can find courses in just about any neighborhood in town. Whether you’re in it for sit-ups or ceramics, they’re a great way to connect with new people and do something good for yourself in the meantime—both of which will make the winter ahead easier, healthier, and happier.
With a Dance One, you don’t just enjoy a fun way to move – your mental and physical wellbeing benefit from a boost with each ride. Join the waitlist to subscribe to your own and add a little extra joy to your fall.